While Catawba Island is actually a peninsula, it has miles of Lake Erie shoreline and all the appeal of an island. From boating and beaches to a historic winery, nature provides the basis of Catawba Island's signature activities.
Visit a Bird and Butterfly Habitat
Connect to nature at Catawba island Township's Cedar Meadow Preserve. Open between dawn and dusk, the 62-acre nature reserve sits directly behind township offices and the fire hall. Stroll its pathways through mixed meadow, forest and wetland ecosystems. More than 22 species of butterflies have been identified here. They include common species, such as the monarch and swallowtail, and less familiar species such as the spring azure and red admiral. Wild strawberries, raspberries and roses add beauty and color to the preserve landscape. Mature walnut trees hint of the once active farm located at the site. The preserve is part of the Lake Erie Birding Trail and attracts migratory songbirds. Bird species observed at the preserve include yellow warblers, American redstarts and black-capped chickadees.
Enjoy Island Parks
Fish, boat and picnic at Catawba Island State Park. The 10-acre day use park sits along the west side of the peninsula providing access to Lake Erie. A boat launch connects pleasure boaters and anglers to the lake. Anglers cast for yellow perch, bass, channel catfish and walleye from the park's fishing pier. Swim at your own risk along the rocky beach, as it is without lifeguards. Ice fishing and skating offer winter outdoor experiences. It's also possible to spend winter days sledding at the township-operated Heigel Park, enjoy a summer stroll along the park's nature path, or play a game at its basketball, tennis and baseball facilities. A public boat launch at the park provides access to the island's West Harbor and to Lake Erie for water recreation.
Sample Local Wines
Sample Lake Erie wine vintages at Mon Ami Winery. One of the oldest wineries within the Lake Erie island region, Mon Ami provides tastings for a small fee at the wine bar in the historic winery's Chalet. Live entertainment on weekends and outdoor dining during the summer months provide a feast for the senses. In addition to a regular menu that includes vegetarian and gluten-free options, Mon Ami restaurant offers a Saturday seafood buffet, a Sunday brunch and champagne brunch. The wine shop showcases a selection of Mon Ami vintages, imported wines, foods and oils.
Celebrate Lake Erie Boating
Each spring the Catawba Island Boat Show launches Lake Erie’s boating season. The May weekend event showcases as many as 100 boats ranging from small inflatables to luxury yachts. Sponsored by the Catawba Island Club, vessels line the Catawba Island Marina on the northwest side of the island. The show offers an opportunity to view the latest models on display by dealers and to enjoy a demo ride. Live entertainment, local business exhibits, food, beer and wine tastings all add to the spirited party atmosphere. Admission and parking are free.