Massie Cliffside Preserve – One Of Put-in-Bay’s Preserved Parks

Massie Cliffside Preserve Nature South Bass Islands Memorial To Bill Massie

For such a small island, South Bass contains numerous protected parks and wildlife preserves. Nature trails help preserve areas from development, keeping Put-in-Bay the unique vacation destination it is known for. There are so many amazing Put-in-Bay Attractions like the Massie Cliffside Preserve. From gourmet food to educational, there is always something exciting at Put-in-Bay.

Massie Cliffside Preserve Particulars

Of the numerous protected pockets of land on the island, Massie Cliffside Preserve is shoreline parcel on the East point of South Bass Island. The area encompasses almost 11 acres and includes a cliff habitat and a nice dock for fishing. Just a short walk from Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, this land was owned by Bill Massie and once served tourists with cabin rentals.

Private donations combined with grants from The Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, Coastal Estuarine Land Conservation Program, private donations, and donations from the Massie family enabled this plot to be purchased in 2015.  Len and Connie Knam purchased an additional four additional acres of adjacent woodland in 2016. The park in its present-day condition was dedicated in August of 2016.

A system of trails links visitors from the parking area on State Route 357. Walk the path directly to the lake for a lovely walk through nature. Bird-watching, Photography, and simply enjoying the nature of your surroundings are well worth the hike. You may bring along some fishing gear along and see if you can catch one of the many Lake Erie fish species such as Perch or Walleye

There are commemorative benches along the Massie Cliffside Preserve edge, allowing visitors to enjoy columbines, harebells, and hoptree flowers. The area is also a great place to observe the stunning sunsets. Bird watching in earl summers allow for amazing migratory bird species to be observed.

Lake Erie Islands Wildlife Species

While Lake Erie is famous for the tasty Walleye, Perch, and bass found in its shallow water, Massie Cliffside Preserve offers opportunities to experience other types of wildlife. Another popular activity is Birdwatching. The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy provides an extensive list of both local and migratory birds you can expect to see

Some species include:

• Black-throated Gray Warbler
• Black-bellied Plover
• Northern Bobwhite
• Green Herson
• Crested Caracara Falcons
• Song Sparrow
• Black-throated Gray Warbler
• Tree Swallow
• Horned Lark
• Pileated Woodpecker

There are also lots of amphibians and reptiles to spy from salamanders to toads. The rare Lake Erie Watersnake, which has made a strong comeback, is a popular site. It is often referred to as LEWS, and only found on the Lake Erie Islands. The Lews can be seen basking along rocky shores or searching for small fish in the waters. This is a state-endangered species, so be sure not to harm it if spotted. It is nonpoisonous but can be curious and bite.

 The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy

Responsible for tending to multiple properties throughout South Bass Island and Middle Bass Island, this Conservancy was Founded in 2000. a small team of dedicated board members strives to protect and conserve natural areas. Their efforts prevent the expansion from the rapidly encroaching development throughout the islands.

The Conservancy protects over 70 acres of both Middle and South Bass Island, allowing visitors and future generations to enjoy the ecology of the Lake Erie Islands. They began operating as a non-profit group in 2015.

With funds received from three grants and private donations, they sponsor walks and programs at the preserves and hold Put-in-Bay Events throughout the summer. They aim to bring a heightened awareness of this unique environment in the Lake Erie Islands.