Cowan Lake is an outstanding place to take the family for a day trip in the canoe and the majority of the lake can be explored in one day, including the inlets and coves that provide nice locations for getting off the water when the little ones need a break.
There is easy access to the lake from the beach with all kinds of good places to put in, you'll see quite a bit of wildlife in and around the lake, and there is a 10 HP limit on motor boats so there's no need to worry about the rug-rats getting swamped from a boat wake. In fact, you are much more likely to encounter kayaks and sail boats on this lake than power boats.
There is an outstanding growth of the American Lotus plants in one section of the lake that provides for some nice photo opportunities and if you go during the week you won't encounter too many other park guests.
I have provided the link to a fishing map that provides a great overview of the lake as well as access points and if you don't have your own canoe you can rent one from the Marina.
Although the lake has a very nice campground, which is great for setting up a base camp and paddling at your leisure, the beauty of this location is that if you have young paddlers (3-10 year olds) you can spend a day on the water and not have to pack like you're heading out on an Egyptian Safari.
Take route 350 to any number of entrances - I prefer the beach location for day trips.
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