Kelleys Island Ohio Information

Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island, the largest U.S. island on Lake Erie measuring over four square miles, features amazing attractions and activities that make it an “ Island for All Seasons.”

This island is located at the western basin of Lake Erie about four miles north of Marblehead and twelve miles from Sandusky on the Ohio mainland. Kelleys Island is close to the Canadian border and many major Ohio cities and can be reached by ferry from Marblehead Peninsula or Sandusky. 

Once you’re on the island, you can walk or rent bicycles or golf carts to experience many famous island attractions.

The world famous Glacial Grooves State Memorial features geological glacier features discovered in the 1830s. These grooves were carved by rocks frozen at the bottom of the ancient glacier that passed through the area long ago. Grooves range from 15 feet deep/35 feet wide to 400 feet deep by 35 feet wide.

The State of Ohio created a state park on Kellyes Island to protect the grooves from further destruction and also includes an estuary, a special kind of wetland with prairie grasses, non-woody plants, and bog species.

This state park also features a family campground with a boardwalk, hiking trails, fishing, a large swimming beach, the North Pond Nature Preserve and North Shore Nature Preserve. Call 419-746-2546 for more information about the State Park or visit www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/lakeerie.htm.

Visitors can also experience fossils, bird watching and many nature related attractions and activities. If you like water sports, choose from sailing, jet skis, scuba diving, kayaking and fishing.

Kellyes Mansion features three stories of historic architecture built by island co-founder Addison Kelley in the 1860s. The mansion has free standing spiral staircase, rose colored cut crystal windows, and handsome woodwork. Tours are available for a small donation.

Inscription Rock State Memorial is a limestone boulder with pictographs produced by Erie Indians several hundred years ago.

Kelleys island has plenty of places to stay including cottages, condos and apartments. The East Shore Inn and Wellness Center even has yoga & kickboxing.

The island also features bed-and-breakfasts including Lakeshore landing, a small bed-and-breakfast built in the 1920s near the Marina on the south part of the island.

Annual island events include clambakes, hog roasts, 5 & 10K runs, a perch fishing derby and horseshoe tournaments. Visit www.kelleysisland.com/cal.htm for more information on special events.

Food and fun go hand in hand at Kelleys Island. You can find almost every style and dish you desire among a multitude of fine dining and cuisine.

The Deli & Bistro offers unique domestic and imported meat and cheese platters served with fresh fruit and French bread.

Kelleys Island Winery and Restaurant has a wide range of menu items and caters available for catering both off site and here at the winery. Visit www.kelleysislandwine.com for more information.

For more information on Kellys Island, visit www.kelleysisland .com.

Author: Michael Siebenaler