Lane Road entrance: 3301 Lane Road Clark Road entrance: 2901 Clark Road Perry Township, Ohio 44081Official Website
Lake Erie Metropark is a stop on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.
Lake Erie Bluffs is a relatively newly opened area along Lake Erie in North Perry. Trails cut through honeysuckle thickets can have large numbers of migrants. It is the best place in the country to find Yellow-breasted Chat. Be sure to also check the nearby Lakeshore Reservation as that small park can also have large numbers of migrants in spring.
The 600-acre Lake Erie Bluffs property will permanently protect a significant amount of wetland, meadow, and mostly undeveloped lakefront habitats used by rare and common plant and animal species.
Amazingly, the property remains largely unspoiled by previous development. The mix of 40-foot high beach bluffs and open sandy and cobble beach across 9,000 feet of shoreline is the site’s dominant feature. The beach area hosts trees, shrubs, and small plants including the majority of the park’s rare plants.
Visitors can enjoy low-impact recreational activities such as hiking and fishing at this new park. Improvements made to enhance public use include parking lots, restrooms, and the installation of gravel trails with scenic overlooks and two grand access points to a natural beach along Lake Erie.
Lake Erie Bluffs adds to the big picture. Lake County Port Authority Executive Director Mark Rantala explains, “It’s another piece of the shoreline and I think, especially a piece of the shoreline that has public access, that’s really important.”
The 592-acre Lake Erie Bluffs is a low-impact protected area located on Clark Road, just east of Blackmore Road in Perry Township. A second entrance and parking lot at the northern end of Lane Road was added in 2013. The initial 140 acres opened to the public in 2012. The preserve was expanded by 460 acres in 2013. Lake Erie Bluffs boasts 8,600 feet of undeveloped shore, including 4,220 feet of beach. Low-impact amenities include the 1.28-mile Bluffs Loop Trail, the 0.71-mile Shoreline Trail, the 0.57-mile Eagle View Loop Trail, and the 0.48-mile Lakeview Loop Trail, a scenic overlook and restrooms. Kayaks and canoes may be launched from the beach. Fishing and swimming are also permitted. The upland areas of the preserve include woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. Lake Erie Bluffs provides habitats for rare, threatened, and common plant and animal species as well as migrating songbirds, raptors, and butterflies. This site is a prime location for wildlife viewing and photography.
The 1.6 miles of wild, natural beach at the Lake Erie Bluffs is one of the largest undeveloped stretches of shore along Ohio’s coast. The passive recreation nature preserve can be accessed north of US-20 (North Ridge Road) via Lane and Blackmore roads. Parking lots and restrooms are found off both Lane and Clark roads.
Pebbles and rocks are mixed throughout the sand at the preserve’s beach, at the back of which stretches 20 to 30-foot tall bluffs from which the site’s name is derived. The bluffs play an important role in the formation of the shore by providing sand that makes up the coastal beaches. The bluffs are also a rare habitat for many endangered and threatened species that have been recorded on site. The preserve’s upland areas include woodlands, wetlands, and meadows used by rare and common plant and animal species along with migrating birds and butterflies.
Lake Erie Bluffs is open from sunrise to sunset. There is no lifeguard on duty and swimming is at your own risk. Kayaks and canoes may be launched from the beach but must be carried down the graded gravel trails from the parking lots to the water. Trails also meander through upland areas of the site.
Lake Erie Bluffs Trails
Use the Clark Road parking area to begin a 4-mile hike that combines 4 of the trails in the Lake Erie Bluffs Metropark. From Clark Road hike the Eagle View Loop Trail (0.6 miles) counterclockwise. After passing the observation tower take the Shoreline Trail down to Lake Erie and follow it for 0.6 miles. Next, hike up the bluff to the Bluff Loop Trail (1.1 miles). Turn right and hike this trail counterclockwise. At the junction of the Shoreline Trail and the Lakeview Trail, take the Lakeview Trail (0.6 miles) back toward Clark Road. When you encounter the Eagle View Loop Trail, take it to the right to return to the parking lot.
Restrooms on site