East Harbor State Park

1169 North Buck Road
419-734-4424

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, 1,831-acre East Harbor State Park has unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation. Boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking and camping are popular while nature enthusiasts will enjoy the abundance of waterfowl, shorebirds and other species of wildlife found in the park's scenic wetlands.

History:

Before European settlement, the East Harbor region was home to the Ottawa and Wyandot Indians. Ottawa in native tongue means "trader". An east-west trail skirted the southern shore of Lake Erie connecting the Pittsburgh and Detroit settlements, and also linked with the famed Scioto Trail from the south. This important area remained in Indian control until the British and Indians were defeated in the War of 1812 by the Americans.

After the Great Black Swamp was eventually drained, the land became highly productive. Fruits, particularly peaches and grapes, were grown extensively. The grape culture became very successful as a result of quality soil, natural drainage and suitable climate.

Marblehead Lighthouse was erected in 1821 east of the park on the Marblehead Peninsula to aid navigation in and out of Sandusky Bay. Johnsons Island on the bay side of the peninsula was the site of a prison for Confederate soldiers captured during the Civil War. A Confederate cemetery still remains on the island.

The region has long been valued as a recreation area. The unique plant and animal life, sandy beaches, marshland and the lake itself led to the development of East Harbor State Park. The park was opened in 1947 and today is one of northern Ohio's most popular vacation spots.



Reviews

Kurt Schulz

Rating:
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Nice, well run campground with clean facilities. Best camp store of any of the campgrounds we've been to. We were tent camping - the lots were very small and packed together. Firewood is sold at $5 a bundle but kindling was very hard to find. We couldn't find any potable water pumps in the tent area and had to drive to those in the trailer lot sections to fill buckets for cleaning.The mid-July weekend was very crowded - the state park seems to be a popular place with lots to do. Great fishing.

Kimberly Hennessey

Rating:
Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018
A great family beach!! Cons: Small beach and very crowded. Pros: Nice flush bathrooms with running water, outdoor showers to clean off before getting in the car, both shade and sunny areas to set up for your visit, clean beach, a great family environment, small vending area with drinks, easy access parking, playground, tons of activities to do, HUGE swim area that is nice and shallow for the kids, and lots more. Bottom line, a wonderful place to visit.

Jennifer Popik

Rating:
Friday, July 27, 2018
Public beach near the islands. The beach is narrow but long. Excellent for kids since the water does not get very deep. Warm water because it is shallow, and a great spot to enjoy lake Erie and watch the island traffic and sailboats. Solid bathhouse and occasional peak season food vendors. Bring your own supplies, but tons of grilling along the non beach waterfront. Adjacent to a huge campground, there is a camp store, small arcade, and bike rentals.

Tracie Russell

Rating:
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
We loved loved loved the campground. We have 2 kids, one year old and 6 years old. The best spots are on the loops. The place was busy but we expected that. You should make reservations, but they have a few spots that are walk in only. We enjoyed going to the beach, riding bikes, walking and meeting new people. The bathrooms were clean, showers were single private stalls which were really nice. We will definitely be back.

Rachel Oldaker

Rating:
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
This was a decent little beach. Not a ton of beach left, but nice enough. Did not use restroom facilities but they do exist. Lots of parking and lots of well-shaded picnic tables, which was nice when we needed a break from the sun. Not the best beach I've been to, but not a bad one at all. The water is pretty shallow for quite a ways, so the kids were able to play far from shore and had an absolute blast.