Kelleys Island, known as Lake Erie’s Emerald Isle, is a fascinating destination for nature enthusiasts, and a relaxing retreat for vacationers. It is located in the western basin of the lake 4 miles north of Marblehead. Take the Kelleys Island Ferry boat over with your car and camper.
The island is renowned for its unique geological, ecological, and archaeological features, and popular for its recreational offerings and picturesque landscapes. The 677-acre state park is located on the northern shores of the island. Be sure to see the glacial groove formations and hike out to the North Pond.
Kelleys Island State Park campground contains 45 non-electric and 84 electric sites including 34 sites with full hookup, showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. Some of the sites are on the water where you can watch boat activity and catch sunrise! There are 6 miles of trails within the park all leading to beautiful vistas. Hiking is permissible on all trails and some include mountain biking.
Kelleys Island State Park encompasses two state nature preserves, the North Shore Alvar, and the North Pond, which harbor unique natural features. Where Kelleys Island’s limestone foundation is exposed to Lake Erie and battered by waves and wind, a rare alvar ecosystem has formed. The low cliffs, limestone shelves and thin, dry soil on the shoreline are inhospitable to trees, but ideal for the growth of prairie grasses and lichen, and rare plants including balsam squaw weed, Pringle’s aster and northern bog violet. Inland from the alvar, the North Pond, a 30-acre emergent marsh and swamp forest that drains directly into Lake Erie, is one of the few high quality, natural marsh communities remaining on the Great Lakes.
While on Kelleys Island we rode our bikes and toured the entire island. We also saw many golf carts and few cars. Its a very quaint area with a few stores and some great restaurants including the Island House. We also took the Jet Express ferry to Put In Bay for the day. A fun island to explore via golf cart with lots of eateries, small shops, and interesting historical history.