Where to Camp on and around the Lake Erie Islands

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    Camping on and around the Lake Erie Islands

    South Bass Island State Park
    ••• South Bass Island State Park. (courtesy of Ohio Department of Tourism)

     The Lake Erie Islands, Kelleys, Middle Bass and South Bass islands are Ohio's summer vacation playground. If you've been to the area before, you know that cabins can fill up quickly and hotels can get expensive. One good alternative to this is reserving a space at one of the area's campgrounds. The Ohio state park system operates campgrounds on all three islands. In addition, there are campgrounds near the ferry ports in and around Sandusky.

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    South Bass Island State Park

    ••• (Courtesy of ODNR)

    Located on the western side of South Bass Island, the state park offers 10 full-service campsites, 125 primitive sites and four "​cabinets," a cross between a cabin and a tent. Facilities include picnic tables, a picnic shelter, a boat launch, a fishing pier and a small stone beach. You can also rent golf carts at the park to help you get downtown and around the island.

    South Bass Island State Park
    Catawba Ave
    Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
    419-285-2112
    website

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    Fox's Den Campground on South Bass Island

    Fox Den Campground
    ••• Fox Den Campground. (courtesy of Fox Den Campground)

    Located near the airport and the Miller's Ferry landing on the south side of South Bass Island, Fox's Den Campground offers both full-service and primitive campsites. Facilities include a modern shower house. You can also rent golf carts at this site for the short ride to Put-in-Bay and the restaurants, attractions, and shopping there.

    This small, family-owned facility is open from early May through mid-October. Sites are available for one night, one week or for the entire season.

    Fox's Den Campground
    Langram Road
    Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
    419-285-5001
    website

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    Camp Sandusky Campground

    ••• (courtesy of the ODNR)

    Located just five minutes away from the Jet Express dock and 10 minutes from Cedar Point, Camp Sandusky offers Amish-built cabins, tent camp sites, and RV sites--all on the shores of Lake Erie. The campground offers free wireless Internet access throughout. Facilities include showers and restrooms, a children's playground, a bunny farm, a general store, a basketball court, a swimming pool, a restaurant and a coin-operated laundry room.

    Camp Sandusky is open from June 1st through the first week of October.Pets are welcome in RVs, pop-ups and in the campground's new pet-friendly cabins, but not at the tent sites.Discounts are offered to U.S. military personnel, AAA members, and Cedar Point season pass holders.

    Camp Sandusky Campground and Cabins
    3518 Tiffin Ave.
    Sandusky, OH 44870
    800-431-7448
    website

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  • 05 of 12

    Kelleys Island State Park

    ••• (courtesy of ODNR)

    Located on the east side of Kelleys Island, the state park campground offers 128 primitive, tent campsites and four yurts (canvas-covered, circular tent-like structures.) Facilities include a shower/shower house, an amphitheater, a large beach and a fish cleaning station.

    Kelleys Island State Park Campground
    920 Division St.
    Kelleys Island, OH 43438
    419 746-2546
    website

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    Crystal Rock Campground in Sandusky

    ••• (courtesy of the ODNR)

    Located just minutes from the Lake Erie ferries, Crystal Rock Campground offers RV and tent sites with no services, just electric, full hook-ups and electric, cable, water, sewer, and WiFi. There are also several basic cabins on the property for rent. Crystal Rock is open from early April through October and sites may be rented for the night, week, month or season.

    Facilities at Crystal Rock include restrooms/shower facilities, a general store, laundry facilities, a game room, and a playground.

    Crystal Rock Campground
    710 Crystal Rock Rd.
    Sandusky, OH 44870
    800 321-7177
    website

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  • 07 of 12

    Middle Bass Island State Park on Middle Bass Island

    ••• (Courtesy of ODNR)

    Newer and quieter than the other two state park campgrounds, Middle Bass Island is located at the south end of the island, just a short boat ride away from the action at Put-in-Bay. The campground offers both primitive campsites and overnight boat slips. Facilities include a 190-slip marina, a miniature golf course, picnic tables, a boat launch and a small beach.

    Middle Bass Island State Park Campground
    1719 Fox Road
    Middle Bass Island, Ohio 43446
    419 285-0311
    website

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  • 08 of 12

    Catawba Island State Park in Port Clinton

    ••• (courtesy of ODNR)

    This small park, located at the water's edge, just minutes from the Port Clinton ferry terminal, has a boat launch, plenty of room to picnic and pitch a tent and dramatic views of Lake Erie and South Bass Island in the background. It's also just minutes away from the beach at East Harbor State Park.

    Catawba Island State Park
    4049 E Moores Dock Rd.
    Port Clinton, OH 43452
    866 644-6727

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  • 09 of 12

    Cedar Lane RV Park in Port Clinton

    ••• (courtesy of ODNR)

    Open from May 1st through October 15, Cedar Lane offers RV sites, tent sites and cabins for one night, a week, a month or the entire season.Amenities include four pools, several modern shower houses, a gift shop and convenience store, basketball and shuffleboard courts, a games arcade and a laundromat.  

    Cabins sleep either four or six people and have a kitchenette, outdoor fire pit, covered porch and room air conditioner.No smoking or pets are permitted in the cabins.

    The campground is just a short drive to Miller's ferry terminal and is within walking distance to several Port Clinton restaurants and attractions.

    Cedar Lane RV Park
    2926 NE Catawba Rd

    Port Clinton, OH 43452
    419 797-9907

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    Tall Timbers Campground in Port Clinton

    ••• (courtesy of ODNR)

    Located on a wooded property near the shores of Lake Erie, Tall Timbers Campground offers 400 tent and permanent camping sites. The campground offers wireless Internet access throughout the property as well as a children's playground, a pond with its own sandy beach, a general store, an outdoor movie theater, a laundromat, and fish cleaning facilities. Tall Timbers is open from May 1st through November 15th. The campground also offers RV rentals. Campsites are available for the day, week, month or season.

    Tall Timbers Campground
    340 S Christy Chapel Rd.
    Port Clinton, OH 43452
    419 732-3938

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  • 11 of 12

    Sandusky/Bayshore KOA in Sandusky

    ••• (courtesy of ODNR)

    One of the oldest and still one of the best campgrounds in the Lake Erie Island/Sandusky area, The Sandusky/Bayshore KOA campground has been welcoming campers for more than 40 years. Located right on Sandusky Bay, this campground is open from May 1st to the end of October each year.

    Campsites include tent sites, RV sites, and even a few cabins. You can rent the sites for a day, week or the entire season. Amenities at KOA include a new pool area, a full basketball court, volleyball and horseshoe courts, a breakfast bar and snack shop, a swimming pool and a fishing pier. Wireless Internet access is available throughout the property.

    Sandusky/Bayshore KOA
    2311 Cleveland Rd W
    Sandusky, OH 44870
    419 625-1495

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  • 12 of 12

    River Retreat Campground in Port Clinton

    ••• (courtesy of Ohio DNR)

    Located in Port Clinton, the Walleye capital of the world, just minutes away by car from the Jet Express dock, River Retreat Campground offers nightly, weekly and seasonal RV sites plus dockage for your boat along the Portage River (which connects to Lake Erie.) There are also a few tent sites. Amenities at this small family campground include modern rest rooms and shower houses, a camp store, a fish cleaning station with electrical outlets, a children's playground, a fishing marina and a full calendar of special events.

    River Retreat Campground is open from May 1st through the end of October. Pets are welcome.

    River Retreat Campground
    3830 W Harbor Rd.
    Port Clinton, OH 43452
    419 635-2472
    website