Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve

Published 05/10/2017

 When summer arrives tourists flock to the picturesque Lake Erie Islands. Though many come for the lively nightlife of Put-In-Bay’s South Bass Island, those who seek a quieter respite may choose Middle Bass instead.

At 800 acres, and home to just 95 year-round residents, Middle Bass Island offers a few opportunities to explore the natural history of the island and experience its unique habitats. The ferry docks on the southern edge of the island near the it’s one restaurant and Middle Bass Island State Park, where visitors can rent bicycles or kayaks and take off for and afternoon adventure.

One of the more popular natural destinations is the Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve, an eight acre wildlife sanctuary that features 800 feet of shoreline situated on the island’s northeast tip. The preserve, which is only accessible by kayak or bicycle, features public beachfront and a hiking trail through the interior woods and grassy areas.

The East Point Preserve was established in 2010, and came about through a partnership between the Put-in-Bay Township Park District (which now owns and manages the site), the Trust for Public Land, Black Swamp Conservancy and its former islands chapter (now Lake Erie Islands Conservancy).

The purchase was made possible by cobbling together private donations and several grant sources including the Clean Ohio Fund, an Ohio Coastal Management Assistance Grant and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

In addition to public recreation and scenic enjoyment, the property provides critical habitat to wildlife, including the Lake Erie water snake, which was a federally threatened species at the time the preserve was established. Due to this property’s protection, and many other important conservation efforts on the islands, that species was de-listed the following year, one of the fastest species recovery times in the history of the Endangered Species Act.

Annual bird banding on the preserve since 2009 by Tom and Paula Bartlett have recorded 1,776 species of birds using the property during migration including Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Blackburnian Warbler, Northern Parula and Louisiana Waterthrush

On your next trip to the islands, we hope you’ll make a point of kayaking into the Middle Bass Island East Point Preserve and experiencing this special place.


Land Trust Accreditation Commission

2017 Summer Programs


Thursday, May 25
Canoe Paddle • 5:30 p.m.
Decoy Marsh, Fremont  


Thursday, June 8
Photography Field Trip • 6 p.m.
Cedar Meadow, Catawba Island  


Thursday, June 15
Canoe Paddle • 5 p.m.
Missionary Island, Waterville  


Thursday, July 13
Photography Field Trip • 6 p.m.
Sawyer Quarry Nature Preserve , Perrysburg 


Thursday, August 24
Kayak Paddle • 5:30 p.m.
Middlegrounds Metropark, Toledo

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