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Boating & Waterways

Lake Erie & Vermilion River

Lake Erie & Vermilion RiverThe Vermilion River, which flows into Lake Erie, endows marina facilities with more than 1,000 boat slips and ramps for easy access to the Lake, earning Vermilion the title of the “Largest Small Boat Harbour on the Great Lakes.” Lake freighters are a regular sight on Lake Erie making their way through the Great Lakes.

Lake Erie is the 10th largest lake on Earth.  It is bounded on the north by the Canadian province of Ontario, on the south by the U.S. states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York, and on the west by the state of Michigan. The lake is named after the Erie tribe of Native Americans who originally lived along its southern shore.
Ohio Magazine chose Vermilion, Ohio at the “Best Port Stroll” in Ohio.  The wealth of attractions so close to protected dockage makes Vermilion a very popular cruising destination. Rare is the port of call with as much to offer.
Several Vermilion marinas and boating supply stores cater to your nautical needs. The Vermilion Marine Business Association members offer a wide array of services to meet the needs of the boating public.
The Vermilion Port Authority invites you to visit our Vermilion Public Guest Docks. You are in the center of Vermilion’s historical district and within easy walking distance of many quaint specialty shops, groceries, ice, restaurants, fast food, historical homes, overnight accommodations, professional services and the Main Street Beach.
The Inland Seas Maritime Museum, located adjacent to the Main Street Beach was moved to Toledo in 2010 http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/08/great_lakes_historical_society.html
Swimmers of all ages enjoy our sandy beaches located in Historic Downtown Vermilion.  Recreational boating of every kind, jet skis, canoeing, and sail boats adorn the Vermilion harbor, where ship building was once the major industry.
On summer nights, residents and visitors congregate on the large deck at Main Street Beach to watch boats sail back and forth in front of the beautiful Lake Erie sunset and enjoy the Mystic Belle, a small paddle wheeler, offering rides on the Vermilion River. Also, in the summer the children of our community attend Sail Camp where they learn water safety and sailing supervised by members of our world-renowned women’s sailing crew, Team Flamingo, winners of the Japanese Invitational J24 in 1994 in Japan.
Lake Erie Shores & Islands is the Midwests hottest, most exciting vacation destination. Located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, the area offers all the calm and relaxation of a coastal vacation as well as many exciting and diverse amusements to please the whole family.  Located halfway between Toledo & Cleveland, on the southern shore of Lake Erie, Lake Erie Shores & Islands offers so many attractions for the whole family! From amusement parks, to museums, to watersports, to natural areas and more – everyone will find a great reason to…Explore the Shore Next Door!

Lake Erie Islands

Lake Erie IslandsDid you know you could escape to an island, just off the shores near Vermilion? The islands are a Midwest vacation hot spot. Just a short drive to a ferry ride from the mainland, or visit by boat, and you’ll forget you are in Ohio!  Whatever your pleasure, coastal relaxation or on-the-go excitement, the islands have got it covered!  And it’s all just minutes away from historic Vermilion, Ohio.

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.

Kelleys Island, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is an outdoor-lovers paradise, while Put-in-Bay, on South Bass Island, appeals with abundant shopping and entertainment. You can also visit Middle Bass Island, which is dominated by vineyards, old homes, summer cottages, and a campground.  Canada’s Pelee Island is also accessible by ferry from Sandusky, but does require planning for an overnight stay – the ferry visits Sandusky only once a day in peak season.

The Lake Erie Islands can only be reached by boat or plane. Cars are permitted on all the islands; however, you’ll have greater freedom to discover each island’s natural beauty by bicycle or golf cart. Rental shops are located within walking distance of the islands’ ferry docks.

Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island is a nature-lovers’ paradise, whose modest commercial development lends to its appeal. Rent bicycles or golf carts to explore the scenic countryside, visit the largest prehistoric glacial grooves in existence, catch a bite to eat at an island eatery, or simply lounge at the Kelleys Island State Park beach. The island’s appeal ranges from natural spaces to rousing nightlife. Birds, wildlife, and hiking trails are abundant,. Enjoy miniature golf, volleyball, horseshoes, one-of-a-kind island shops and confectioneries, and making memories that will last a lifetime.

South Bass Island (Put-in-Bay)
Middle Bass Island

Municiple Boat Ramp

South Street Municipal Public Boat Ramp

South Street Municipal Public Boat RampPhone: (440) 204-2474

Location: The boat ramp is located on the west side of the Vermilion River, and is adjacent to the Water Pollution Control Center. Directions from Rt. 6: On the west side of the bridge over the Vermilion River, by Convenient Food Mart, turn south onto West River Road. Then in about ¼ mile at the stop sign, turn left (east) onto the Boat Ramp access road. Watch for oncoming traffic on West River Road from the south which does not stop and has the right of way. Directions from Rt. 60: From the traffic light where State Rt. 60 intersects South Street, turn right (east) onto South Street and go east about ½ mile. Where South Street dead-ends at West River Road, there is a stop sign. At this intersection, watch for traffic coming from the right (south) which does not stop and has the right of way. Cross the street by making a jog to the left (north) onto West River Road, then immediately turn right onto the access road leading downhill to the river and Boat Ramp.

Fees: $7 Launch Fee

  • 2 ramps
  • 2 courtesy docks
  • car top and canoe launch area
  • trailer and car parking
  • disabled & handicap accessible facility
  • open 24 hours from mid April to mid November
  • bait and fishing supplies available from local suppliers
  • minutes north to Lake Erie no dockage available
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