One of the many protected nature preserve on South Bass Island, Massie Cliffside Preserve offers a lovely respite from the excitement of downtown Put-in-Bay. A highly coveted summertime destination, Put-in-Bay also offers something for everyone, from the best in dining and nightlife, to amazing natural wonders. Take a stroll in this wooded part of the island and enjoy the wildlife around you. Whether you are trying to be surrounded by nature, go fishing in a more secluded area, or maybe just listening to the birds and trying to spot them, the Massie Cliffside Preserve is a relaxing trail that can offer a moment of peace and quiet from the rest of the island.
Massie Cliffside Preserve Details
Massie Cliffside Preserve is an eleven acre shoreline parcel located on the East point of South Bass Island. Along with a dock for fishing, there is a gorgeous cliffside habitat and a trail system that links visitors from State Route 357. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial and DeRivera Park are also a short walk away.
Along with private and landowner donations, the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund, Coastal Estuarine Land Conservation Program purchased this plot of land in 2015. In 2016, Len and Connie Knam purchased four additional acres of adjacent woodland. They then dedicated the park in August of 2016.
The trail provides a lovely place to stroll, bird watch, and take nature photographs. Bring along your fishing gear to take advantage of the small dock and catch some shallow dwelling fish.
Commemorative benches also line the cliff’s edge. Visitors can enjoy harebells, columbines, and hoptree flowers as well as great sunsets from this spot. Migratory bird season in early summers allow for amazing bird watching of a variety of species.
Lake Erie Islands Wildlife
Lake Erie is well known for all the delicious fish found in its waters. From perch to walleye and also smallmouth bass, visitors to the island love dining out on breaded walleye sandwiches at the Boardwalk and scrumptious perch tacos at Goat Soup and Whiskey. It is thanks to preservation efforts that these fish are available to us.
Massie Cliffside Preserve is a great place to spy other wildlife on the island. Reptiles and amphibians populate this spot as do toads to salamanders.
Perhaps one of the most exciting animal is the Lake Erie Watersnake. This protected snake is only found on the Lake Erie Islands. Often found basking along rocky shores or searching for fish in the waters, this is a state-threatened species and it is non-venomous. If approached it can be aggressive and curious so keep your distance.
Bird watchers can reference The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy’s extensive list of both local and migratory birds before heading to Massie. Make sure to keep an eye out for:
- Black-bellied Plover
- Northern Bobwhite
- Green Herson
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Crested Caracara Falcons
- Song Sparrow
- Black-throated Gray Warbler
- Horned Lark
- Tree Swallow