Put-in-Bay is home to many parks, from large to postage stamp size. Each one offers its own unique landscape and view. One of the smallest on the island is the delightful .45 acre Captain Alfred Parker Park.
Alfred Parker Park Location
The park is located on the west side of South Bass Island just past the DuPont Avenue/West Shore Boulevard intersection. It’s about a thirty minute walk from downtown Put-in-Bay.
Alfred Parker Park Details
Captain Alfred Parker was the skipper of a popular island ferry and served as a Put-in-Bay Township trustee for over 30 years. This park is dedicated to his service.
Visitors will find a low wooden barrier when they arrive. This prevents golf carts from riding through the park. The entire area is covered with beautiful, well-tended grass. Large, leafy trees spread out amongst the grass, offering shady spots to sit on their planter boxes. There is also a picnic table perched near the top of the limestone bluff.
This is a peaceful spot ideal for sitting and reading and taking in the scenic views. Bring a small picnic lunch, a bottle of wine from Heineman’s Winery and enjoy a sunny afternoon at Alfred Parker Park. From each of the seating areas, visitors take in the beautiful limestone cliffs and greenery .
Green Island can be seen in the distance as well. Green Island is a tiny, 17 acre island maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. No longer opened to this public, Green Island currently serves as a wildlife refuge.
It was also home to a lighthouse constructed in 1855. Manned by Colonel Charles F. Drake, the lighthouse burned down on New Year’s Eve, 1863. A newly constructed lighthouse lasted until 1939. Currently the coast guard mans a skeletal tower that can be seen from the park.
Green Island is just one of the natural wonders visitors enjoy while vacationing on South Bass Island. There is no water access for those on foot. A chain link fence surrounds the bluff. In recent years, sweethearts have transformed the fence into a symbol of love by adding their own personalized love locks.
For those paddling along the shores, there is a narrow cobble beach at the foot of the bluff. Access also depends on water levels. It is easy to spot due to the chain link fence. Kayaks offer an unparalleled view of the beauty of South Bass Island. Rent one from Kayak the Bay and approach Alfred Parker Park by boat.
Benson Ford Shiphouse
Paddlers can also take in views of the Benson Ford Shiphouse. This 612 foot ship transported iron ore and other materials across the Great Lakes. It sat unused at the docks for decades until a barge transported it to South Bass Island in 1986. The owner, Frank J. Sullivan, decided to transform the forecastle section into a home.
The current owners, father and son Jerry and Bryan Kasper, purchased the Benson Ford Shiphouse in 1999. Open for tours, the structure includes a massive family room, five bedrooms, and the pilot house which offers spectacular views of the sunset.