Lake Erie Lake Getaways
Several parks comprise the Lake Erie Island group. The islands were formed during the glacial period when massive ice sheets entered Ohio. Glaciers gouged and scoured the bedrock; their tremendous weight left deep depressions that filled with meltwater, forming the Great Lakes.
Lake Erie, the smallest of the Great Lakes, is shallow--allowing for violent storms with high waves. The lake's high nutrient levels and warm temperatures produce greater numbers and varieties of fish than any other Great Lake. Annual catches nearly equal the combined catch of all other Great Lakes. Yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass, channel catfish and walleye are dominant species.
Despite the extreme northern location, the islands have the longest frost-free period of any area in Ohio due to the stabilizing effect of the lake. The grape culture has had a dramatic influence on the islands, sometimes called the "Wine Islands." By 1887, more than one-third of the grape product and nearly one-half of the wine product of the entire state was credited to this area. Wines from these islands were once pronounced by the best judges as being comparable to the best productions of France. Several island wineries still exist today.
Tourism thrives today making the islands one of the most popular vacation spots in the state. The four areas comprising Lake Erie Island state parks were added to the state park system in the early 1950s.
The group of four parks offer fishing, boating, picnicking, swimming, camping, group camping, volleyball, hiking, viewing historic sites, viewing wildlife, hunting, docking facilities, and despite the lack of designated bike trails, many enjoy biking along park and island roadways. In winter, visitors come to enjoy ice fishing, ice skating, and cross-country skiing.