White Lake State Park

White Lake State Park

White Lake State Park

Words and Photos by Jenn Bakos

In 1995, our good friends the Carlisle’s, introduced my family and I to White Lake State Park. This year marks the 18th year we’ve been going to White Lake, and each time has been as much fun as the last. My family members and I are extremely sentimental and deeply rooted in our traditions, and I think in the last 5 years or so, I really began to appreciate and understand what this place means to me.

Rain or shine, White Lake is incredibly gorgeous. Named White Lake because of its crystal clear waters, it shimmers flawlessly in the sun, no matter what time of the year. Peaceful waters compliment the afternoon wind in the mornings and nights, so still you’d swear it was glass. I’ve witnessed the greatest sunsets of my life here, as well as the greatest thunderstorms, each with heart shattering beauty.

Mostly, it is the memories that hold such a special place in my heart. We grew up there, digging in the beach sand, swimming for hours on end, playing in the fields and woods. Then we were chasing boys and picking on my brothers, sneaking into the field at night when my friend got her first cell phone to talk to our crushes. Later on we kayaked and floated, talking about our dreams and soaking up the sun. We kept a subconscious checklist that had to be completed each trip, and it wasn’t a real trip if we didn’t! Campfires, s’mores, dinners together, kayaking, hiking around the lake, catching frogs, stargaz- ing, enjoying the beach and celebrating birthdays all made the list.

No matter what, it’s about the people you are with, having a good time, and enjoying the incredible scenery we have been blessed with. Every time I have been there, I have been amazed at the view and how peaceful I’ve felt being there. It’s where I’m planning to get married, whenever that may be, and it’s a place I really enjoy sharing with the people I love. I plan to continue the traditions and keep camping there for the rest of my life, and hopefully pass it on to my family to make memories of their own.