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Catawba Island

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Catawba Island [6] is part of the Ottawa County peninsula. Catawba Island is one of 12 townships that make up Ottawa County, Ohio. It is commonly referred to as Catawba and Catawba Island, although it is a not an island as its name implies. Due to its sheltered bay and inlets, land elevation along the shore with fewer cliffs and easy access to Lake Erie, it has become one of the preferred areas for pleasure boat owners to dock and store their boats. Development was stagnant for years due to lack of sanitary sewer. Once this was improved, Catawba Island Peninsula started to bloom, with all sorts of improvements, condo's, expensive homes, marinas and businesses. It has become a preferred destination for those enjoying Lake Erie waters.


Catawba Point
  • Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center, 770 S.E. Catawba Rd. (Route 53N) (Catawba Island Exit just north of Route 2), 1-800-441-1271, [1]. Free maps, brochures, discount tickets for ferries and area attractions, restrooms.  edit

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

Erie-Ottawa International Airport

By boat[edit]

Boat launch[edit]

  • Catawba Island State Park, off NW Catawba Rd.
  • West Harbor Public Boat Launch1955 NE Catawba Rd.


By car[edit]

  • From State Route 2, exit OH 53N and head north to the peninsula.
  • From downtown Port Clinton, follow OH 163 east from town, turning left onto Sand Road.

Get around[edit]


You can enter Catawba Island from SR 53 exit off of SR 2 or Sand Road off of SR 2. Both meet each other at Catawba Point, in a loop around the peninsula. On land, motorcycles, bicycles, cars, golf carts, walking and running are popular. On the water, about every form of transportation is available for rent.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Ottawa City General Store, 4057 NW Catawba Road, Port Clinton, OH 43452 (South-West about .5 mile from the Miller Ferry on Catawba Island, around the bend on Rt.53). More of a privately-owned and kept history museum than a store (though a variety of candy and various antiques are available for purchase), the Ottawa City General Store is a must-see for history lovers. The owner has a vast knowledge of local history, local lake geography, and antiques. Also on the premises is a log house, built in the 1840's, and relocated, rebuilt, and restored by the owner. He will not volunteer information -- but if you ask him a question, he is a veritable fountain of knowledge. free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Catawba Island State Park, 4049 E Moore’s Dock Rd., [8].
  • Miller Ferry Catawba Dock [9]. At the end of Route 53 North. Known as Catawba Point. Ferries to Middle and South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay).
  • Freedom Boat Club of Catawba Island, 419-797-3000, [2]. Each location provides you with a fleet of boats that come with less stress and a lower price tag than owning a single boat. There are no hassles to worry about like cleaning, maintaining, or storing as the dock master does all the prep and post work. There are no costs like dock fees, winterizing, insurance or trailers. Instead you spend your time simply having fun.  edit
  • Air1 Airboats, 2312 River Avenue, Sandusky, OH (Launches from Catawba State Park), 419) 366-8472. Airboat Tours from Cedar Point in the summer and ice fishing from Catawba State Park in the winter.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Catawba Island has an agricultural history as well as a marine history. A lot of land on Catawba Island was dedicated to farming, vineyards, orchards, truck farms and such. Today development is converting some of this land for other uses, but much of its agricultural heritage remains. In the warmer months you will find no lack of local vegetables and fruits for sale at the road side.

  • Bergman Orchards, Route 53, peaches, apples, strawberries, sweet corn, melons, tomatoes, pumpkins, baked goods, ice cream and much more.
  • The Mon Ami Restaurant and Historic Winery, 3845 East Wine Cellar Road, +1 419-797-4445 or 1-800-777-4266 (), [3].  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • East Harbor State Park, Northeast part of Ottawa County off of Route163, on the shores of Lake Erie. 365 electric sites, 205 non-electric sites, showers, flush toilets, dump station, launch ramp, camp store, pet camping, two Rent-A-RV units on full-service sites, two deluxe camper cabins, dock rentals, restaurant, marina, fishing, hunting, 7-mile trail, volleyball, basketball, horseshoe courts, playground equipment and a 1,500-foot sand beach.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Catawba Inn, 4112 N CROGAN ST, (419) 797-2501. Hole in the wall bar/restaurant. They have an excellent 1lb Lake Erie Perch Platter. If you are in the area, I say step on in.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Catawba Island is like a big playground for kids and adults, with a long shoreline. Things happen. If you are not familiar with small boats, keep in mind they move when you get in and/or least expect it. Make sure you wear or know where your life preserver is as soon as you get into a smaller boat. Lake Erie is a big and wonderful place, some areas like this have extreme traffic on the roads and water, both from commercial and pleasure craft. The Coast Guard is always looking for those who abuse the waterways and will not hesitate to arrest for drinking while operating a watercraft or other infringements. Play safely and no one will bother you.

  • Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, 315 Madison Street, +1 419-734-4404, [4].  edit
  • Catawba Island Township Police Department, 4822 East Cemetery Road, 911 (life threatening emergencies) or +1 419-797-2422.  edit
  • Magruder Hospital, 615 Fulton Street, +1 419-734-3131, [5].  edit

Get out[edit]

The islands listed below are either in Ottawa County or close to it. Some like Pelee, are in Canada, different fishing license and passport are required.

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