Massie Cliffside Preserve is one of the newest preserved park spaces on the island. Dedicated on August 7, 2016, Massie Cliffside Preserve covers 11 acres of beautiful South Bass Island land, much of which is woods, but includes 265 feet of the shore of Lake Erie. Shores make up a large portion of the cliffs. These cliffs act as a habitat for the Lake Erie water snake, which had, for some time, disappeared from South Bass Island. There are also wildflowers present on the cliffs, including bluebells, which are a threatened wildflower in Ohio.

Massie Cliffside Preserve has a 75-foot dock that extends from a beach that splits the cliffs. Motorized watercraft cannot use this dock, however, paddle craft can. Additionally, this is a fantastic dock for fishing. There is also bench seating atop the cliffs, which provide a great view across the lake to Middle Bass Island. This is also one of the best spots on the island to enjoy a dramatic Lake Erie summer sunset.

Massie Cliffside Preserve Walking and Hiking Trails

The cliffs and shorefront may be the marquee attraction, but don’t discount the walking and hiking trails. A serene walk through these woods, with the bird’s songs as the soundtrack, could end up being one of your favorite moments at Put-in-Bay! Those with a keen eye will notice rows in the soil among the land closest to the road. As so much of the island has been at various times, this land was previously used to produce grapes for wine, and the rows in which the grapes were planted remain visible.

Massie Cliffside Preserve is open year-round from sun up to sundown. The Put-in-Bay Township Park District manages the Preserve, which can be used for fishing, birdwatching, hiking, and walking. Also, research and educational group trips are permitted. Stop by on your next trip to Put-in-Bay!


Paul J: “Nice hiking trail. Don’t forget to bring a lock to put on the fence. Have it engraved with you and your loved one on it and include the date.”

Jamie L: “Nice quick walk through the woods to the shore. We counted 8 water snakes right at the base of the sign asking you to leave the snakes alone. Nice benches for a rest before your return hike. Pier could use some attention. The handrail is rusted out and falling apart.”

Joe P: “A ton of work went into making this preserve a reality. Grateful for the beautiful view whether looking towards the lake or back towards the preserve. One of my favorite places on the island!”