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“10 Ways Being a Put-in-Bay Island Girl ruins you for Life” By Christine L. Ontko

With nature trails through the woods and along the shores of Lake Erie, calm ferry rides, and breathtaking views from the top of Put-in-Bay Perry’s Monument, The Lake Erie Islands are unique and special. Not only are the best things to do here FREE, or close to it with Put-in-Bay Discounts,  but the people are kind and helpful, too. Visit Lake Erie Island today, and you will want to return. Trust me.Put-in-Bay Island photo

1. Put-in-Bay Island PARKS -We love them! They are glorious, with their old tall trees and open spaces to picnic and room to gaze into the night sky or watch the lake. Hop on a neat old elevator to the top of  Perry’s Monument and see Canada on a clear day! f (Very cool.) Or, walk on over to Oak Point on Put-in-Bay and sit inside the new pavilion.

With the help of Lisa Brohl, countless volunteers, and generous donations, we have trails lined with native plants and flowers, hiking along the shores of Lake Erie, and land that can be enjoyed for generations to come! Enjoy Jane Coats Wildlife Trail, Ladd-Carr wildlife woods, and the newest Dodge Woods on Put-in-Bay! On Middle Bass, you can visit Petersen Woods, Lawrence Evans Property, or the Prokesh  Property. For Additional information on our parks go to Lake Erie Islands Conservancy for more information on our beautiful gardens.

2. Put-in-Bay Island Camping-The camping at both the Middle and South Bass Island State Parks is excellent. I should know,  because I have camped at both! If you love roughing it a bit, warm fire at night, and being in nature, you’ll love these campgrounds!  Book a campsite nearest the water and if you can, book it a during the week when it’s the least busy. You won’t regret it!

3. Put-in-Bay Island Fast Commutes -When I was a teacher on the island of Put-in-Bay, my commute to work was about 4 minutes by car. Even riding my bike, I would get there in 5 minutes. When I walked, about ten. During the summer Put-in-Bay Golf Cart season, the commutes do change a bit, but still, our commutes anywhere to any of the islands are about ten minutes at the most. We can even commute in several ways: four-wheelers, bikes, boats, planes, and golf carts.

4. Put-in-Bay Island Stargazing- Since we don’t have tall skyscrapers or bright city lights to block the night sky, the stargazing is terrific from the islands on a clear night. (Especially from the deck of the apartment at Freshwater Retreat.) The turnaround spot at East Point of Put-in-Bay is also a great place to lie on the hood of a car and enjoy Orion and all his friends. Just look up…

5. Put-in-Bay Island Sunrises I never actually thought about it until I lived off the island, but did you know that in most places on the Earth, you can only watch the sunrise OR the sunset? In most areas near water, the distance to each East and West horizon is pretty far.

But, on Lake Erie Island, you can watch a sunrise on the island’s East end and then, later that night, drive over to the island’s West side (about 4 minutes) and watch a spectacular sunset! One winter, I made it a point to enjoy as many sunrises as possible. There is nothing like starting the day with the peace of the sun showing itself for the first time in a day.

6. Put-in-Bay Island Sunsets- Speaking of those gorgeous sunrises, let’s not forget those fantastic sunsets! When I lived on the West Shore at the home of pal Loren Dages, on Put-in-Bay, my daughters and I made it a point to cross the street and go down the ramp to enjoy nightly sunsets. Each Put-in-Bay sunset was different from the others but all so beautiful nonetheless. I even have a collection of framed photo sunsets from that short time we lived there. Ahh…

7. Put-in-Bay Island Fishing- All you have to do is sit at the Miller Boat Line on Put-in-Bay in April and watch the many boats and trailers from the mainland. Read the license plates and notice what states they’re from Wisconsin, Indiana, and North Dakota. These guys travel from FAR away to our little Lake Erie Islands to fish from its shores.

Then, during the peak of the summer months and into the fall, we have full fishing charters! I know one of these charter captains very well, and he comes back with fish about 90% of the time. Fishing is excellent here!

8. Put-in-Bay Island Bake Sales & Lovely People-We have yummy bake sales. Who doesn’t love a bake sale? But, more than that, the people baking the stuff are amazing. Friends and family of the islands – well, let’s say -they’ve got your back! Even if you have someone you don’t see eye to eye with, well, over time, they will often turn into a pal. People here are giving, friendly and helpful.

They even cut down fallen trees for ya’ when you’re in Maui for the winter. Thanks, Hank and friend! Or, when you get a call that your roof is blowing away, a quick call to Rob LaPlante, and everything is under control again. Or, when you get another call that an upstairs window may be open and rain is seeping inside, and you phone Don Thwaite. All these guys and so many more are ready to help!

9. Put-in-Bay Island Boat and Planes- To get to any of the Lake Erie Islands, you must come by boat or Griffings Island Air. Contrary to local folklore, there aren’t any bridges or underground tunnels.

Ships and planes are everywhere and come in different sizes, colors, and kinds. During Regatta time – the sailboat on – the lake becomes decorated with so many colorful sails. Just so pretty! And, I never knew watching planes land, and takeoff could be so fun until I bought the old house on Langram Rd. It has become one of my favorite things to do on my front porch in the morning and just before nightfall.

10. Put-in-Bay Island HOME!-We all love it so much on these islands that we often think of it as “home.” For many others and myself, the Lake Erie Islands are home. But, over the years, I’ve discovered many guests coming to our islands think of it as their home. What an honor! Living on an island does change you. It spoils and ruins you. And, we love it.


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