Nickel Plate Beach, Huron, Ohio

Nickel Plate Beach, with its nearby lighthouse, has 12 acres of swimming, picnicking, fishing, and volleyball. Nickel Plate is located off US Route 6 in Huron, Ohio. There are enough activities to fill a long day; adding a short drive to get to nearby Lighthouse Pier would make for a pleasant evening.

Update - August 2019

Nickel Plate Beach re-opened on August 7th, 2019. It had been closed for two weeks due to two drownings that occurred in July. Some new safety measures have been implemented, which include new signage and lifesaving equipment. Local residents say this is not enough. There are plans in the works by Huron City Council for video monitoring of water currents near the jetty, which have caused many drownings over the years. The best thing to do is to keep on eye on the water conditions and stay safe.

This sign welcomes beach-goers arriving by vehicle at Nickel Plate Drive via Tiffin Avenue. There is a $5 charge per car, in-season, at the entrance to the park; pedestrians and bicyclists may enter free-of-charge. The 2014 Lake Erie Guidebook states that foot traffic may enter at the right-of-way on McKinley Street to the east.

Nickel Plate Beach has three nice sand volleyball courts all in a row, which are located just beyond the parking lot. The playground is also pictured here. The small blue cinderblock building in the distance is not currently in use, and this beach's portable, accessible amenities are located near the parking lot toward the right. Life rings are also located near here.

This view of Nickel Plate Beach looks southeast. Sunday, August 31st was overcast for most of the day and the water was very cold. The temperature passed 80 deg. pretty early in the day, and the shore was fairly crowded by 1 pm.

This northwesterly view of the beach shows not only the shoreline but also most of the 1,400 foot Huron Harbor east jetty in the background. Just past the trees is Huron Lime, Inc., which produces lime for use in the steel industry, water treatment, and agriculture. This breakwater is more-or-less traversable, with the best point of entry just out of view on the left.

The foliage surrounding this breakwater is starting to show signs of autumn. The limestone blocks form somewhat of a pathway through the trees here, but it's rough-going in spots. There are intricate carvings of names and dates from years past, including one from 1915. Out past the trees on the right are a few fishing spots, and they also provide a good view of the mouth of the Huron River.

This jetty has several spots where ramblers can get a great view of Nickel Plate Beach, and this is one of them. This spot is on the right-hand side (east-facing), and receives quite a bit of use. Along the other side of this path is a spot that looks westward toward the Lighthouse Pier and Huron Lime.

This is the main picnic area at Nickel Plate Beach. (The parking lot area is just behind the camera.) There are trash cans, which makes picnicking much easier. Also, there are many other picnic tables closer to the beach. There are fewer beach gulls flocking to this area, however.

The Nickel Plate Beach Lighthouse isn't too easily accessed from Nickel Plate Beach, but it does make for nice viewing from the shore or in the water. Looking closely just to the left of the base of the Lighthouse are some very sure-footed ramblers. The Lighthouse is indeed accessible to the public from the western side of the Huron River.

The Huron Boat Basin marina building is a great place to start or end a day on the water. This marina, which is air conditioned with amenities, has several publications that are free of charge. Two of the most comprehensive are Ohio's Lake Erie Public Access Guidebook, Coast Edition, and the Rivers Edition. Boaters can make arrangements for dockage here, and there is also a gift shop. The marina building is located at 417 North Main Street, at Main Street and Cleveland Road West.

These picnic shelters, which are near the Huron Boat Basin marina building, will be filling up soon. There are grills for hungry picnickers. Just out-of-view on the left is ample public parking. The building between the shelters is Comfort Inn, and past that is the Brass Pelican bar & grille. Pathways lead both to the marina and to the walkway just out of view past the right-hand shelter.

After winding north from the Huron Boat Basin marina building past the Comfort Inn River's Edge and the Brass Pelican, Main Street leads to the Huron Rotary Centennial Park and the Lighthouse Pier walkway. Another way to access the Lighthouse Pier walkway is from Lake Front Park. This spot is a great birding area.

The Lighthouse Pier offers amazing views of the mouth of the Huron River and all of the boats coming and going. This jetty extends some two-thirds of a mile onto the lake and is fully open to the public. About 1,800 feet are paved and handicap accessible. Fishing is permitted here.

This handicap accessible observation platform was added in 2012. There are benches to sit on that offer views of the river, the lake, and the terrain. Barely noticeable on the lower left of this image is the start of the trail that will take ramblers out onto the giant limestone blocks leading to the Lighthouse itself.

The first Huron Lighthouse was erected in 1835, and the current Lighthouse was built in 1939. It was the first Lake Erie lighthouse to have an electrically powered beacon, and it has a 12-mile radius. The pier was extended at that time to its current length, and the Lighthouse now sits on 68 acres of dense foliage. The view from this breakwater must undoubtedly be amazing.

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