For a relatively small island, South Bass contains so many amazing things like the Massie Cliffside Preserve. From gourmet food to the hottest nightclubs all the way to incredible nature preserve, Put-in-Bay truly has something for everyone.
Massie Cliffside Preserve Details
One of the many protected pockets of land on the island, Massie Cliffside Preserve is an eleven acre shoreline parcel on the East point of South Bass Island. This area includes cliff habitat and a nice dock for fishing. It is a short walk from Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.
The Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, Coastal Estuarine Land Conservation Program, private donations, and landowner donations purchased this plot of land in 2015. Len and Connie Knam purchased four additional acres of adjacent woodland in 2016. The entire park was dedicated in August of 2016.
A trail system links visitors from the State Route 357 parking lot. Take the trail directly to the lake for a lovely nature walk, bird-watching, photography, and simple enjoyment of your surroundings. Bring your fishing gear along and see if you can catch one of the many Lake Erie fish species.
Commemorative benches line the cliff’s edge allowing visitors to enjoy harebells, columbines, and hoptree flowers as well as great sunsets. Migratory bird season in early summers allow for amazing bird watching.
Lake Erie Islands Wildlife
Lake Erie is famous for the delicious perch, walleye, and bass found in its blue waters. We all love dining of perch sandwiches when vacationing on Put-in-Bay. Places like Massie Cliffside Preserve offer opportunities to experience other types of wildlife.
Bird watching is also a popular activity on the island all summer long. The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy provides an extensive list of both local and migratory birds you can expect to see. Some species include:
• Black-bellied Plover
• Northern Bobwhite
• Green Herson
• Pileated Woodpecker
• Crested Caracara Falcons
• Song Sparrow
• Black-throated Gray Warbler
• Horned Lark
• Tree Swallow
There are also lots of reptiles and amphibians to spy from toads to salamanders. Perhaps the most rare animal is the Lake Erie Watersnake. Sometimes referred to as LEWS, it is only found on the Lake Erie Islands. It is often found basking along rocky shores or searching for fish in the waters. This is a state-threatened species so make sure not to harm it if spotted. It is non venomous but can be curious and aggressive.
Lake Erie Islands Conservancy
This Conservancy is responsible for tending to multiple properties throughout South Bass Island and Middle Bass Island. Founded in 2000, a small team of dedicated board members strive to protect and conserve natural areas from the rapidly encroaching development throughout the islands.
They also protect over 70 acres of both Middle and South Bass Island. This preservations allows visitors and future generations to enjoy the ecology of this special area. They received non-profit status in 2015.
Funded by three grants and private donations, they sponsors programs and walks at these preserves and hold events throughout the summer. Their aim is to bring heightened awareness of this unique environment and really do a wonderful job!