• Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Loop

  • RT Distance:

    1 Miles

Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Lake
Scenic

Encompassing some of the last undeveloped shoreline along Lake Erie, Headland Dunes is a refuge for a variety of shoreline plants native to the Atlantic Coast.

From the parking lots at the far eastern end of Headlands Beach State Park, head to the sign for the Headland Dunes State Nature Preserve, and follow the trail marked with white painted T-posts. The trail is completely on sand, so it's a bit more strenuous than a normal hike due to the sand shifting as you walk.

The trail follows the back of the dunes and heads towards the point of the beach, where Fairport Harbor Lighthouse sits, which is an excellent addition to the hike for an additional 0.3 of a mile. To return back to the parking lot, simply follow the shoreline along the lake around the dunes and back to the edge of the state park's beach.

The dunes themselves are off-limits to walking, as they house numerous plant species that are rare in Ohio and are more commonly found along the Atlantic coast. In fact, some of the plants found there are the only locality in Ohio you can find them. 

Combine the unique flora with the fact that Headlands Beach is the largest sand beach in Ohio (over a mile long!) and it make it a worthy visit for any adventurer passing through Northeastern Ohio.

Pack List

  • Hiking Shoes or Sandals
  • Water Bottle
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Dan Barr

A Buckeye with a backpack and a bad case of wanderlust

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