Headlands Beach State Park

Headlands Beach State Park
Headlands Beach State Park

Headlands Beach State Park is a scenic place along the shores of Lake Erie. Known as Ohio’s largest natural sand beach, this park offers a stunning sandy shoreline, ideal for all activities. Beyond its pristine beaches, Headlands Beach State Park features well-maintained hiking trails that travel through sandy dunes. This provides opportunities for bird-watching and wildlife observation.

The park is renowned for its stunning sunsets, making it a popular destination for those looking to capture the beauty of the sunset. With its accessibility, geological interest, and educational programs, Headlands Beach State Park is a destination for nature enthusiasts and those seeking relaxation by the waters of Lake Erie.

Headlands Beach State Park Location

Headlands Beach State Park is situated on the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio, making it the largest natural sand beach in the state. It is located just West of Fairport Harbor and North of Painesville, OH. The park is easily accessible off Route 2 by heading North on Route 44.

Scenery at Headlands Beach

The park’s main attraction is its picturesque sandy beach, offering breathtaking views of Lake Erie and plenty of space for relaxation, sunbathing, and picnicking. The park is renowned for its stunning sunsets, making it a favorite spot for visitors to capture memorable moments as the sun dips below the horizon. The park’s unique features, including glacial grooves in nearby Kelleys Island, offer insights into the geological history of the region.

headlands beach state park

Activities at Headlands Beach State Park

Nature Trails

Headlands Beach State Park has a network of hiking and nature trails that wind through sandy dunes, providing opportunities for bird watching and wildlife observation. The hiking trails are designed for the novice and expert. Whether you are a trained athlete or just trying to get into shape, there is a hiking trail at Headlands State Park for you.


The park offers cycling enthusiasts a pleasant 1.5-mile paved bike path that connects to nearby neighborhoods along the lakeshore. Cyclists from the area frequent the trails to exercise and enjoy nature. Being so close to Lake Erie on the bike trail is an experience like no other.

Picnic Facilities

The park features well-maintained picnic areas with tables and grills, creating an ideal environment for family gatherings and outdoor dining. The areas are clean and family-friendly. Be sure to check with the park if you need to reserve one depending on your group size.

Fairport Harbor Lighthouse

Nearby is Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Lighthouse. This adds an element of maritime history to the park. This lighthouse serves as a beacon for incoming ship and pleasure boat traffic. It also has a walkway out to it. This is a popular area for shore fishermen to enjoy catching walleye, perch, and steelhead.

Headlands Bird Watching

Headlands Beach is a vital stopover point for migratory birds, making it a prime spot for birdwatchers to observe various avian species, especially during migration seasons. There are countless species of ducks that migrate through the are, and most will make a stop in the harbor for you to enjoy watching.

Educational Programs

Park rangers host educational programs and interpretive exhibits that provide visitors with valuable information about the local ecology and history. Check the website or call the park to get dates and times. Most of the programs run in the summertime.


The nearby Grand River and Painesville Township Park offer fishing opportunities for those interested in angling. The Fairport Harbor pier is also a great place to fish for walleye and steelhead. You have the choice of bringing your boat as well, there is a public boat ramp right on the grand river. Shore fisherman have the opportunity to fish the calm harbor waters or the beach of the Headlands.


This park exists because of State conservation efforts. The park preserves its natural environment and actively participates in conservation efforts to protect the dune ecosystem and native wildlife.


The park provides ADA-compliant features to ensure that all visitors can enjoy the beauty of the Lake Erie shoreline.

Local Attractions

The nearby town of Mentor, Ohio, offers dining and shopping opportunities, making it easy to plan a day trip.