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Aerial photograph of North Bass Island State Park

Aerial photograph of North Bass Island State Park. Photo: Park Facebook page.

If you are looking for somewhere you can completely go off grid for a while, there is no better place to do so than North Bass Island State Park.

Also referred to as Isle St. George, this Ohio state park is so remote, you can only reach it via a private boat to its marina.

Or book a flight on a charter or private plane to the tiny North Bass Island Airport.

Located just two miles from the border to Canada, it is situated 18 miles from the coast of Ohio. Which makes it the northernmost of the American islands around Lake Erie.

Comprising 593-acres, the public section of the park is essentially a nature and wildlife refuge, housing rare and endangered species. It is also a good spot for boating, fishing, picnicking, hunting and birding. As well as photography and generally enjoying a digital detox.

Accommodation options are restricted to backcountry camping or a recently renovated Lake House that can sleep up to 12 people. So most people choose to come here on a day-trip basis.

That said, if you are able to spend the night there, the crystal clear skies provide some excellent opportunities for stargazing as well.

Activities

Visitors can enjoy a good selection of outdoor recreational activities during their time at North Bass Island State Park.

Outlined below is a small selection of a few of the things you can see and do while you are there.

Boating at North Bass Island State Park

For those people who access the island via boat, you can choose to explore the perimeter of the island in that vessel.

If you happen to pack a kayak or canoe onboard these watercraft, they will also give you an excellent opportunity to observe the park’s pristine natural beauty from a unique waterside perspective.

Fishing at North Bass Island State Park

For those into fishing you can cast a line from the island’s shore.

If you are over the age of 16, you will need a valid Ohio fishing license in order to do so. You will also need to abide by Ohio fishing regulations as well.

Depending on your luck, and the time of year you visit, you might be able to catch bass, walleye, perch and sheepshead.

Picknicking at North Bass Island State Park

There are picnic areas set up within the park but you will have to carry-in and carry-out all your food and trash.

Please note, the consumption of alcohol is not allowed in the picnic area or anywhere at the park.

Hunting at North Bass Island State Park

During the hunting season you will be able to partake in this pastime within specifically designated areas.

You will need a valid Ohio hunting license to be able to do so and also abide by the Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

Stargazing at North Bass Island State Park

Lake Erie in general is known as a terrific place for stargazing due to the absence of light pollution in the skies.

You would do well to remember to bring a telescope with you to the park, as you will be able to take in some wonderful views of the cosmos.

If you are lucky you should see several constellations and even the odd shooting star during your night(s) at North Bass Island.

Birding at North Bass Island State Park

Just like other islands around Lake Erie, the park acts as a much needed stop-over point for migratory birds who travel between Canada and South America.

Depending on the time of year you visit the park, you might be able to spot the likes of double-crested cormorant, American coot, black-crowned night-heron and eastern wood-pewee. So it is definitely worth bringing your binoculars with you.

Nature & Wildlife

The park is home to a notable range of flora and fauna including some species that are threatened and can only be found in the region.

One of these is the Lake Erie water snake, which can be found along the North Bass shoreline. Non-venomous, yet large it is defined with bands and only resides in this area. It is endangered due to a severe loss of habitat and for having one of the world’s smallest known vertebrate ranges.

Other wildlife to look out for in the park include the Western chorus frog, which you should hear from around early spring, as well as green frogs, the Eastern fox snake and common snapping turtles.

Pets at North Bass Island State Park

Pets are technically welcome at North Bass Island State Park.

However, given its remote location and how difficult it can be to get there, it is probably worth leaving your dog at home if you intend to visit this park.

Camping at North Bass Island State Park

For those who want to stay overnight at North Bass Island State Park there are two options available to them.

Primitive backcountry camping is allowed with a special permit, on a first come, first served basis. To assist campers, the park provides four mooring balls for them.

If you would prefer to stay somewhere a bit more upscale, the Lake House is available to stay in. Comprising four bedrooms, it can accommodate up to 12 guests who will be given a slip at the marina.

Having recently been renovated and furnished, this seasonally open accommodation provides visitors with a unique place to stay.

For those who require campsites for their RV or trailer, the South Bass Island State Park and Fox’s Den Campgrounds offer a good range of options and amenities.

Park Location

North Bass Island State Park
Isle St George
OH 43436
Phone: 419.734.4424

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video with some aerial footage of North Bass Island State Park: