The 3.5913-acre property is located at the intersection of Langram and Thompson Roads on South Bass Island, Ottawa County, Ohio. It was purchased by the Put-in-Bay Township Park District with Clean Ohio Conservation Fund Grants with the match funds coming from the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, the John Ladd family, and a bargain sale from owner John Dodge.
This wooded area is mostly young forest, having been a vineyard at one time. There is a mix of black walnut, common hackberry, black cherry, Kentucky coffeetree, wild grape, mulberry and eastern red cedar with some planted conifers and fruit trees on the edges as well as herbaceous plants and sedges.
Spring wildflowers such as Virginia waterleaf, bloodroot, wild leeks, false Solomon’s Seal, and buttercups are found in the trail area. Enchanters nightshade as well as the tall bellflower are followed by Short’s aster and goldenrod in the fall.
View or download the trail map here:
Lake Erie South Bass Island Map
The variety of habitats make it a nice stop for birding in the spring migration season. The Eastern Fox Snake (Elaphe vulpine gloydi, state species of concern) and the melanistic form of the Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis, state species of concern) have also been recorded in the immediate vicinity.
The property will be open to public access daily from dawn to dusk. A loop walking path with a small parking area on Thompson Road have been installed. A bicycle rack, bench, brochure rack and donation box will be installed at the trailhead. The property is adjacent to the bicycle path on the island and will be a very visible addition to the areas for visitors to stop. Hiking, nature photography, bird watching and scientific study are allowed. No motorized vehicles or camping are permitted.
Thanks to Richard Gump, Nicky Fresch, and Matt Luecke for installing and mulching the trail and to Ken Farber for the layout.
Hope you visit and enjoy the Dodge Woods Preserve!