Port Clinton Lighthouse, Port Clinton, Ohio

The Port Clinton Lighthouse came to be in Port Clinton, Ohio, on the southernmost shore of Lake Erie, on August 16, 2016. This lighthouse lies just beyond the fourteen acres of the Port Clinton Lakeshore Preserve along Perry Street. While a car ride might be most convenient, traveling on foot affords a closer view of its new surroundings.

The Port Clinton Lakeshore Preserve had been in the works since September 2009. The Trust for Public land secured the option to buy this area, which means that there is now a mile of public land running from the Port Clinton Beach to the Portage River. The Lighthouse is in the far background in this image on the left.

Just past the Lakeshore Preserve sign is a footpath, which is near the Magruder Hospital sign, which in turn is located across the street from the intersection of Perry and Fulton. From this spot, it’s just a few steps to the Lighthouse. This image was taken Saturday, November 26th, 2016. While tourist season is well over, it seems that lake-lovers will come out any day of the year when the sun is out.

Port Clinton has had a lighthouse since October 1832. This wooden lighthouse was built in 1896 and sat on the west pier of the Portage River until it was moved in 1952 to what is now Brands Marina. After much wrangling, the citizens of Port Clinton decided in 2013 the lighthouse would be settled here at Water Works Park north of the Derby Pond.

While on the west pier of the Portage River, this lighthouse had an oil house, but it did not have picnic tables or benches. (The oil house is still there.) These new amenities are most welcome (a portable tourist convenience is also nearby). This is a working lighthouse, with a fifth-order Fresnel lens. A placard placed in Water Works Park stated that this lighthouse would be fully opened in Spring 2017.

This is the view of Lake Erie from the back of the Lighthouse, looking due North toward Perry’s Monument in the far distance on South Bass Island. Marblehead Peninsula (with its own lighthouse) is to the East on the right.

The sun is going in and the weather is turning colder, but the fishing pier running north on the Portage River awaits. The monofilament fishing line collector stands at attention for the fishermen and women who are done for the day; a No Wake sign greets boaters on their way out into Lake Erie. A similar sign awaits upon their return. There is fishing on the southern end of the pier as well.

The waves are breaking along the east fishing pier; the head of the west fishing pier is where the Port Clinton Lighthouse used to stand. There are red and green lights marking the river’s mouth now.

This is the most unobstructed view possible from the fishing pier. Again, to the north, is Perry’s Monument on South Bass Island. (Everything there closes down in September.) With the wind and the waves crashing into the rocks, it’s really noisy out here. A No Wake sign is just behind me.

The weather is turning colder, so it is most definitely time to head back. This image was taken at 11:30 am, and the weather would continually grow more foul as the early afternoon progressed, until nightfall. This image looks south along the Portage River. Car traffic can pull in to park by the lake at the intersection of Perry and Jefferson, near Marco Pizza and Subway, which are both open today.

Though there were a few boats out on the lake today, these public docks are put up until next spring. The picnic tables here are empty and the Jet Express is docked till next season. It’s time to make our way back down Perry Street, for a hot lunch somewhere, as Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Frisch’s, Burger King, and Jolly Roger’s are open.

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