Our Day Exploring
Kelley's Island Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Plans were made to explore Kelley's Island, Ohio, by bicycle one September day. We all had our bikes checked out and tuned up, but were we ready for the challenge? Sure! With the bicycles loaded, my husband and I along with our daughter and son-in-law drove a little over an hour to our north. Destination - Marblehead, Ohio - where we would ride the ferry to Kelley's Island. We paid the fare for ourselves and bikes ($40 round trip), and headed off for the short trip (20 minutes) across Lake Erie.
The Shirley Irene (ferry's name) delivered us at a marina just outside the downtown area. Since this was the off season (the busy summer months are popular), we didn't need to worry about lots of traffic or people - a good thing for out of shape riders! Our first stop was Inscription Rock.
Next, we rode on into the downtown area. It was lunch with many local restaurants to choose from. A couple popular spots were closed in the off season, so we chose a place near the marina. The food was good as we watched boaters packing up for the trip back to the mainland. I discovered that there isn't much to the downtown area. There are some local shops selling island goodies, a popular ice cream parlor, a small market, and several eating establishments. For entertainment, there was a putt-putt golf course, a park, and bars offering sports on TVs.
Our next destination was the Glacial Grooves State Memorial. A short easy ride to the area took us about half an hour. We had made a couple stops along the way to explore some shops. Carved into the limestone several thousands years ago, these grooves were left behind by the glacier. The 400 foot long section of grooves were carefully uncovered and displayed for visitors. The grooves are fenced in with a walkway all around the section. Many historians have come to study the grooves to learn more about what happend so many years ago.
Next, we crossed the road into the state park area. Stopping by the beach, we discovered a beautiful area tucked away on the east side of the island.
Pedaling back toward town, we discovered a museum open to the public. The building was an old church, and many artifacts and treasures from the island are displayed. There are a few things to purchase, and friendly islanders to answer questions. It was a nice little break since we had pedaled up hill.
Next stop, a winery! The Kelley's Island Winery is a little off the beaten path. Located just down from the museum, the winery has a small restaurant and wine tasting area. You can sit indoors, enjoy the covered deck, or venture outside to the many picnic tables scattered about.
Back to the bikes, and on into town. Heading west, we rode around the west side of the island. We could see beautiful views of another popular island, South Bass, and the Perry's Peace Memorial (a blog for another time). There weren't too many boats and fishermen taking advantage of this nice fall day. With still a lot of sunshine and a couple hours before the last ferry of the day, we came upon another restaurant and decided to take another break. (Can you tell our behinds were needing breaks?!) These spot, during the summer months, would be crowded and really rocking, but today was just quiet and entertaining a few customers.
By this time, it was back to the dock for the ferry. A line up of cars and several passengers were waiting for the last chance to cross over to the mainland. The sun was beginning to set, and I took the photo opportunity to snap shots of the sunset. Heading back across the lake, it was beginning to cool off and by the time we disembarked it was dark. The end of a perfect fall day, and our curiosity satisfied on what you can do on Kelley's Island!