About Headlands Beach State Park

The trademark of Headlands Beach State Park is its mile-long natural sand beach, the largest in the state. In addition to its popularity during the summer season with picnickers and swimmers, the area is home to many plant species typically found only along the Atlantic Coast.The Lake Erie shoreline of Ohio shows the dynamic effects the lake has had on our changing landscape. The lake has shaped Ohio's natural and cultural development for thousands of years. Erie, meaning wildcat ("it is long-tailed") is derived from the tribal name of the Indian culture who inhabited this area until 1655.Lake Erie's beginning can be traced to the glacial era of Ohio's geologic history when the state was covered by ice over a mile thick. During the Pleistocene (Ice Age), continental glaciers advanced and receded from Ohio at least four times. The scouring action of the ice sheets widened and deepened an existing river valley and created the Lake Erie basin, which slowly filled with meltwater as the ice receded northeastward to Canada. Over the next several thousand years, changes in the climate caused the ice front to recede during warmer periods and remain stationary when it was colder. When the ice receded, the meltwater lake would drop in altitude, and when the ice was stationary, the lake would form a shoreline with sandy beaches, dunes and sand bars.

Features & Amenities

Boating, beach, swimming, hiking, Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve, shelter house

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