Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is located on South Bass Island in western Lake Erie. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry not only had the best name in the War of 1812, his naval victory near here on September 10, 1813 was a turning point. The 1817 Rush-Bagot Agreement is still in effect today, assuring that the U.S. and Canada maintain the world’s longest undefended international border. The 352-foot tall memorial tower was built between 1912-15 and became part of the National Park Service (NPS) system in 1936.
Museum, film, 352-foot tall memorial tower, black squirrels
After departing from your ferry or airplane, head to the NPS visitor center for the free museum and film, then pay for your ticket to ascend the granite memorial tower in an elevator. On a sunny day the views from the 317-foot tall viewing level across Lake Erie are splendid, including the shoreline of Canada and the roller coasters at Cedar Point. The rotunda at the tower’s base also contains the remains of three American and three British soldiers who died during the 1813 battle.
It is about two miles from the ferry terminal to the NPS visitor center, but if the weather is nice it is a pleasant walk on roads that are not busy.
The windows facing the memorial tower at the NPS visitor center are mirrored, which makes for a really interesting and distorted reflection.
Summer (May to October is the only time you can enter the memorial)
Open seasonally: https://www.nps.gov/pevi/planyourvisit/hours.htm
Free for museum, $10 per person for elevator to top of tower or free with America the Beautiful pass
South Bass Island is only accessible by boat or airplane. Ferry service allows you to bring your own vehicle to the island, which is small enough to walk everywhere or drive in a rental golf cart.
South Bass Island State Park has more than 100 primitive campsites on the island and East Harbor State Park on the mainland has more than 500 campsites with modern facilities.
River Raisin National Battlefield Park (Michigan)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio)
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