Kelleys Island

The storm front that came in yesterday brought more than heavy rain and tornado watches. We woke up to 57 degree temperature and 20-30 mph winds, it never got above 65 all day, and the winds made it feel like it was in the mid 50’s.

There’s three ways to get to Kelleys Island; ferry, small plane, and personal boat. We chose to take the thirty minute ferry ride since we didn’t have a boat and I wasn’t going to get in a small plane with the strong winds. Truth be told, I don’t like getting on a plane when it’s a clear and sunny day.

Kelleys Island looking from Marblehead Lighthouse
Kelleys Island looking from Marblehead Lighthouse

The lake was a little choppy on the way over and back. Inside the passenger cabin, I watched the cars and trucks roll back and forth, and side to side, a each time we hit a wave. I thought it was rather funny that the ferry operator decided to hang a poster on the wall that showed all of the shipwrecks of Lake Erie. A little maritime humor for the nervous passengers?

Crossing Lake Erie
Crossing Lake Erie

We got off the ferry at the Seaway Marina and decided to stop in for brunch before heading out adventuring. The cafe serves a number of breakfast dishes, sandwiches and home made soups until 2:00. The soup of the day sounded really good but we ordered breakfast and glad we did because the sausage gravy over eggs and red potatoes was really good with warm biscuits.

Seaway Marina Coffee Shop
Seaway Marina Coffee Shop

The Island is approximately 4.5 square miles, and has 300+ residents. There’s a 677 acre state park on the northern portion of the island that has several trails for hikers and cyclists. Since we aren’t cyclists, or hikers, we chose to rent a golf cart to do our adventuring.

Our mode of transportation for the day
Our mode of transportation for the day
Kelleys Island Historical Association
Kelleys Island Historical Association
A victorian house with a great lawn ornament
A victorian house with a great lawn ornament
Lawn ornament
Lawn ornament

One of the “must see” places on the island is the Glacial Grooves. According to the information sign, about 35,000 years ago a great continental glacier flowed from Canada into northern Ohio. After the ice melted (about 10,000 years ago) the grooves carved into the limestone bedrock by the action of the glacier remained. Due to their size and accessibility, they are the most famous glacial grooves in the world.

Glacial Grooves
Glacial Grooves
Glacial Grooves
Glacial Grooves
Glacial Grooves
Glacial Grooves

The State Park has semi-enclosed cove with a beach.  On the day we visited it was deserted except for a pair of Canadian Geese, I’m sure if the weather was warmer more people would be there testing out the water.

State Park Beach
State Park Beach

Another landmark of the island is Inscription Rock, a large limestone rock believed to have 300 to 400 year old pictographs from indians of the Erie Tribe. Unfortunately, the weather has taken it’s toll on the rock and the inscriptions are now nearly obliterated.

Inscription Rock
Inscription Rock

Once back on the mainland we headed a few miles away to the Marblehead lighthouse

Marblehead Lighthouse
Marblehead Lighthouse
Lighthouse keeper's house
Lighthouse keeper’s house

In total area, Lake Erie is the twelfth largest freshwater lake in the world and the most shallow of the five Great Lakes. It is about 210 miles long, 57 miles wide, with a shoreline of approximately 871 miles; and a depth of 210 feet.

If the weather was better we would have probably spent more time checking out the lake since we are both “water people”. We did find out that there is a Great Lake Circle Tour. A 6,500 mile scenic road system that connects all of the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Circle Tour
The Great Lakes Circle Tour

Definitely a trip for our bucket list!

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