If there’s one thing I love about where I live, its that I am so close to Lake Erie. Although not my favorite Great Lake, it is beautiful nonetheless and I love visiting when I have the chance. I haven’t explored all of Lake Erie in Ohio yet, but I’m pretty close to it. While I was recently stalking the internet for places around me that I haven’t yet discovered, it occurred to me that I had never taken the time to see the beautiful Lake Erie Bluffs. I love love love the beach; I love the sand in my toes, the sounds of the crashing waves, watching boats…..but I will admit that I am kind of a snob when I’m at the beach. I really don’t like sharing it. I don’t like crowds, I don’t like having to fight for a place to put my blanket down, I don’t want to have to listen to other people’s choice of music. So Lake Erie Bluffs was a huge draw for me. The thought of an undeveloped, wild beach, that’s my kind of relaxation. So even though it was mid October, the weather was a gorgeous 81 degrees and G and I decided we would head to the Bluffs and check it out.
Just a little background info on Lake Erie Bluffs- it is a relatively new preserve that opened in 2012. It consists of undeveloped beach against 30-40′ bluffs with access points from two separate trails, gravel trails throughout wooded and grassy areas as well as campsites available and a shelter that can be reserved. The land itself is protected as it is home to many plant and animal species, which you can learn about throughout the park.
The beach itself is a beautiful, wild beach, littered with driftwood, with soft sand and a mixture of shells and rocks as you get closer to the water. The water was very clean in Lake Erie standards; however we don’t generally swim in Lake Erie so while I can’t comment on that, it definitely looked cleaner than some other Cleveland area beaches and we saw a few other people swimming but be aware that there is no life guard on duty.
While we were there on a beautiful October Saturday, I was surprised how few other people I saw there. We shared the beach with less then 10 other people, a few who had brought their four legged children with them and a couple who had brought their human children. With there being a 1.6 mile stretch of beach here, everyone had their own little spot. Perfect. I love these kinds of beaches but I do realize that they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, so I feel these are all good things to know before planning a trip out.
There are two parking lots here: one located at 2901 Clark Rd. Perry Twp, OH and 3301 Lane Rd, also in Perry Twp. The parking lot at Clark Rd will give you direct access to the observation tower and the Lane Rd lot will give you direct access to the shelter. However, it is an easy walk along the main trail to get to either side of the park. Both have restrooms.
Lake Erie Bluffs is a 15 minute drive to Headlands Beach State Park in Mentor and a 10 minute drive to Fairport Harbor if you decide that you need a more traditional beach experience or if you run out of things to do.
Wear bug spray- since you will be walking through the woods and areas of high grasses due to the nature of this preserve, bug spray is a must.
There are two campsites available here, however you must reserve them ahead of time. You can do that here.