Dodge Woods Preserve

Dodge Woods Preserve

The Dodge Woods Preserve offers visitors 3.5 acres of natural wonder and beauty. Open to the public from dawn to dusk, the preserve also helps protect the natural habitats of South Bass Island for all to enjoy.

Dodge Woods Preserve Location

Located at the intersection of Langram and Thompson Road, the preserve is just a short walk from Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center, the Put-in-Bay airport, and the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center. The Put-in-Bay Waterfront Condos are an excellent lodging choice also close by.

Put-in-Bay may be known as a party destination but it is also a nature lovers paradise. Home to such important research facilities as Stone Laboratory and the Aquatic Visitor Center, South Bass Island also works to protect Lake Erie and her islands for future generations.

Purchased by the Put-in-Bay Township Park District with Clean Ohio Conservation Fund Grants with the matching funds coming from the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, the John Ladd family, and John Dodge, Dodge Woods is an amazing example of all the environmental good being done of the island.

Dodge Woods Preserve Details

This preserve includes a charming nature trail that winds through the forest. Well marked and covered with wood chips, the trail loops around the entire park and is also easily accessible to those of all fitness levels.

A bicycle rack, bench, brochure rack and donation box are all planned for future installation at the trailhead. Other updates are planned adjacent to the bicycle path. This also includes places for visitors to rest while biking throughout the island. This preserve is strictly for hiking, nature photography, bird watching and scientific study. You cannot camp at the Dodge Woods Preserve, nor can you bring in motorized vehicles.

Dodge Woods Preserve is considered a young forest. A team of dedicated volunteers and nature lovers work to maintain this former vineyard. As a result to their efforts, the flora is finally flourishing at a rapid pace.

Tree Species at Dodge Woods Preserve

  • Black Walnut
  • Common Hackberry
  • Black Cherry
  • Kentucky Coffeetree
  • Wild Grape
  • Mulberry
  • Eastern Red Cedar
  • Recently Planted Conifers
  • Fruit Trees
  • Herbaceous Plants
  • Sedges


  • Virginia Waterleaf
  • Bloodroot
  • Wild Leeks
  • False Solomon’s Seal
  • Buttercups
  • Enchanted Nightshade
  • Tall Bellflower
  • Short’s Aster
  • Goldenrod

For Nature Lovers

The Dodge Woods Preserve is the perfect place for nature lovers to enjoy the attractions of South Bass Island. Put-in-Bay also houses other organizations, landmarks and environmental wonders, such as the Crystal Cave, the largest geode in the world. For those who enjoy being outside, there’s always plenty to do.

Check out the Nature and Wildlife Center of Lake Erie Islands, the Aquatics Visitor Center, and Stone Laboratory for more information on the setting. The Stone Laboratory and the Visitor Center are devoted to maintaining  the health of Lake Erie and the Islands of Lake Erie.

Thanks to the diverse habitat, birds also often stop here during spring migration. Additionally, this is a wonderful spot for bird watching. Keep an eye out for interesting species like the The Eastern Fox Snake (Elaphe vulpine gloydi), a state species of concern.

The Lake Erie Water Snake also makes his home in this part of the island. Non-poisonous, do not confront these snakes anyway as they can be very curious.

Take a tour with Kayak the Bay to Gibraltar Island for something unique. It is not, however, available to the public. Green Island is also primarily a wildlife conservation and is closed to the public.

This is the aspect of Put-in-Bay that you tend to hear the least about. However it might be the best thing about the island, it’s certainly our best kept secret. South Bass Island is a paradise for nature lovers. With multiple state parks, well groomed walking trails, and the beautiful remnants of the island’s once booming vineyards, you will be spoiled for beauty at Put-in-Bay, so make sure to have that camera ready!