Bass Lake Preserve is a 606-acre preserve in Munson Township.
It includes the 160-acre Bass Lake, a treasured natural resource in Geauga County for many generations, and Spring Brook Sanctuary, a State Nature Preserve protecting
Ohio's last known indigenous population of brook trout. It is Geauga Park District’s intent to protect this natural area in
The Bass Lake community was established on the west side of the lake in the early 20th century, consisting primarily of summer cottages. In the 1950s residents began to build new and convert older cottages into year-round residences. In addition to recreation the land was also used for farming and maple syrup production, and celery was grown in a nearby peat bog.
A fishing pier has been added at Bass Lake Preserve to allow for pier fishing by anyone with a valid Ohio fishing license.
Access to Bass Lake for boating is open to the public by permit only from dawn to dusk. In deference to the management plan approved by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Geauga Park District restricts the number of boats permitted on the lake each day. All Ohio boating and fishing licensing and safety regulations apply.
Fish may be taken only with rod and reel or cane pole. Collecting live bait is not permitted. Geauga Park District encourages catch-and-release practices to help maintain a balanced and healthy fish population.
Open water boating season is generally April through November, when anglers may enjoy catches of largemouth bass, yellow bullhead, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch and white crappie.
To reserve a boat permit, click here.
To view a map of Bass Lake Preserve, click here.
Bass Lake is a natural lake on the Chagrin River. The water level of the lake is maintained by a low dam on the Chagrin a short distance downstream of the outlet. The shallow lake lies in an ancient glacial flat and is largely surrounded by extensive wetlands. The sheltering wetlands have protected the lake from shoreline development, resulting in a multitude of exceptional ecological communities.
Scenes on parts of the lake today are as they must have appeared to early inhabitants of the region. About 90 percent of the shoreline is mantled in trees, shrubs and marsh vegetation.
Bass Lake is an important stopover point during the great spring and fall migrations of waterfowl and neotropical songbirds. Bald eagles nest in the lowland woods near the lake. Beavers ply the swampy tributaries. Native brook trout still swim in small streams that flow into the lake. Wild rice grows in the marshy margins.
The lakeshore forest is characterized by red maple, silver maple, swamp white oak, pin oak and American elm. It is home to wild turkey, ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer, masked shrew and northern long-eared bat – species that illustrate a mature, complex ecosystem with significant diversity. Northern birds such as the yellow-bellied sapsucker and the dark-eyed junco – rare nesting birds in Ohio – also habitually appear here.
Click the map below to see Bass Lake Preserve plotted by Google Maps and get directions.
From Cleveland and points east: Travel I-90 E until Exit 189 at OH-91 toward Willoughby/Willoughby Hills. Turn left onto SOM Center Road/OH-91. Turn left onto Chardon Road/US-6. Turn right onto Auburn Road/CR-4. Turn left onto Wilson Mills Road/CR-8. Turn right onto Basswood Road and continue 0.6 miles to park entrance.
From Erie and points north: Take I-90 W until Exit 200 at OH-44 toward Chardon/Painesville. Turn left onto OH-44 S. Turn right onto Girdled Road/CR-202. Turn left onto Auburn Road/CR-409 and follow Auburn Road. Turn left onto Wilson Mills Road/CR-8. Turn right onto Basswood Road and continue 0.6 miles to park entrance.
From Warren and points west: Take I-422 W and stay straight onto Main Market Road/US-422, then follow Main Market Road. Turn right onto Madison Road/Main Street/OH-528/OH-88. Turn left onto High Street/OH-168 and follow OH-168 N, which becomes East Park Street/OH-87 E. Turn right onto North Cheshire Street, which becomes Claridon Troy Road/CR-3. Turn slight left onto Taylor Wells Road/CR-28. Turn left onto Mayfield Road/US-322. Turn right onto Auburn Road/CR-4. Turn slight right onto Wilson Mills Road/CR-8. Turn right onto Basswood Road and continue 0.6 miles to park entrance.