One of Put-in-Bay’s hidden gems, the Jane Coates Wildflower Trail is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. You’ll feel as if you’re walking through an enchanted forest. It is located near the Miller Ferry dock on the south end of the island. Just make sure to bring the bug spray!
What to Expect at Jane Coates Wildflower Trail
In the springtime, you are likely to find an abundance of wildflowers. You’ll probably see some Blue Phlox, also known as wild sweet William. Jack-in-the-Pulpit will also be present. Various accounts indicate that Native Americans used this flower as a remedy for sore eyes, as well as lacing food with it and leaving it out for enemies to make them sick. Another wildflower you may find is the hilariously named Dutchman’s Breeches. The flowers of this plant do look just like a pair of white breeches, so it’s an appropriate name!
This is also an amazing bird spotting site. You can find a full list here of the birds you may be lucky enough to see, a list that includes the Great Horned Owl! Orioles, blue jays, and cardinals all visit the Jane Coates Wildflower trail, as well as species even more exotic than these.
A trail map can be found here. The nature of this trail leads to it also being very popular with bugs, so be extra certain to bring that bug spray. It’s worth it though, as this is one of Put-in-Bay’s finest nature sites. You’ll work up an appetite walking around the trail, so once you’re done, head downtown to one of Put-in-Bay’s fantastic local restaurants. You can grab a burger at T&J’s Smokehouse. The options are endless and that’s just one reason why Put-in-Bay makes for the perfect summer getaway!
Kalen C: “The Jane Coates Wildflower Trail at Put-in-Bay is a pleasant trail, rather distinct from the downtown bars and boat docks along the water. It is a quiet stretch with hardwood trees and plant life on one of the more elevated sections of the island. Less than a 1/2 mile from the south end Miller Ferry dock, this trail provides a great start or cap to a day trip’s visit to the island.”
Jeff C: “Having had a cottage at Put in Bay for 50 years, ever since I was a child, rarely does anything there surprise me. I was recently surprised to stumble upon the Jane Coates Wildflower Trail. At first glance, it is nothing more than a path through the weeds, until you see wild flowers and the lake from very different vantage points than the normal car, golf cart, or bike ride. It also gives access to Buckeye Point which is a real treat if you don’t mind wading through a little bit of water to get there. I recommend this “oasis from shops and bars” while visiting Put in Bay.”
Kay O: “Nice little preserve. Many birds and butterflies. At least 3 spots where one can find a small private beach area and sit quietly by the water. It appears to be a work in progress, they are still mulching the trail.”