A Paddle-up Preserve in Lake Erie

Nestled at the northeastern tip of Middle Bass Island, just a stone’s throw away from Canada, lies a captivating nature preserve accessible only by canoe or kayak. Welcome to East Point Preserve – a pristine sanctuary where nature unfolds its wonders.

Paddling to Paradise

As you venture through Lake Erie’s enchanting islands, you’ll be drawn towards a small dock at the East Point Preserve. Drifting to a stop, take a moment to peer into the clear shallow waters. Here, you may catch a glimpse of tiny fingerlings darting away from bigger fish.

A Walk on the Wild Side

Stepping ashore, visitors are greeted by a rustic loop path that meanders along the natural shoreline and winds through eight acres of majestic hardwood forest and lush grasslands. As you tread softly through this diverse habitat, keep your senses attuned to the symphony of migrating birds and resident songbirds. Over 120 bird species have been seen here. Don’t forget to look down; you’ll find rare plants thriving beneath the protective tree canopy and scattered across the meadows. Thanks to a land conservation agreement held by the Black Swamp Conservancy, this unique island habitat is safeguarded from any development, ensuring its permanent preservation.

Restoring Nature’s Balance

Unlike many parts of Middle Bass Island’s concrete-reinforced shoreline, our partners at the Put-In-Bay Township Park District takes a different approach at East Point Preserve. They are committed to maintaining and enhancing 700 feet of natural shoreline, allowing nature to reclaim its pristine allure.

Restoration plans are in place, involving the construction of stone sills extending from the waterline up to approximately 30 feet offshore. These rocky ledges play a vital role in reducing wave energy, curbing beach erosion, and providing a habitat for small fish and invertebrates. The shallow nearshore waters serve as a crucial nursery for Lake Erie, shielding small fish from predators, offering spawning grounds, and nurturing plankton and invertebrates – the primary food sources for walleye, perch, bass, and other beloved sport fish. The area also holds immense importance as a critical habitat for the Lake Erie Watersnake, a native and non-poisonous species that has recently been removed from the federally endangered and threatened list.

To further enhance the sandy shore and beach, a thoughtful reconstruction using rock, sand, and cobble materials is planned.

Plan Your Visit to East Point Preserve

East Point Preserve warmly welcomes nature enthusiasts, but remember – access is available solely via self-propelled boats during daylight hours. Prepare for an awe-inspiring journey into the heart of nature’s hidden treasure.

Explore, experience, and embrace the beauty of East Point Preserve, a natural jewel resting on the shimmering shores of Lake Erie.