Middle Bass Island

Tips for Birding

Middle Bass Island State Park. Petersen Woods, and Kuehnle Wildlife Area are a stops on the Lake Erie Birding Trail.

About this Location

Middle Bass Island, Ohio, is a 750-acre island in Western Lake Erie. It is shaped like the Big Dipper and located at the heart of a group of 23 islands. Its more famous neighbors are South Bass Island, with the town of Put-in-Bay, Kelley’s Island, and Pelee Island which is the only large Lake Erie island in Canada.

The U.S. mainland lies 7 miles to the south. The international boundary between the U.S. and Canada lies 1.5 miles to the north. The Canadian mainland (Ontario) lies 15 miles to the north. Middle Bass has about 32 year-round residents and 800 to 1000 seasonal residents. On a busy summer holiday weekend, there are typically over 1500 people staying on the island, and many day-trippers visiting.

Called Ile des Fleurs or Island of Flowers by early French explorers, Middle Bass is a low, green island with friendly people, blue water, glacial grooves, small houses, rental cabins, camping, beaches, marinas, a historic district, a wildlife refuge, and, soon, an Ohio state park. Access is by public ferries, private boats and planes, and air services.

Descendants of 19th-century German settlers still live on the island; their families’ vineyards are gone now, but they play an important role in today’s island community. Some seasonal residents are sixth-generation summer islanders. Newer residents give the island their energy, enthusiasm, and diversity.

Restrooms at Middle Bass Island State Park.

Content from Middle Bass Island webpage