Middle Bass Island
Have you been dreaming of getting away from it all? Aptly called Ile des Fleurs or Island of Flowers, Middle Bass Island with its serene atmosphere and breathtaking scenery is the perfect setting for an island escape. Slip away to this refreshing break from the real world for a few days and return feeling transformed.
Shaped like the Big Dipper and placed at the heart of a group of twenty three islands, this warm, inviting little island is also great for a romantic weekend away. The intimate surroundings, magnificent lake views and beautiful sunsets all make the Island of Flowers a dreamy hideaway.
I Allow yourself to let go as you walk, cycle through the streets of Middle Bass. Forget your troubles as you lose yourself in the lush natural splendor of the island, take a swim or go kayaking and jet-skiing in the lake.
Stroll through the island’s historical district and take in the sights of charming old cabins and cottages and stately manors. For a fun and unique way to get around the island, you could rent a golf cart and take it for a spin.
Connect with nature at Middle Bass Island State Park. Its camping grounds and marina, although undergoing renovation until sometime in 2009, are worth the wait. Even the migrating songbirds come here for a little relaxation before winging it over the lake. To top it off, several nesting pairs of bald eagle call the island their home, making it an excellent bird-watching spot. Like its larger neighbor Kelley’s Island, Middle Bass Island is home to starkly beautiful glacial groves formed by glaciers dragging across underlying bedrock.
While at the State Park, don’t miss out on a visit to the historical Lonz winery, a Gothic style stone castle that has been a landmark for tourists and wine enthusiasts for over 60 years. An interesting bit of history: During the national prohibition of alcohol, the owners at the time - Peter and George Lonz - sold bottles of grape juice with instructions on do-it-yourself fermentation. Happy customers helped the winery through a tough time when many of the other makers of wine had to close down.
Fishing in Lake Erie is unparalleled, so if it’s fish you want, Middle Bass has them a-plenty! Get your tackle ready and brace yourself to tackle a variety of walleye, perch and bass. If you visit in winter, you could still try a bit of ice-fishing.
The great thing about Middle Bass Island is that once the island has worked its refreshing magic on you and you find yourself feeling like a spot of adventure, sister islands like Put-in-Bay are just a short ferry ride away.
Put-in-Bay, also known as South Bass Island, has an adventure waiting around every corner, with an exciting Amusement Center, a raceway for remote controlled cars, a beautiful park, natural limestone cave with an underground lake, an antique car museum, and excellent entertainment. It is also home to Heinemann’s winery, Crystal Cave - the world’s largest geode, and a beautiful (and very tall) granite monument with an observation deck from which you can get a spectacular bird’s eye view of the surrounding islands and shorelines.
Nearby Kelley’s Island, home to one of the largest original wineries in the country, combines history with a spectacular natural beauty.
Other area attractions include the Marblehead Lighthouse built in 1821, and state nature preserves like Sheldon Marsh, Old Woman Creek and Erie Sand Barrens. For the ultimate family adventure, visit Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky. With its thrilling rides, quality family entertainment, and breathtakingly beautiful location on the shore of Lake Erie, it’s no wonder it’s been voted Amusement Today’s “Best Amusement Park in the World”.
Take a trip to Middle Bass Island, a sanctuary for fish, birds and humans alike. Mingle with the friendly residents of the island and leave renewed.
Getting to the island is easy, with access by public ferry, private boat or plane, and air services but leaving behind the sheer freedom you find there isn’t.
For more information on the island life, history, and other Middle Bass happenings, visit www.middlebass.org. The useful and welcoming site contains information on how to get there, how to get around the island and even has a kids’ corner with frank and sometimes funny stories from kids who either live on Middle Bass or have visited it. To quote one of them, “I recommend it greatly! You’ll love it... I promise.”