Enjoying Fall on the Shores of Lake Erie
The children are back in school, boats are being taken out of the water and winterized and cottages are getting closed up. It’s the end of the summer season in the area known as “Vacationland” – the Lake Erie coast between Toledo and the west Cleveland suburbs – but that doesn’t mean there’s no longer anything to do and see. In fact, the peacefulness of Lake Erie is matched only by the picturesque changing of the season — and the leaves.
Museums and sites continue to be open, including attractions like the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton or theRutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont. Some attractions are open, but reduce operating hours, such as the Sandusky Merry-Go-Round Museum.
The weekend of October 5 marks the Harvest Happenings in Osborn Park, part of the Erie MetroPark system. The annual event began as a tractor show by Firelands Pioneer Power Association, and turned into a two-day affair including children’s events, hayrides and a petting zoo. The weekend of October 12 marks the celebration of the Oak Harbor Apple Festival, which features a parade, children’s activities, and vendors. Most of all, the event shows off the downtown of Oak Harbor, a town that is in some respects a bedroom community for Toledo, but still maintains its small-town identity.
October 12 is the annual Marblehead Lighthouse Festival – the last chance of the year to tour the oldest continuously-operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. The event features children’s activities and a craft show.
Don’t forget to enjoy fall foliage throughout the area. I recommend East Harbor State Park. The park – not far from the Marblehead Lighthouse – continues to offer camping opportunities. And as leaves give way to snow, the park is available for sledding, snowmobiling and ice activities on the ice on Lake Erie – provided the lake freezes entirely.
But there are still several weeks before the first snowflake hits the ground. The campground offers a great spot to view fall foliage – walking, biking, or even driving. So don’t miss it – the leaves won’t be on the trees for much longer!