Explore Parks

Explore Headlands Beach State Park

Ohio boasts 75 state parks throughout its various regions. I purchased the Park Passport with a goal to visit all 75 parks within two years. I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences from each state park here.

headlands beach state park

Best Time of Year to Go

With its incredible popularity during the summer, I decided to explore Headlands Beach State Park during the winter months to enjoy the place in solitude. This state park features the largest natural sand beach at one mile long. There are many things to do at the park, including swimming, picnicking, fishing, hiking and sight seeing. So it depends on what you want to do while you’re here. If it’s sightseeing and photography anytime of year is great, but I prefer the winter months to avoid the crowds. If it’s to go swimming, enjoy the beach or have a picnic I suggest the warmer months of the year between May-September.

headlands dunes state nature preserve

The Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve

Many photographers enjoy this area for its boardwalk area, sandy beaches and dunes in the adjacent Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve (note: pets and picnicking are not permitted in the nature preserve). The nature preserve area protects highly specialized plants and animals occurring in an environment too hostile for most other organisms to survive.

Photography Tip: This area would be a great place for any portrait style photography, especially during golden hour.

I spent most of my time exploring the nature preserve since there was a lot to see and photograph in the area. Follow the trail off the boardwalk on the right and you’ll get close to Lake Erie and a close up view of the lighthouse. Although it was cold and windy, I really enjoyed walking in this area as the ice was starting to cover the water as well as the plants and bushes nearby.

headlands beach state park

It is free to enter and there is plenty of parking throughout the area. If you’re coming for swimming or picnicking, definitely stay within the area of the state park. If you are a photographer, sightseer, or just want to walk around I suggest visiting the adjacent nature preserve. This would also be a great place to watch the sunset (see my favorite sunset spots here). Either way, there is plenty to do and see in this area!

Have you ever explored Headlands Beach State Park or the nature preserve before?

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