Monday, October 5, 2015

1st Visit to Kelley's Island, Lake Erie, Ohio

Welcome to Kelley's Island, Ohio
August 21-23, 2015:  We left Put-In-Bay Friday morning and set out to try some fishing.  The lake was not calm, but we anchored near Ballast Island and tried it out for a little while.  We didn't last long due to the waves and the constant wake from boats coming & going to Put-In-Bay, so we packed up and headed to Portside Marina on Kelley's Island.

Portside Marina, Kelley's Island, Ohio
Portside Marina was pretty tight to get into, but the marina crew were quick to assist us and on the dock ready to help us tie up.  We arrived early in the day Friday, so there wasn't too much going on or too much traffic.  Later on though, it was very entertaining watching all the boats crowd in after work around 5-6pm!!

Portside Marina and view of Cedar Pointe
Portside Marina is right downtown Kelley's Island.  Excerpt from the Kelley's Island Chamber Website: The downtown area remains the heart of island activity where visitors can do everything from shop in unique shops to play miniature golf or just sit and watch passers-by.  Restaurants provide both inside and outdoor dining experiences, a complete range of cuisine, and a variety of entertainment on most weekends. Small grocery stores stock just about everything anyone would need. Most visitors enjoy topping off their stay with a hand-dipped ice cream cone or some fresh island fudge. 

Meeting up with fellow Four Winns friends on Kelley's Island
We had some Four Winns Forum visitors for our first evening on Kelley's Island!  We love meeting boating families, and had a great time visiting with John and Michelle and family.  If they can travel with 3 kids on the same size boat as ours, I think we'll manage with one baby aboard and all our travel plans next year! :-)
Golf Cart rental is the way to travel on the island!
Kelley's Island Brewery
Amazing breakfast with a view at Kelley's Island Brewery
Saturday morning we rented a Golf Cart from the marina and set out to do some exploration!  The first and most important stop... breakfast at Kelley's Island Brewery.    Breakfast was great and the views couldn't be beat! If I'm craving anything this pregnancy, it's breakfast (with a lot of gravy).  From there we continued our trip around the island, with the next stop the Glacial Grooves State Memorial.
Traveled through some pretty scenery on the way
Glacial Grooves on Kelley's Island
A little history on the Glacial Grooves, excerpt from www.ohiohistory.org:
A National Natural Landmark, the Glacial Grooves on the north side of Kelleys Island are the largest easily accessible such grooves in the world.  From a walkway, footbridge and stairs you can look down on the immense grooves, which are 400 feet long, 35 feet wide and up to 10 feet deep, suggesting the tremendous power of the ice that formed them.
Of Devonian limestone, Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve contain marine fossils that are 350 to 400 million years old. They were scoured into solid limestone bedrock about 18,000 years ago by the great ice sheet which covered part of North America.
Glacial Grooves Geological Preserveis locally managed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resource's Lake Erie Islands State Park.

 The grooves and the fossils preserved within were very cool to see, and we highly recommend a visit!

Dana posing with baby bump at the Glacial Grooves
Quick stop at the beach - Kelley's Island State Park


Continuing our island exploration, we stopped at the State Park and finally at Inscription Rock.  Excerpt from www.ohiohistorycentral.org:
Inscription Rock is located in Erie County on Kelleys Island. It is one of Ohio's most famous rock art sites. Pre-contact groups of North American Indian poples engraved more than one hundred designs onto a huge limestone boulder on the south shore of the island. The symbols are called "petroglyphs" from the Greek words for rock writing.
The precise age of these carvings is unknown. Based on the symbolism and the amount of weathering of the generally soft limestone, they probably are less than one thousand years old and so likely are the work of the the so-called "Late Prehistoric" period Sandusky culture, or the work of American Indian peoples living in the region during the period of European colonization.
The large boulders on the north and south shores of the island were dramatic landmarks for the American Indians who lived in the area. Marking the rocks with petroglyphs was one way of making a personal connection with the land.
Inscription Rock is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Leaving Portside Marina back onto Lake Erie

Overall we really enjoyed Kelley's Island, especially exploring via golf cart and visiting the historical sites on the Island.  The island was more laid back than Put-In-Bay, but still had quite the nightlife!  It seemed to be a good mix of family activities and nightlife.

Our next post will have a fun video from our night at Portside Marina (if 2 ft waves in the marina while you're trying to sleep is your idea of fun). :-)  We also have some information about our visit to the nice family at Loadmaster Trailers!