East Harbor State Park Campground / Campground in Ohio
"A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature." ~ Henry David Thoreau
East Harbor State Park is an 1831 acre park located on the shores of Lake Erie. It is a wonderful park for anyone that enjoys fishing, boating, swimming, birdwatching, walking, and picnics. The campground is the largest Ohio State Park campground. There are hundreds of campsites and one yurt. It is a prime birding hotspot during migration. And it is only 33 minutes from Cedar Point and a short boat ride from Put-in-Bay.
The Ohio State Park/Campground
354 electric sites
51 full hook-up sites
168 non-electric sites
10 Primitive Group Sites
Seasonal General Store
***Campground is open year round
Good Cell Service (Verizon)
Reservations may be made up to six months in advance online at ohiostateparks.gov or by calling (866) 644-6727.
***The Ohio campground is open year-round. From November 1 to April 1, only the electric sites B1 through B64 are open. The dump station is open, and water is available at the check-in office.
Campsites can be reserved on the ODNR website or by calling 866-644-6727. There are electric, full hook-up, and non-electric sites.
Pets are permitted
East Harbor State Park Campground offers both wooded and sunny campsites. There are a no campsites located directly next to the water.
The sites are small and well kept. Some sites are angled while others are not. The straight sites can be hard to back into.
East Harbor State Park has one Yurt available to rent. It is ADA compliant. Pets are not permitted on the site or in the Yurt. It is able to sleep up to 6 people. There is a fire ring, gas grill, picnic table, microwave, coffee maker, and refrigerator. Linens and utensils are not provided. There is no housekeeping service.
The yurt is located in section A near the bank of East Harbor.
The ODNR website states that there are Sherman Cabins at East Harbor State Park Campground. However, we did not see the cabins. They are not available on the reservation page either. Maybe they are planning on adding the cabins. We visited the park in May of 2022.
Primitive Group Camping
East Harbor State Park has 10 primitive group camping sites. Each primitive group site allows a maximum of 50 campers. However, only two vehicles are permitted at each site. Pets are permitted. There are restrooms and shower houses close by.
Hiking at East Harbor State Park Campground
There are several trails at East Harbor State Park. However, many of the trails are flooded. Talking to a local, we found out that there was a storm many years ago that took out the trails and part of the beach. Walking the Water’s Edge Trail, you will come across many old beach accesses. The bath houses have been removed and only concrete slabs remain.
Information taken directly from sign.
The Lockwood farm is now East Harbor State Park. Edward and Lydia Lockwood are buried in marked and maintained graves here within the park. The grave site is maintained by the State of Ohio. Grave markers bear the following inscriptions:
Edward Jared Lockwood
Born August 17, 1813, Albany, New York
Dies November 14, 1897, Port Clinton, Ohio
"Because I have lived so shall I die also"
Son of Col. Samuel Mills Lockwood who came to the Peninsula region from Albany, New York, setting along the shores of Sandusky Bay and founding Plasterbed, Ohio (now Gypsum). Col. S. M. Lockwood discovered gypsum rock and began the industry which survives to this day. He was Ohio Senator from then Erie County in the 1830s.
Lydia Ramsdell Lockwood
Born January 3, 1819, Danbury, Ohio
Died March 21, 1890, Danbury, Ohio
"She hath done what she could"
Grandaughter of Joseph Ramsdell who came to this site from Oswego, New York, in 1811, the second family to settle on The Peninsula of The Firelands. He and his family occupied lands bounded on the south and easy by East Harbor, on the west by West Harbor and on the north by Lake Erie, including Middle Harbor and known from the earliest times as the "Point 'Tween the Harbors." The harbors are the delta of the Portage River, later diverted into the Indians. Valentine Ramsdell was killed by Indians at the First Battle Site on the Peninsula on September 29, 1812. Lydia Ramsdell returned to marry Edward Jared Lockwood on February 17, 1839, and they established farming, primary peach orchards. When on March 27, 1859, Laura Lockwood, daughter on EJ and Lydia, married William Kelly, the land became known as Kelly farm. William was the grandson of the builder of the Marblehead Lighthouse and great-grandson of the light's first keeper, Benajah Wolcott. The farm continued in the Lockwood/Kelly families when Lydia Kelly, daughter of William and Laura, married Orville Presley Moon. Three generations of Moons lived on the property until list in the Great Depression. The State of Ohio acquired the Lockwood farm nearly intact for your enjoyment and recreation.
Friends if East Harbor State Park and the Ottawa County Historical Society.
Beaches at East Harbor State Park Campground
There are 2 beaches at Easy Harbor State Park. One is not dog friendly and the other one is.
The North Swimming Beach is not dog friendly. It is located at the north tip of the East Harbor State Park Road. There is parking at the beach.
You must walk a short trail to reach The East Harbor State Park Dog Friendly Beach. The trail head is located off the south end of the large parking lot.
If you enjoy boating, fishing, and/or hanging out on the beach, this park is for you. From the park, you can enter the West Harbor, Middle Harbor, East Harbor, and Lake Erie. There is a huge beach that stretches along the coast. There is even a dog-friendly beach off the Water’s Edge Trail.
Birding at Alum Creek State Park Campground
According to eBird, there have been 246 species observed at East Harbor State Park. It is a birding hotspot.
During our early May visit, we spotted:
Wildlife at East Harbor State Park
Birds were not the only type of wildlife we spotted at East Harbor State Park Campground. There were animals everywhere!
Our Experience at East Harbor State Park Campground
We enjoyed our visit to the East Harbor State Park Campground, other than all the rain. One evening a very bad storm came through and we lost power. The power was restored within 12 hours.
Being so close to Lake Erie, the ground was extremely wet due to all the rain. It was very swampy. We would recommend the Ohio Campground to birders interested in spring migration. There were a lot of birds everywhere. And you do not have to deal with the large crowds at campgrounds closer to Magee Marsh. And it is only a 40-minute drive if you want to join in on the festivities.
If you just want to enjoy some time at Lake Erie, we recommend waiting until after the spring rainy season. The ground was so wet, it was almost impossible to walk around.
The sites are close together. If we were able to sit outside and have a fire, the neighbors would have been way too close for comfort. But since it was so wet, we were not able to have a fire. If you are a people person, you may not mind being so close to your neighbor.
We had good cell service (Verizon) and were able to pick up a few TV stations.
The trailer pads in the main camping areas are blacktop.
The sites are fairly level.
The main roads are fairly wide. So, there should not be any problem getting two trailers through at the same time. The side roads located in the separate sections are narrower.
Roads are blacktop.
The campground was well-kept.
Each campsite had a picnic table and fire ring.
Just as with a lot of campgrounds, some campers let their dogs off their leashes. However, Easy Harbor State Park Campground required pet owners to keep their pets on a leash.
The beach is about ½ mile from the Harborview Shelter House. If you enjoy walking, you can easily walk to the beach from the East Harbor State Park Campground. You can also drive. There is plenty of parking at and near the beach.
There are sunny and shady campsites.
East Harbor State Park / Campground in Lakeside-Marblehead Ohio
Make a Reservation at:
What You Can Expect at East Harbor State Park Campground
Please note that Ohio Campground trail rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for East Harbor State Park Campground as of May 2022.
There are no mountain bike trails at East Harbor State Park Campground.
It is a birding hotspot.
Concealed carry is permitted.
Dogs are allowed in campground and on the trails. They are not permitted on the North Swimming Beach. However, they are permitted East Harbor State Park Dog Friendly Beach.
Trail surfaces are natural. Most of the trails are impassable due to previous storms.
Campground roads and pads are blacktop.
Each lot has a picnic table and fire ring.
There are playgrounds near the bath houses.
There were no benches on the trails by the beaches. The trail between the campground and East Harbor had a couple benches.
A lot of shade.
2 shelter houses.
The trails are not well marked.
There are dumpsters located throughout the campground.
East Harbor/West Harbor/Lake Erie
Ada compliant campsites and a yurt.