Kelleys Island Ohio

kelleys island ohio
kelleys island ohio

Kelleys Island Ohio is situated in the western basin of Lake Erie. The island stretches four square miles and is home to about 250 permanent residences. During the summer months, people from all over vacation to visit Kelleys Island. The island is popular because of its relaxed atmosphere. With endless things to do on the island, it makes a great vacation spot for families and friends. Some of the more popular activities on the island include fishing, swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, wine tasting, and hiking.

Kelleys Island Ohio is just a short ferry trip from Marblehead, OH. You can take your car, truck, and boat to the island for convenience. If you don’t want to take a vehicle, there are golf cart rentals on the island. These make sightseeing on the island easy. If you boat to the island, there is a public marina located on the south side of the island.

Where is Kelleys Island Ohio Located?

kelleys island Ohio

Kelleys Island Ohio is located in the western basin of Lake Erie just 5 miles North of Marblehead lighthouse. The island is located just South of the Canadian border and Pelee Island. This island is surrounded by other islands, shoals, and reefs. The island is easy to get to and has become a destination for tourists from all over the country due to its relaxed atmosphere.

Getting to Kelleys Island is easy. Either hop on the ferry boat, an airplane, or drive your boat. The ferry and airplane services offer online booking and all the information you need. If you drive your boat to the island, there is a marina for docking on the south side of the island.

Things to do on Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island has endless things to do. You can rent a golf cart or bicycle and tour the island that way. There are world-famous glacial grooves located in Kelleys Island State Park to view. The state park was created to protect the geological wonder. There are tours available or you can visit them on your own. Some of the glacial grooves are 400 ft. deep and were discovered in the 1830’s. Additionally, the State Park offers a campground and trails to use.

With Kelleys Island being near the mainland, getting there is easy. The trip is quick and affordable. Some say that a vacation on Kelleys Island is more affordable than Put-in-Bay. There are even camping options at the State Park to make your stay even more affordable.

Fishing from a boat or shore around the island is popular in the spring. Smallmouth, walleye, and perch live around Kelleys Island year-round. The rocky underwater shoreline allows for great habitat. Smallmouth bass can be seen spawning in the shallows in the spring.

Kelleys Island Beaches

Along with exploring Kelleys Island State Park, there are fossils to be found on the beaches. Many people comb the beaches looking for ancient animals carved into rocks. Yooperlite has become popular to look for on the beach as well. Yooperlite is a rock that glows under a black light at night. The beaches offer swimming and sunbathing as well. Kelleys Island beaches are family friendly. Lake Erie beaches offer great views of other Lake Erie Islands and the water. Equally important there is also a shallow shipwreck on a beach that can be explored by swimming or snorkeling. This is most certainly a must-do for history buffs.

Kelleys Island Kayaks and Fishing

Water sports are a common activity on Kelleys Island. You can bring your boat or kayak via the Kelleys Island ferry or drive your boat to the island. There are also rentals available on the island if you do not have access to a boat. North Bay on Kelleys Island is a great place to swim, waterski, and tube in the calm mornings and evenings. The fishing is great for many species close to the island. The rocky shoreline creates a habitat for fish to hang around all year long. Walleye, perch, and smallmouth frequent the rocky areas around Kelleys Island. Some of the best freshwater fishing in the world takes place around Kelleys Island.

Glacial Grooves

Explore the glacial grooves on Kelleys Island that were discovered in 1830. This state memorial has a viewing platform and hiking trails around it. The state created the park to preserve the glacial grooves. It is a history lesson that the whole family will enjoy. There is an opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime pictures of these exposed grooves from the past. These glacial grooves are 15-400 feet deep and average about 35 feet wide. They are a true site to see on Kelleys Island. There is also a wetland in the park open for exploration. The wetland has diverse wildlife which can be viewed.

Birdwatching on the Island

Birdwatching on Kelleys Island has become popular. Accordingly, Lake Erie is home to some of the most diverse waterfowl in the US. Birdwatchers come in the spring and fall to observe migratory birds. Some of the more common birds to watch are Mallards, Canadian Geese, Bald Eagles, and owls. People come from all over the world to bird watch on the Lake Erie islands.

Kelleys Island Ohio Lodging

Kelleys Island offers plenty of places to stay. There are hotels, bed and breakfasts, and private rentals on Kelleys Island. There are also cottages and condos available for rent from private owners. The state park offers a campground if you prefer a more nature-intended primitive stay. Many of the Kelleys Island hotels and accommodations are centrally located around grocery stores, restaurants, delis, and bars for you to enjoy.

Along with all the lodging options on Kelleys Island come the amenities. Most places offer easy access to downtown, boat ramps, and offer a quiet stay. Lastly, Pools and community spaces are an option with some of the lodging on the island.