North Bass Island State Park

North Bass Island, Ohio 43436
East Harbor Park Office Phone: (419) 734-4424

North Bass Island State Park Map View

There are 593 acres of public land open on North Bass Island, with the park being headquartered on the south end. North Bass Island State Park is only open to primitive camping with a special permit, hiking, picnicking, biking, kayaking, and wildlife watching. Fishing is also allowed along the shoreline. The island can be accessed by private boat, charter, or aircraft. There is no scheduled ferry service to the island.

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Hunting Map

You can find more information about each of the following activities below.

Nature Of The Area

North Bass Island, in the western basin of Lake Erie, was formed during the glacial period when massive ice sheets from Canada advanced into Ohio. Glaciers gouged and scoured the bedrock, and their tremendous weight left deep depressions which filled with meltwater as the climate warmed and the glaciers retreated, forming the Great Lakes. Evidence of the glaciers can still be seen in the island’s dolomite bedrock as small scratches in the rock surface, known as glacial striations. Overall, Lake Erie is the shallowest of the Great Lakes, ranging from 25 feet deep in the western basin, to 61 feet deep in the central basin and an average depth of 120 feet in the eastern basin. As a result of its lopsided, shallow basin Lake Erie is known for its sudden, violent storms with high waves. Its warm temperatures produce greater numbers and varieties of fish than any other Great Lake, including walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass and channel catfish. Annual catches nearly equal the combined catch of all other Great Lakes. yNorth Bass Island Hunting Map Location North Bass Island, Ohio 43436 Contact: East Harbor State Park 1169 North Buck Road Lakeside-Marblehead, Ohio 43440 East Harbor Park Office: (419) 734-4424 Map Driving Directions Lat/Long N 41° 42' 31.93", W -82° 48' 54.52"


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Primitive camping is allowed in the park with a special permit only. Contact East Harbor State Park at (419) 734-4424 for information on obtaining a permit.

Fishing & Boating

Fishing: Fishing is allowed in appropriate areas along the island's 4.1 miles of public shore. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.

Boating: Four public mooring balls are located on the south side of the island, just west of the main pier. There is no fee to tie up; they are first come, first served.


Hunting is permitted on the island.

North Bass Island Hunting Map

Hiking Trails

Hiking is permitted on the island.


Picnicking is allowed on the island, but please help to keep the island clean by disposing of trash items properly.

History Of The Area

This area was of vital importance to the Indian tribes. The Delaware, Shawnee, Miami, Seneca, Mohawk, and Cajuga tribes were among those said to have lived at Nelson Ledges. The park lies near one of the highest points of the state and is close to the watershed divide between the Ohio River and Lake Erie. Several major foot trails and canoe routes passed through this vicinity. This area became an important trade center for both pioneers and Indians. The area developed into an important agricultural and dairy center. Cheesemaking was prominent and began nearly as soon as the first settlers arrived. By 1834, northeast Ohio cheese controlled the southern markets. Eventually, canal and rail transportation increased the area's importance. The town of Hiram, west of the park, is home to Hiram College where James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, was educated. At the age of 26, he was chosen president of the college. The college was opened in 1851 as the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute, received its charter in 1867, and was rebuilt and enlarged in 1886. The Nelson-Kennedy region has always been a popular vacation spot and eventually came under state protection. In 1940, the state purchased land at Nelson Ledges, and in 1948, it bought 101 acres of the area known as Kennedy Ledges. The state of Ohio created Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park in 1949 to preserve the area for future generations of Ohioans to enjoy.