When you think about Northwest Ohio, the phrase “scuba diving” is probably the last one to come to mind. But believe it or not, there is a place where you can do just that — the landlocked White Star Quarry.
This stunning manmade lake features crystal-clear water and diving depths of up to 80 feet. If you’re planning a visit to White Star Quarry, here is everything you need to know about this one-of-a-kind destination.
About White Star Quarry
White Star Quarry Ohio has become an extremely popular place to swim, fish, kayak, and of course, scuba dive. Considered a hidden gem, the park is located a short day trip from Toledo or Sandusky Ohio in the small town of Gibsonburg.
During much of the year, visibility at the quarry reaches 40 feet, making White Star Quarry one of the clearest lakes in the Midwest. In the designated swimming area, depths reach a maximum of about 15 feet. In the scuba diving section, though, adventurous visitors can explore 80 feet below the surface.
White Star Quarry is man-made but is widely known for rivaling some of the natural lakes throughout the state. It lies within the 800-acre White Star Park. In addition to the lake itself, the park features hiking trails, a picnic area, campgrounds, and a playground.
White Star Quarry Things to Do
The lake is, by far, the most popular attraction. Featuring a sandy beach, it includes a safe swimming area that is manned by lifeguards throughout the warm season. You will find families coming to swim in the safe, shallow area — some of them even bring their dogs along.
The diving area is farther out in the lake. People who are interested in partaking can rent their equipment on-site.
White Star Quarry even offers night diving once a week! The depths and crystal clarity of the water are two of the biggest draws here. However, you might be surprised about what lies below the surface — from friendly fish to sunken boats.
Boating & Fishing
Aside from swimming and scuba diving, you will find people partaking in many other activities around White Star Quarry. Non-motorized boats are permitted, so the lake is a popular place for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Anglers will find trout, white perch, catfish, bass, bluegill, and much more.
More Things to Do Near White Star Quarry
Go Biking at Kelleys Island
If you are planning on exploring Northwest Ohio, Lake Erie is less than a one-hour drive from Gibsonburg. Here, you can find Kelleys Island, a stunning, car-free island in the center of the lake.
Because automobiles are prohibited, the island is a popular place for hiking and biking, and you can find equipment rentals for the day.
Explore Creek Bend Farm Park
Just a 10-minute drive from Gibsonburg in the town of Lindsey Ohio is Creek Bend Farm Park. This fascinating property is part of the Sandusky Park complex.
The 310-acre property features 2 miles of nature trails, a nature center, and a historic house. Also, it’s home to a bird corridor that offers the chance to see some truly unique avian life.
Sample Some Local Wines
The greater Lake Erie area is Ohio wine country, and one of the best wineries near Gibsonburg is Chateau Winery & Vineyard in nearby Helena Ohio.
Helena is a mere 7 miles from Gibsonburg, making it the perfect spot for a day trip while visiting White Star Quarry. This stunning winery is one of the top attractions of the area, featuring local vintages available for tasting and dining.
Get Spooked at the Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
Nearby Sandusky has countless attractions, and one worth mentioning is the Ghostly Manor Thrill Center. This unique attraction offers visitors the chance to enjoy some spooky Halloween fun at any time of the year.
Of course, it is so much more than a haunted house. You’ll find attractions here from bounce houses to a skating rink, playground, and mini-golf course.
Restaurants Near White Star Quarry
Oogie’s Country Pizza is a local pizzeria dishing up specialty pizzas and subs. You will find the best of fine dining at low prices here. Oogie’s is a beloved small business with plenty of local fans.
It might sound like an odd place to eat, but Ole Zim’s is actually one of the premier fine dining locations in the Gibsonburg area. In addition to serving delicious food, it is a popular wedding and event locale. The menu features family-style country dining with hearty, rustic portions.
Madison Street Tavern is the go-to place in Gibsonburg to get delicious, high-quality pub fare. This locally owned tavern features an extensive menu of beer on tap, as well as burgers, tacos, and a variety of other comfort food items.
Hungry Bear Diner & Ice Cream is the best of small-town Ohio — locally owned and featuring all the classic diner favorites. You’ll find a menu full of breakfast items, as well as sandwiches, soups, hamburgers, and appetizers. Save room for an ice cream sundae.
Lodging Near White Star Quarry
Great Wolf Lodge Resort is undoubtedly one of the most famous places to stay in Sandusky. Located roughly 45 minutes from Gibsonburg, this luxury resort is right on Lake Erie. It offers one of the most upscale resorts in the Midwest and the chance to explore the amazing indoor water park.
If a vacation rental is more your style, Lakefront Cottage is a great choice. This stunning two-bedroom rental offers the chance to view unparalleled scenes of Lake Erie, including bird and water life. If you’re looking for a beautiful and peaceful place to stay near White Star Quarry, this could be a great option.
Campers have long made White Star Park their place to stay, meaning that you don’t even have to leave the park after enjoying your day at the lake. The extensive campgrounds have tent pitches and RV hookups featuring water and electricity.
During your stay, you’ll have the chance to enjoy all the amenities of this campsite along with easy access to the lake.
If you prefer a townhouse rental, this vacation spot in nearby Tiffin could be the choice for you. This stylish house is located in downtown Tiffin alongside the nearby historic district, filled with shopping and dining options.
Though you’ll be in town, you’re only a hop, a skip, and a jump from the wild natural beauty of Ohio lake country.
Prefer to keep things simple? Great Lakes Motel is located in nearby Fremont Ohio. It is a comfortable place without any extra frills or complications — just a safe and quiet motel where you can lay your head for the night before getting back out to explore.
FAQs About White Star Quarry
How much does entry into White Star Quarry cost?
If you simply want to enjoy the park, beach, or playground, admission is completely free. There is a fee for swimming and scuba diving.
How deep is White Star Quarry?
White Star Quarry ranges in depth from quite shallow and easy to navigate near the shore to about 80 feet at its deepest points. These extreme depths are at the quarry’s dive sites, however.
The designated swimming area features a sandy beach, lifeguards, and a maximum depth of about 15 feet.
When is White Star Quarry open?
White Star Quarry opens seasonally from April to November. Depending on the weather, the park may open earlier or stay open later in the season.
If it is unseasonably warm, you may be able to enjoy a few extra weeks of swimming and diving.
Can you kayak at White Star Quarry?
Boats without motors are permitted at White Star Quarry, and you can even find equipment rentals for both kayaking and scuba diving nearby.
Many people enjoy fishing at this stunning location, as well as snorkeling and boating.
Are Pets Allowed at White Star Quarry?
Visitors to White Star Beach may bring dogs along provided that they are kept on a leash. Dogs may not swim, and all owners must clean up after them to keep the park and beach clean and safe for other visitors.
Make the Most of Your Time at White Star Quarry
It’s easy to spend a whole day at White Star Quarry. From scuba diving to swimming to kayaking to fishing, you’ll find plenty of activities. But, your fun time in Northwest Ohio doesn’t have to end there. The region has tons more to explore as well.