Best Islands of Ohio To Visit in 2018

  • UPDATED Aug 02, 2018

Ohio is a famous state located in the Midwest region of the United States of America. The state of Ohio is known for its pristine islands and the world-famous Lake Erie that it shares with the province of Ontario in Canada. Ohio is home to several dozen islands –all of which tend to differ in size, the number of inhabitants, and the above-water presence (responding to the fall & rise of water level in the Lake Erie). If you happen to be in Ohio anytime soon, it is highly recommended that you pay a visit to some of the most beautiful, picturesque islands of the region.

For your ease, we have prepared a list of the best islands in Ohio. Here are some:

South Bass Island

South Bass Island, OhioImage Source:

Often referred to as the “Secret Midwest Playground”, the South Bass Island in the state of Ohio is home to the small town of Put-In-Bay in the state. There are plenty of natural places to observe and things to do in this small island town. Some of the most popular locations & attraction spots that you must check out while on the island include the Put-In-Bay Winery, the Antique Car Museum, the Adventure Bay Amusement Park, the Butterfly House, the International Peace Memorial, Kimberly’s Carousel, Perry’s Victory & Perry’s Cave. The South Bass Island could be easily accessed through car, bike or even walking to the island with the help of the ferries from the Miller Boat Line. 

Kelleys Island

This is the largest island in the state of Ohio. This large island is home to some of the most sought-after travel destinations in Ohio including the Glacial Grooves State Memorial, Kelleys Island State Park, Inscription Rock, and various other attractions. This island also houses some of the largest accessible glacial grooves in the whole world. Today, the Kelleys Island in Ohio is a famous tourist destination frequented by thousands of visitors from across the globe. The famous island is easily accessible through ferries, highways, and even a small public airport known as the Kelleys Island Land Field Airport. 

Middle Bass Island

Located between the North Bass Island and the South Bass Island, the Middle Bass Island in Ohio is known for its rich grape production along with its impressive wine-making history. The Middle Bass Island is a small, quiet place which serves to be an ideal getaway to those who might be looking forward to spending some unwinding experience. Some of the famous activities here include boating, swimming, golf cart rentals, fishing, and so more. The Middle Bass Island is serviced by the local Miller Boat Line coming from the Catawba Island. There is also a specialized Middle Bass Island Airport offering commercial air-taxi services.

Whiskey Island

Whiskey Island, OhioImage Source:

Located at the mouth of the beautiful Cuyahoga River, you will come across the Cleveland Island. This island is known for featuring a sprawling 22-acre public park which is known as the “Wendy Park” consisting of a public marina, sand volleyball courts, and a bar or restaurant area. If you wish to get away from the hustle & bustle of your hectic life schedule, a trip to the serene Whiskey Island in Ohio is an ideal option. 

Gibraltar Island

It is a small island located in the state of Ohio, USA. Situated just offshore towards the South Bass Island, the Gibraltar Island in Ohio is known for the exclusive Science & History Tours that reveal what kind of research takes place at the Stone Laboratory of the Ohio State University. The famous Gibraltar Island also features the historic Cooke Castle which has been enlisted on the National Register of Historic Places. The rocky island has been named for displaying its resemblance to the popular Rock of Gibraltar.

Johnson’s Island

Johnson’s Island, OhioImage Source:

Located in the Sandusky Bay which is just 3 miles away from the Sandusky City, the Johnson’s Island in Ohio had been once the site of a famous Prisoner-of-war Camp. The camp usually held Confederate Officers who were captured during the time of the American Civil War. In the current times, the Johnson’s Island serves to be a popular National Historical Landmark and the cemetery of the Prisoner-of-war Camp is a famous stop-by destination amongst the tourists. The island has been named after the owner of the island “L. B. Johnson” during 1852. 

Catawba Island

On technical grounds, it has been considered that Catawba Island in Ohio is the part of the peninsular belonging to the Ottawa County. The Catawba Island is a famous spot for enjoying the fresh waters of the Lake Erie. Some of the famous activities that keep the tourists here entertained include boating, scuba diving, golfing, and much more. Owing to its sheltered inlets and bays, the land elevation along the island’s shore with fewer cliffs makes it easier to access the island through Lake Erie. 

North Bass Island

North Bass Island, OhioImage Source:

Also referred to as the “Isle St. George”, the North Bass Island is the least developed of all the Bass Islands in the state of Ohio. With just two miles from the Canadian Border, the North Bass Island in Ohio is a beautiful, quiet island that features the famous North Island Bass Park and a vineyard. The island is easily accessible through plane or boat. However, there are no exclusive ferry services or public dockage available on the island. The North Bass Island is the 2nd largest and the northernmost island of the Bass Islands and forms a part of THE Put-In-Bay Township in the state of Ohio.

Rattlesnake Island

A sprawling 84-acre island located on the famous Lake Erie, the Rattlesnake Island in the state of Ohio is a part of the Put-in-Bay township in the Ottawa County. The name of the island as the Rattlesnake Island has been derived both from the real rattlesnakes that used to inhabit the given island, as well as from the given shape of the island in the form of a rattlesnake’s rattle. Most of the tourists travel to the Rattlesnake Island for taking advantage of the private facilities including the restaurant, bar, pool area, golf courts, tennis courts, and much more. 

Starve Island

Starve Island, OhioImage Source:

The Starve Island is the island belonging to the Ohio state in the United States of America that is located on the Lake Erie. The island is known to spread across an area of 2 acres and is just about a mile from the nearby South Bass Island on the Lake Erie. During the normal weather conditions, the Starve Island is visible for just a mile or two with some rocks & shrubs coming out of the lake. This is the 2nd smallest island of the Ohio state located in the Lake Erie. It is believed that the island receives its unique name from the fate of a sailor who had come to the island after a shipwreck. Some other famous names of the Starve Island include the Glacial Island and the Dinner Island. 

Green Island

The Government of the United States of America had bought the Green Island in December 1851. Later, in 1855, a lighthouse was constructed on the main island. The island is known for its history of a famous lighthouse keeper named Colonel Charles F. Drake who had lived on the island with his family. He managed to live on the island until the lighthouse got burned down in 1863 on New Year’s Eve. Later, in 1864, a new two-storey lighthouse was constructed on the island. Green Island in the state of Ohio is basically considered to be a wildlife refuge which is managed by the Department of Natural Resources in Ohio. This island is no longer open to the public. 

Turtle Island

A 1.5-acre spread of land, the Turtle Island in the state of Ohio is located on the western end of the Lake Erie. The island is known for its unusual political history & status as the given jurisdiction of the island remains divided between the states of Ohio & Michigan in the United States. In the current times, the island is home to several abandoned architectural structures and ruins of the historic Turtle Island Light –the lighthouse on the island that dates back to 1866. The island is privately owned and only has remnants of the historic buildings. 

Sugar Island

Located in the Ottawa County in the states of Ohio, the Sugar Island is another private island and forms one of the smaller groups of the islands located on the River Erie. The island lies just towards the northwest shore of the famous Middle Bass Island in Ohio. The Sugar Island was once a portion of the Middle Bass Island connected through the way of short isthmus. As the trees in the surrounding regions were lumbered, Lake Erie began reclaiming the newly exposed, loose soil giving way to another island.


Learn about some of the most famous islands in the state of Ohio, US.