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Exploring the beach and water, just five minutes away from Solon

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 7:59 PM CDT
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SOLON, Iowa (KCRG) - The maps call it a 4.8-mile trek.

Main Street and Iowa Highway 1 in Solon heads west out of town and, eventually, pulls into Lake Macbride State Park. A simple five-minute drive, with one roundabout to navigate, and it’s a whole different world.

Lake Macbride State Park may not be in Solon proper but it’s on the mailing address. The opportunity for true outdoor recreation for anyone between the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City metro areas to reach within thirty minutes.

“The [Iowa Department of Natural Resources] takes great care of this beautiful park,” Tina Hoffman, the owner at Lake Macbride Boat Rental, said.

Hoffman more than understands the balance of convenience with the ability to get away and, truly, take in the beauty of this area.

“I live in Solon. My boys and I live off the north shore. Biking trails, running trails, a lot of opportunities,” Hoffman said.

The state’s DNR website writes, in significant depth, about those recreation opportunities. Plenty of places to pedal, float, ride, or, simply, have a drink in a hand with toes in the sand. For some people, that’s all they need.

The park really is a capstone for being able to look all around Solon, and the surrounding area, to expand the viewpoints of Iowa’s slice of outdoor utopia.

“I’ve just noticed since I lived here, [about] 14 years now that our community is very focused on health,” said Hoffman. “People who run, Girls on the Run [a program to encourage physical activity], cross county, track.”

For anyone who takes some time to savor Solon, there are two paths to reach the water in mere minutes.

First: As described before, head west on Main Street and take the “second right” in the roundabout. The “first right” goes to Ely. 2.2 miles past that “second right” is the turnoff for the state park, the beach, and those alluring boat rentals.

Second: Want to get a quick drive from Solon to North Liberty and take in the scenery all along the way? Take Fifth Street west out of Solon. You’ll pass Solon High School on your right. This road, eventually, becomes Mehaffey Bridge Road and takes you to the northern edge of North Liberty.

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