The crown jewel of the many parks and nature preserves on South Bass Island, the South Bass Island State Park spans 33 acres of beautiful shore and wilderness. You won’t believe the views of Lake Erie you get from here. There is a picnic shelter house available for reservation that will accommodate up to 50 people. There are also additional picnic areas present.

The fishing is amazing at South Bass Island State Park. There is a pier for shoreline fishing right by the entrance to the park, as well as a fish cleaning house in the campground. Be sure to have a valid Ohio fishing license though! You don’t want your trip ruined by a citation for illegal fishing. The Wharfside sells fishing licenses, as does the Put-in-Bay Gas Station.

South Bass Island State Park also has Lake Erie swimming access via a small stone beach on the shore. Areas that are suitable for swimming are signposted. Swimming is prohibited outside of these areas. The park would like you to know that swimming is at your own risk and to exercise caution while swimming at this beach. The same is true in the winter for ice skating and ice fishing, which are permitted at South Bass Island State Park under the right conditions.

Staying at South Bass Island State Park

South Bass Island State Park is just a short taxi from all of the action. It is within range of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, as well as downtown Put-in-Bay. There are hundreds of camping sites available. Some are tent-only, while some have electric hookups. You can reach the park by phone for reservations at (866) 644-6727.

Oak Point State Park is the companion park to South Bass Island State Park. Here, you can find dockage for boats. Twenty spots are available for either daytime or overnight docking rental.


Ravi D: “Awesome place for camping. Words can not explain the beauty of this place. Our tent was right near the cliff with a beautiful view of Lake Erie. Full hook up sites, electrical and water hook up sites, and RV sites available, but away from the cliff. A quiet place with a lot of green foliage, clean restrooms/shower area, hot water, fish cleaning area, and great park rangers make this place one of the best. Surprisingly there were no mosquitoes except for harmless fish flies/mayflies. The only way to access this park is through ferry.”

Baubi H: “Had the best week with my husband and a couple of friends. Spent a lot of time wandering around the island just taking it all in. There’s so much to do. Lots of shops and restaurants. Great views of the lake. The campsite was in a decent location and I slept like a rock all weekend. Best weekend ever.”

Rudy A: “I love this place. I visited this place recently with minimum expectations. But, this is an amazing place if you want to get out of the mechanical world. Come down to this place with your loved one. Stay under the tent for a day or two. You can have a campfire, cook food, fish. All in all, it’s an amazing place to re-energize. There might be small glitches here and there but that’s never a problem.”