Islands on  Lake Erie? In Ohio?

Stop Laughing, Yes I’m serious, and there is some serious fun to be had here.

Ballast • BuckeyeGreenJohnson’s Kelley’s
Middle BassMouseNorthbass Rattlesnake
South Bass • Starve • Sugar • Turtle • West Sister

What’s it all about?

What is there to do?

Lake Erie Islands Map

Lake Erie Western Basin “Islands” Nautical Chart
Lake Erie Islands Map

How many Islands are there in Lake Erie?

Whoah there reader, what a great question… Huh?  Really? But it’s a simple question.

Or, is it?

Truely, it is up to you, what you wish to consider an official island.  There are at least 36 “real”  Lake Erie Islands, but an exact count depends on which ones you decide to include or exclude.

let me Splain’

There  are four types of islands in Lake Erie

  •  Islands that existed in the 19th century but are now either connected to the mainland or submerged (i.e. Catawba Island, Gull  Island, Long Point Island)
  • Islands that are not quite in Lake Erie  proper but sit right in a connecting river or bay. (i.e.  Johnson’s Island in Sandusky Bay or Bois Blanc Island at the mouth of the Detroit River)
  • Artificial islands, such as the ones that the Southeast Shoal Lighthouse off Pelee Island and the Detroit River Light sit on.
  • A large number of tiny unnamed islands, mostly off the Michigan shore and off Long Point, Ontario

So the real true official exact count of islands is at your discretion. But here are the islands to consider. The semi-official count is originally 36
“real” Lake Erie Islands. If you take out the three that are now permanently connected to the mainland (Catawba Island, Presque Isle
and Long Point Island), the count goes down to 33.

Island Name  Inhabited?  Comments
Ballast Yes Small island with 9 homes and no scheduled ferry service. Former summer HQ of the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Association
Buckeye At One time (now vacant) off the tip of South Bass known to have one home in the past
Catawba Yes At one time this was a real island but is now permanently connected to the mainland
Gibraltar Yes Small island; home of The Ohio state University Stone Lab Provides protection for Put-in-Bay harbor on South Bass
Green At One time (now vacant) Previously inhabited by a lighthouse keeper
Kelleys Yes Large and Well developed, stands out for quaint shops, restaraunts and interesting Geological Features
Lost Ballast No This island is pretty much a reef with a few trees
Middle Bass Yes Well developed island, half the size of South Bass
Mouse Island At One time (now vacant) Small Island known to have one home in the past
North Bass Yes Large & not well developed; 80% of it is owned by the State of Ohio
Rattlesnake Yes An exclusive private club with about 15 homes (according to their website, your guess is as good as mine)
South Bass (Put In Bay) Yes Some year round, many seasonal residents, Lake Erie’s main party Island
Starve No A small bare reef off  of South Bass Island, Don’t get stuck
Sugar Yes Small with a handful of homes
Turtle At One time (now vacant) Located half in Ohio, Half in Michigan
West Sister At One time (now vacant) Extensive agriculture in the 19th Centry
Gard No Known to have been inhabited by Indians but never by European Settlers
Indian No Close to Toledo
Stony Point No Close to Toledo
Presque Isle Yes Originally a real island, now permanently connected to the mainland
East Sister At One time (now vacant) Agricultural development at one time in the 19th Century
Hen (and
3 Chickens)
Yes (Hen Only) These count for 4 Islands, Hen Island is the Main large Island, the Three Chickens are small islands that are bascially just reefs poking out above the water. Hen Island is home to the private Quinnebog Club
Long Point yes This island is now permanently connected to the mainland.  There are many small islands off long Point but only 3 (Ryerson’s, Second, and Snow) are named on most maps
Middle At One time (now vacant) The Southernmost point in Canada, 7 miles east of Middle Bass
Middle Sister At One time (now vacant) Agricultural development at one time in the 19th Century
Millionaire’s Yes Not officially named on any maps, this island was used as exclusive hunting grounds for the Dupont Family 100 years ago and is still an exclusive private club
Mohawk (formerly Gull Island) At One time (now vacant) the site of historic Lighthouse ruins. In the 19th century, there were two islands in lake Erie named “Gull Island”
North Harbor Yes The only island in Lake Erie today with just one private house
Pelee Yes The Largest Canadian Island on Lake Erie
Rock No A tiny island about the size of one of the Chicken Islands, approximately 6 miles east of Mohawk
Ryerson’s Yes Named after the first owner, Josephy Ryerson, who was a loyalist sniper in New Jersey with a unit that tried to kill George Washington
Second No Second ON NO Off the N. shore of Long Point Island
Snow No Snow ON NO Off the N. shore of Long Point Island


the other 9



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