There is no way I can even begin to count the number of times I have camped or visited Bowman Lake, and for years have considered some of my fellow citizens just plain ignorant when they comment that there’s nothing to do around here. So in memory of Bowman, should it happen to close, my top 5 favorite things about the beatific state park.
Number 5 – Swimming
I’ve never been a huge fan of swimming, except on the most unbearable of hot summer days, which is why swimming got bumped down to number 5 on my list. I must admit, however, that the swimming “facilities” at Bowman have always been one of my favorites. It always seemed the perfect way to spend the hottest part of the day while camping, and it’s always nice to lay on the beach and catch some rays.
Number 4 – Hiking
While the trails around Bowman Lake aren’t anything to write home about, they provide a nice way to get out and enjoy nature while getting a little exercise (especially with all the not-so-healthy foods I partake of while camping). There is one spot in particular, approximately half-way around the lake, which provides lovely fishing access, and I’ve hooked a nice trout or two on occasion from this spot.
Number 3 – Boating
Bowman’s affordable boat rentals were always a favorite of mine. Whether fishing, or just lounging back and floating around, this is one activity that I always took advantage of while camping there. There is something uniquely relaxing in the gently rocking motion of a rowboat on a clear and sunny day.
Number 2 – Fishing
I’ve been an avid fisherman for decades now, and Bowman Lake rarely disappointed me. While the trout can be particularly tricky to get on the line (a hint for all you anglers, you must be fishing at the proper time of day and at the proper location to catch a trout at Bowman), the bullhead are abundant, good sized, and quite tasty on the grill fresh out of the water. Another extremely relaxing activity, whether you catch anything or not.
Number 1 – Campfires
By far my favorite camping activity, no other setting in which I’ve ever performed compares to an acoustic guitar and a nice fire. It’s amazing the way new ideas form, and inspiration takes hold, while enjoying the great outdoors and the companionship of friends and family while performing thus. An added bonus, the random strangers that will, on occasion, stop by just to hear a song or two.
I write this with the hope that our beloved Bowman Lake will remain open this spring and summer, as I was already in the planning stage of my first camping expedition. I know that there are other campgrounds and fishing holes out there, but my times at Bowman will forever remain special and dear to me. What a beautiful place for Chenango County families to create lasting memories.