Yes. Ohio has island life too.
In fact, Ohio is actually home to more than a dozen natural islands, all differing in size, their number of inhabitants and above-water presence (with the rise and fall of Lake Erie’s water levels), according to the ODNR Office of Coastal Management. The following are eight accessible islands in Ohio that hold some pretty unique attractions, pieces of history and unforgettable experiences waiting for you.
1. South Bass Island
South Bass Island, often called the “Secret Midwest Playground” is home to the small town of Put-In-Bay—which has plenty to do and see. Popular locations and attractions to check out are The Butterfly House, Adventure Bay Amusement Park, the Antique Car Museum, the Chocolate Museum, Put-In-Bay Winery, Kimberly’s Carousel, Perry's Cave and Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.
2. Kelleys Island
Ohio's largest island is home to Glacial Grooves State Memorial, Inscription Rock, Kelleys Island State Park and other attractions. Few people are aware that the largest accessible glacial grooves in the world are located on Kelleys Island (pictured.)
3. Middle Bass Island
Located between South Bass and North Bass Island is Middle Bass Island, which has a rich grape production and wine-making history. This small, quiet island is an ideal getaway for those looking to truly get away from it all. Activities here include boating, fishing, golf cart rentals, swimming and more.
4. Whiskey Island
At the mouth of the Cuyahoga River you'll find this small Cleveland island, which features a 22-acre public park (known as Wendy Park) sand volleyball courts, a public marina and a bar/restaurant. It's a great way to spend a day away from the hustle of the city.
5. Gibraltar Island
This small island is located just offshore of South Bass Island. Science and History Tours of this island show you what kind of research goes on at Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory and the outside of Cooke Castle, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (pictured.)
6. Johnson’s Island
Johnson's Island is located in the Sandusky Bay, just three miles from the city of Sandusky. The island was once the site of a Prisoner-Of-War camp for Confederate officers captured during the American Civil War. Today, this island is a National Historical Landmark, and the camp's cemetery (pictured) is a popular stop for history buffs.
7. Catawba Island
Technically, the Catawba Island is part of the Ottawa County peninsula. It's a popular spot to enjoy the waters of Lake Erie. Boating, golf, scuba diving and Catawba Island State Park are popular things to do and see here.
8. North Bass Island
Also known as Isle St. George, the least developed of the Bass Islands is less than two miles from the Canadian border. This beautiful, quiet island features a vineyard and North Island Bass Park. The island is accessible by airplane or boat, but there is no ferry service or public dockage available.
Have you been to any of these islands? What was your experience like? Share your stories, photos and thoughts with us via our