Ohio’s Wildest Beaches


Is the heat getting to you this summer? Go jump in the lake! Really. There’s no better way to cool off than an invigorating dip in Lake Erie. With 242 miles of amazing coastline, your choices are almost endless, but if you want to get away from the crowds and enjoy some solitude and amazing scenery, read on!

Crane Creek State Park, on the Lake Erie shoreline between Toledo and Port Clinton, may be Ohio’s best wildlife watching beach. The 3,500-foot stretch of sun-drenched sand is adjacent to one of Ohio’s largest patches of wetland. Situated on a major bird migration pathway, it’s not uncommon to see more than 100 species of birds in one day, ranging from Arctic inhabitants to neo-tropical songbirds. The park also is home to several nesting pairs of bald eagles.

Six miles of hiking trails lead to scenic vistas, historic sites and two nature preserves at Kelleys Island State Park, offering excellent locations for watching wildlife. A secluded swimming beach just 100 feet long is the perfect spot for a dip in the lake.

Farther east, Walnut Beach is an oasis of natural scenery just outside of Ashtabula. Sand dunes and wetlands support rare plant species, and the excellent swimming beach, which employs lifeguards, is reached by a boardwalk.

To find more secluded beaches on Lake Erie, visit www.coastalohio.com.

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