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Lake Erie Islands

Lake Erie Islands

The Lake Erie Islands are a chain of archipelagic islands in Lake Erie. They include Kelleys Island, Pelee Island, the Bass Islands, and several others. The majority of these islands are under the sovereignty of Ohio in the United States. Pelee Island is the only major island administered by Ontario, while the smaller Middle Island is the southernmost point in Canada. Most islands that are large enough are popular tourist attractions with car ferries running from the mainland and between some islands and some small airports and numerous private marinas offering other ways to reach the islands. Combined with nearby Sandusky and Port Clinton, Ohio, the islands are part of the collective area known regionally as "Vacationland".[1]


  • Economy 1
  • Residents 2
  • Lake Erie islands 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Most of the islands remain financially stable via tourism. Grape growing and wineries were once the mainstay of the economy. Kelleys is heavily forested and has replaced them almost entirely, South Bass is more developed and still has a few large vineyards. Pelee is the only major island where vineyards remain popular. Limestone quarrying still occurs on Kellys Island; as well, there are a few hobby farms.


Most of the islands are headed by a small group of year-round residents. However, eager vacationers often raise the populations dramatically during the summer months, most notable on South Bass Island, which is the most tourist-friendly of the islands despite its small size.

Lake Erie islands

Map of the Lake Erie Islands.
Alvar habitat on Kelleys Island. Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial is barely visible in the distance on neighboring South Bass Island
Green Island from the air, with South Bass Island in the foreground
Name State/Province Area
sq. mi.[2](km²)[3]
Location Inhabited?[4]
Pelee Island Ontario 16.140 sq. mi. (41.79 km²) 41.7667, -82.6409 Yes
Kelleys Island Ohio 4.41 sq. mi. (11.42 km²) 41.601389, -82.6975 Yes
South Bass Island Ohio 2.482 sq. mi. (6.428 km²) 41.6497, -82.8189 Yes
Middle Bass Island Ohio 1.258 sq. mi. (3.258 km²) 41.679167, -82.811111 Yes
North Bass Island Ohio 1.076 sq. mi. (2.786 km²) 41.716667, -82.816667 Yes
Johnson's Island Ohio 0.469 sq. mi. (1.215 km²) 41.4963, -82.7346 Yes
Rattlesnake Island Ohio 0.133 sq. mi. (0.344 km²) 41.6791, -82.8493 Yes
West Sister Island Ohio 0.120 sq. mi. (0.311 km²) 41.739722, -83.105278 No Longer
Middle Island Ontario 0.072 sq. mi. (0.186 km²) 41.6825, -82.684444 No Longer
East Sister Island Ontario 0.058 sq. mi. (0.150 km²) 41.813056, -82.856389 No
Sugar Island Ohio 0.047 sq. mi. (0.123 km²) 41.692, -82.826 Yes
Green Island Ohio 0.027 sq. mi. (0.069 km²) 41.6456, -82.8651 No Longer
Ballast Island Ohio 0.019 sq. mi. (0.049 km²) 41.6778, -82.7853 Yes
Mouse Island Ohio 41.59111, -82.83306 No Longer
Gibraltar Island Ohio 0.010 sq. mi. (0.026 km²) 41.6582, -82.8206 Yes
Indian Island Michigan 41.752202, -83.390962 No
Hen Island and her "Chickens":
Big Chicken, Chick, and Little Chicken islands
Ontario 41.788333, -82.7975 Hen Yes, the "chickens" No
Middle Sister Island Ontario 0.015 sq. mi. (0.039 km²) 41.8487, -83.0007 No Longer
North Harbour Island Ontario 41.825, -82.86 Yes
Turtle Island Ohio/Michigan 0.002 sq. mi. (0.005 km²) 41.7525, -83.391111 No Longer
Ryerson's Island Ontario 42.602358, -80.281611 Yes
Second Island Ontario 42.589883, -80.270843 No
Starve Island Ohio 0.003 sq. mi. (0.008 km²) 41.626667, -82.8225 No
Buckeye Island Ohio 41.6648, -82.7904 No
Lost Ballast Island Ohio 41.675475, -82.786383 No
Snow Island Ontario 42.579731, -80.259129 No
Mohawk Island (formerly Gull Island) Ontario 0.015 sq. mi. (0.039 km²) 42.833889, -79.5225 No Longer
Gull Island, Ohio Ohio 41.659761, -82.687328 No[5]
Catawba Island
(former island)[6]
Ohio 5.700 sq. mi. (14.8 km²) 41.563611, -82.838889 Yes
Gard Island Michigan 41.750064, -83.44212 No Longer
Presque Island
(former island)
Pennsylvania 4.863 sq. mi. (12.594 km²) 42.163056, -80.100833 Yes
Kafralu Island Ohio 41.464719, -82.673476 No Longer
Bird Island New York 42.895333, -78.906722 No

See also


  1. ^ "Vacationland" history - Sandusky Library
  2. ^ Land Area -
  3. ^ Land Area -
  4. ^ Population - Middle Bass
  5. ^ "Lake Erie Island Sites". Middle Bass on the Web. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  6. ^ "Catawba Island, the Great Peach Growing Center of Ohio" ( 

External links

  • How many islands are there in Lake Erie?
  • Explore the Lake Erie Islands: Self-guided Tours to Natural Wonders & Historic Tales (pdf) — A Guide to Nature and History along the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail.

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