We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Nice and lots to do, but pick the right campsite.”

East Harbor State Park
Ranked #251 of 2,106 things to do in Ohio
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 11, 2012

We love tent camping and decided to try something "new" (we're from Delaware) by going to EAst Harbor STate Park in Ohio (Marblehead, near Sandusky Ohio).

The visit was a good one overall. The campground was reasonably priced (27$ for electric equipped) and it turned out that there was a LOT of things we could do in the area. So if you have restless car-equipped campers, you can drive to find various attractions and activities.

On the plus side:
+The staff there was SUPER friendly
+The site is pretty large with many types of campsites
+There's a walmart super center, pancake breakfast place (not a chain restaurant), and many other venues for eating and supplying needs within just a few miles of the park. However, the park feels remote and non-commerical. Nice balance with immediate campground feeling combined with accessible ammenities.
+We stayed in C section (They are lettered-- C was one of the pet-friendly and electric sections). Our bathrooms there were great. Clean, screened (so not buggy), with hot showers, and facilities for washing clothes.
+The naturalist knows just about anything you could ask about when it comes to plants and wildlife. Although there could have been more programs, in my opinion, she was very well informed.
+There are bike rentals (10.00 per day when we were there)
+Most sites were grassy or with partial grass ground along with paved area for car/truck. So you can easily get to-from vehicle and the grassy areas make for easy stake-pounding and tent set up.
+The park concession area sells firewood by the bundle as well as ice and other basic needs.

There were some issues you might want to keep in mind
-We stayed in C100 and it was NOT shaded at all. It became brutally hot in summer sun. Many sites were equally lacking in foilage and trees (at least in C seciton. Section A had very nice old growth tree cover, but it doesn't provide electric hook up).
-The sites can be relatively small. If you like privacy and aboreal space, then you might be disappointed depending on what site you choose (see advice below).
-rental bikes had odd, old fashioned handlebars that made them less than easy to use.
-We would have appreciated a greater number of naturalist or educational programs.
-If you are an adult who prefers a quiet setting with few kids, then I would consider another park. This park is EXCELLENT for families, but there were children on bikes riding past all the time. They were well behaved, but a little noisy (naturally).

Some suggestions:
When using the online reseveration system, pay close attention to the campsite description. When you click on the site number, a boxes opens that indicates whether that site is fully, partially or not shaded. Frankly, I wish I had taken that more seriously and picked a more shaded site. If you have an RV with AC, then it's not a big deal, but if you in a tent, keep this in mind.

There were a LOT of RV's. If you use one, you'll feel right at home. But if you are a tent camper (as we are), then you might feel intimidated. When we were there, I'd say over 75% of campers were in RV's, pull-alongs, etc. Not many people "roughing it" there.

Keep in mind that Cedar Point Amusement Park and some water parks are nearby. So there's lots you can do if you budget for it. If you know you are going to Cedar Point, go to their site to look for discounts or promotions. It was over 50.00 per person when we went. I wish we had done more homework to line up discounts.

Check out the lighthouse and islands if you can, but budget for it (ferry boat tickets, bike rentals on islands, etc).

15  Thank Brett-n-Jacob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (125)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"camp store"
in 21 reviews
"nice beach"
in 15 reviews
"outdoor movie"
in 3 reviews
"washed ashore"
in 2 reviews
"swimming beach"
in 4 reviews
"nice campground"
in 5 reviews
"kayak launch"
in 2 reviews
"coffee maker"
in 2 reviews
"water pressure"
in 2 reviews
"full hookups"
in 3 reviews
"cedar point"
in 11 reviews
"camping trip"
in 4 reviews
"full service"
in 3 reviews
"port clinton"
in 6 reviews
"fire ring"
in 4 reviews
"shade trees"
in 2 reviews
"movie night"
in 2 reviews

116 - 120 of 125 reviews

Reviewed July 3, 2012 via mobile

We had our family reunion here over the weekend. We had a little trouble finding it. There wasn't good directions. When we got there the bathhouse was closed down due to it being structurally unsafe. But the place was very clean, I could run around in bare feet safely. There is a place to climb down to swim in your own little place there in the lake, which is good, considering the fact the beach looks incredibly busy. Bugs weren't a problem either.

1  Thank Horselover1832
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2012

I grew-up in this area, and back in those days when money wasn't flowing so readily, we picnicked here often. As teenagers, it was great place for bikini watching; but I went back with my own family and discovered what a nice, family friendly, inexpesive weekend this could be. We set-up in the State Park campground. They have very few full hook-up sites. Mostly only electric, but the site we had was sizable with a paved pad. About $30 a night; most of the other local campgrounds were getting twice that, and didn't have the largest sand beach in the area to boast about; only some dinky pools that blurred the boundaries between pool and hot tub. The grounds were clean and other campers "fun loving" but not disrespectful or rowdy. Lots of hiking, picnicking, biking, fishing, and of course, the beach; that is very clean for the size. Only the occasional dead fish that had washed ashore. With all the surrounding attractions, a great value for just a weekend.

3  Thank VinceR1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

Last weekend we camped at a private campground that did not have a pool, so we thought we'd go take a swim in Lake Erie to cool off. But, the swimming area at East Harbor is so shallow, you can't even get your knees wet unless you sit down. Sitting down in that water didn't seem like a great idea, so I headed back to the beach. As I got closer, I tried to figure out what I saw lying on the shore -- three things a few feet apart right where the water met the sand. Dead fish! Big ones. Dead, decaying fish. It was definitely time to head back to the camper for a shower!

I had camped at East Harbor probably 15+ years prior and visited the swimming beach. From what I can recall, the campground was nice, and I don't remember the beach being that bad. But after this most recent visit, I definitely will not be back to the beach.

2  Thank ObetzAmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed May 25, 2012

We are die hard disk golf fans. We've been to courses in southern Ohio, Michigan, and Florida. Where we are at right now, there just isn't a close course (there are excellent courses in Bowling Green and near the University of Toledo). When we heard about a course at East Harbor we couldn't get there fast enough. I have no clue who designed this course but it clearly wasn't someone who has ever played disk golf. These are the most narrow fairways we have ever played (many were no more than 8-10 feet wide). What made it worse was the terrain outside the fairway. You will want to wear jeans and long sleeves if you throw even just a few feet off the fairway. What is very said is that some of the fairways are not even maintained. We had to skip several holes for fear that we'd loose our disks on the fairway. And when you end the course, be very careful - you need to walk across the course just leave. This could be a fun course is the fairways were wider and if the park was better maintained.

1  Thank Ria83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed East Harbor State Park also viewed


Been to East Harbor State Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing