Camping provides an excellent opportunity to explore the natural wonders, bask in the sun and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Camping is the perfect way to fully experience Lake Erie islands’ scenic beauty. With numerous campsites scattered across the islands, we’ve curated a selection of popular favorites to aid you in planning your perfect camping trip. But before we delve into these options, let’s review some essential camping principles so you can begin your camping journey successfully.
Much like any other trip, a well-executed camping excursion relies on thorough planning. The first consideration is the size of your group. This will help you determine how many plots you’ll need to book, how many supplies to bring and which campsite would be most appealing for diverse activity interests.
Next, you’ll want to gather your camping essentials. This should include:
- Easy meals and snacks: Opt for non-perishable and easy-to-prepare meals, such as canned goods, instant noodles, granola bars and trail mix. Don’t forget to pack some cooking utensils, a portable camping stove, and fuel if you plan on cooking your meals.
- Weather-appropriate clothing: Check the weather forecast for your camping trip and pack accordingly. Even in peak summer, evenings can get chilly, so bring layers like a warm jacket, fleece or sweater to stay comfortable during cooler nights. Additionally, pack rain gear such as a waterproof jacket or poncho in case of unexpected showers.
- First aid kit: Safety should always be a priority. A well-stocked first aid kit is essential for treating minor injuries and ailments that may occur during your camping adventure. Ensure it includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, tweezers, insect repellents and any personal medications you may need.
- Sleeping gear: Your shelter is crucial for a good night’s rest. Choose a tent that suits the size of your camping group and provides adequate protection from the elements. A quality sleeping bag rated for the expected temperature range will keep you warm during the night. Consider bringing a sleeping pad or inflatable mattress for added comfort, and don’t forget a pillow for a better sleep experience.
- Chairs: Portable camping chairs provide a comfortable place to relax around the campsite. Look for lightweight, foldable chairs that are easy to carry and set up.
- Lighting: Headlamps, flashlights, or lanterns are essential for illuminating your campsite at night and finding your way between restrooms or surrounding sites. LED lights are energy-efficient and long-lasting, making them ideal for camping.
- Cooking utensils: Bring basic cooking utensils, such as a pot, pan, spatula and utensils for eating. A portable coffee maker or French press can be a real treat for coffee lovers.
- Water and hydration: Carry sufficient water for drinking and cooking, especially if there is no clean water at your campsite. You may also consider bringing a water filtration system or purification tablets as a backup.
- Camping stove and fuel: If campfires are not allowed or feasible, a portable camping stove will be your go-to for cooking hot meals. Don’t forget to pack enough fuel to last your trip.
- Personal items: Remember to bring personal items such as sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, toiletries and a camera to capture all those memorable moments.
Campfire cooking can be a delightful experience but prioritize fire safety. Check if campfires are permitted and use designated fire rings or pits. Remember to extinguish the fire before leaving or sleeping fully.
Embrace Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, minimizing campfire impacts, respecting wildlife, staying on designated trails and being considerate of other campers. By following these guidelines, you can create a safe and memorable Lake Erie camping trip while preserving the islands’ natural beauty for future generations.
If you’re a nature enthusiast, camping almost anywhere can be enjoyable, but there’s nothing quite like waking up beside the water or witnessing the breathtaking sunset over Lake Erie. The vibrant skies and tranquil waves effortlessly whisk away the stresses of city life. To assist you in choosing the perfect experience for your preferences, we’ve compiled some local favorite campsites for you to enjoy.
Kelleys Islands State Park Campground is a lakeside campground that offers full-hookup, electric and non-electric sites. Additionally, cabins and yurts are available if you prefer a non-tent experience. Kelley’s Island is perfect if you’re looking to avoid crowds and enjoy the tranquility of island life. With rentable golf carts, you can easily explore everything the island offers. From delicious local eateries and wineries to thrilling hiking and kayaking tours, Kelleys Island makes for a perfect quiet getaway.
The South Bass Island State Park Campground is a majority tent-only campground with a few full hook-up electric and non-electric sites available. This makes it ideal for true nature lovers and more experienced campers who want to escape city life. Additional to the tent sites are four cabents (think a standard cabin with a canvas tent-style roof) to give you the experience of tent camping with the comfort of a cabin. While you’re there, keep an eye on their weekly calendar, as many activities, such as kayaking classes, are available throughout the seasons!
Are you looking for a more luxurious camping experience? Lighthouse Point at Cedar Point is just a stone’s throw from the Cedar Point entrance and offers 156 thoughtfully designed Cottages and Cabin rentals, as well as 145 RV Campsites. This destination caters to families and groups of all sizes.
The cottage rentals are equipped with modern amenities and provide panoramic views through picture windows that showcase the stunning surroundings. The inland and deluxe cabins can accommodate ten people, promise exceptional guest experiences and create a tranquil resort atmosphere. When you’re not relaxing by the shores, you can walk to Cedar Point and experience the thrilling coasters and games!
Sandusky /Bayshore KOA Holiday is on the water and conveniently located near Downton Sandusky and Cedar Point. They offer RV sites, cabins, extended stay and group sites as well as standard tent sites. They provide a lively and family-friendly atmosphere with two pools and abundant recreational activities such as the Gem Mine, Paint Ball, Archery, Tie-Dye station, and more. This site is perfect if your crew likes to stay active and enjoys a range of activities. While you’re there, if you want to explore the surrounding islands or visit Cedar Point during the day, Jet Express’ Sandusky Port is just 10 mins away that will take you to the heart of all the action.
Tall Timbers Campground and Resort are beautiful family-friendly sites with all the necessary amenities! Perfect for less experienced campers, Tall Timbers is located just a few minutes from Downton Port Clinton, where you can access local treats like the African Safari Wildlife Park, Catawba Island State Park, Twin Oast Brewing and more! While exploring Port Clinton, you can stop by our Island Port, located right on the water with stunning views of the lake and sunset. Grab a drink at our full-service bar before riding the Jet around the islands!
Camping can be loads of fun all on its own, but it’s always great to have additional activities to keep your crew entertained and engaged during your trip. If you’re seeking exciting ideas, we’ve got a fantastic list of adventures available across the islands!
Whether you’re staying long-term or just overnight, the Jet Express can take you around the islands with ease! Our conveniently located docks in Port Clinton and Sandusky and our ports in Kelleys Island, Put-In-Bay and Cedar Point take you to the heart of all the action.
Ready to create some memories that will last a lifetime? Your next adventure starts here!