After staring at the Chain-O-Lakes State Park for a year on Google Earth, my wife and I drove the 3 hours down from Michigan. We arrived about 10:00 a.m. and put in at the launch at Sand Lake. The lake was fairly empty as we headed west for the channel to Weber Lake. The channel is very pretty and an easy paddle.
Weber Lake has a large amount of algae and scum in it and had the pond funk. We tried to continue west towards Mud Lake, but the channel was completely clogged with vegetation. We turned around and headed back to Sand Lake to try another channel.
We arrived back in Sand Lake around 11:15 and found out the canoe livery opens at 11:00 and the lake was filled with canoes. We went into the channel to Bowen Lake and traffic was bumper to bumper. It was a solid trail of boats. I have never before seen anything like that. We made it to Bowen and turned around. Going back through the channel was even more fun, as every corner was an opportunity for some one to run in to you.
We survived and loaded up.
Overall, we weren't satisfied with the trip, but it was our own fault. We chose one of the best days of a crappy summer to go, so the place was packed. I will put this on my list of places to kayak again, but only in the spring before the vegetation has a chance to take over the channels.
Several Boat Launches, Beach House, camping etc.
Park entry fee and $5.00 boat fee
On State Road 9 in northeast Indiana. About 4 miles south of Albion and about 15 miles north of Columbia City.