Lake Macbride visitors have last chance at summer fun before, after Labor Day

Park staff recommend outdoor activities

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SOLON — As Labor Day approaches, workers at Solon’s Lake Macbride are busy helping visitors enjoy the last days of summer and preparing for fall activities.

Ron Puettmann, the lake’s park manager, said Labor Day tends to mark not only the unofficial end of summer, but boat rentals along with it. He said, however, visitors still have some time left to enjoy summer activities and have plenty to look forward to this autumn.

Tina Hoffman, owner of Lake Macbride Boat Rentals, suggested Labor Day tends to be a great time for families to visit the park before they get too busy with school. Visitors can rent kayaks, pontoons and pedal boats from the company, which is located next to the swimming beach.

Although it has slowed down a bit since some children have gone back to school, Puettmann said crowds have been typical — or maybe even slightly above average — for Lake Macbride this summer, and Hoffman said the nice weather recently always helps.

“Fishing has been really good, too, so that helps boost the numbers,” Puettmann said.

Puettmann said one of the most popular activities at the park this summer has been visiting to the waterfall near the lake’s spillway into Coralville Lake. He credits a viral social media post for the increase in interest in the waterfall.

“We’ve had thousands of people asking about it this summer,” Puettmann said.

The campgrounds have been busy as well this year, he added. The campgrounds for Labor Day are all fully booked, but he noted people always can watch online for cancellations if they are still hoping to camp that weekend.

But for those who didn’t get camping spots, there still is plenty left to do at the lake in the coming months, Puettmann said.

“There’s a lot of fall season left that we have some great temperatures and a lot of people like to come out on the lake,” Puettmann said.

If it’s still hot outside, Puettmann said hiking is always a good option to stay cool in the shade. The Iowa DNR’s website has a map of all the trails inside the park.

And as the temperature cool, Puettmann said the popularity of boating on the lake actually increases. Because the lake is small, boats can’t drive too fast — which can make sitting out on the lake uncomfortable if it’s too hot.

So with cooler temperatures come leisurely boating. Sitting in a boat on the lake is actually one of the best places to observe fall colors, which usually appear in late September or October, Puettmann said.

“Boating and hiking would be two of my top suggestions, something about seeing the colors off the water in addition to a typical perspective,” Puettmann said.

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