Friday, June 30, 2017

Biking Kelleys Island

We’ve been to the Sandusky, OH area many times in the past, but we’ve always camped right at the Cedar Point Campground and spent all of our time there.  We’ve never spent any time exploring anything else that the area has to offer! 

Site PT-22

So, when we decided to spend the summer here with Bryce, Tom and I knew that we’ve had our fill of Cedar Point, and we plan on spending our free time exploring the rest of the area.

We wanted to get the bikes out for a ride, so I researched the islands in the area in search of which might be the best for a day of biking.  All of the islands are bike-friendly, but Kellys Island sounded more low-key than the others and offered a couple of natural areas to explore.

We loaded up the bikes on the Jeep on Saturday morning, and headed down to Marblehead to catch the ferry over to Kellys Island.  They had parking at the ferry dock, but charged $10, so we opted to park in the free city lot and ride our bikes the couple of blocks to the ferry dock.  We arrived at the ticket booth just as the 10:30 ferry was loading, so we missed that one and had to wait for the 11:00 am trip over to the island.  We paid $75 for three round-trip tickets for ourselves and our bikes, including a small military discount for Nick.  It was kindof expensive, but the best option for getting to the island.

Ready for a day of biking

The ferry arrived,

The ferry arrives!

and we loaded up and left the mainland behind.  These ferries stay on a tight schedule – if you’re not right there, ready to board, they leave you behind to wait for the next one!

We left the mainland behind,

Houses on the lake

and made our way across Lake Erie.  It was a beautiful day, but the lake was pretty rough!


We arrived on the island and started riding along the loop road,

Kelleys Island

Taking a break

through the village, past restaurants, hotels and bars that over look the lake.

Near the village, there were some really beautiful old homes overlooking the lake.



On the northern side of the island, we rode through a wooded area where we were startled by a couple of deer running across the road in front of us.  Nicolas had just said, “What kind of wildlife could be out here – it’s an island!?!”  I guess he was wrong!

On the northernmost tip of the island, we reached the Glacial Grooves.


This area of Ohio has a lot of limestone, and there are several quarries in the area, including some abandoned quarries on the islands.

Abandoned Stone Quarry

The glacial grooves are an area of preserved limestone that was carved out by glaciers as they traveled across North America.

Glacial Grooves on Kelleys Island

They were really interesting to see,

Checking out the glacial grooves

and I thought they looked like waterslides where all the water had been drained out.

Glacial Grooves - looks like a waterslide

From there, we continued on to the state park, where there was a beach

State Park beach

which was pretty busy on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

A few people in the water

There was also a boat launch and fishing pier out into the protected bay.  We walked out on the pier, where we had a nice view of the beach and campground.

View of the beach from the pier

Campsites along the lake

There were fishermen around, in boats and on the pier,

Lots of people fishing

and as Nicolas was climbing on the rocks, he spotted a huge snake!


Nicolas spotted a snake!

Walking back to our bikes, we spotted a Great Blue Heron doing some fishing, too!

Great Blue Heron

We rode through the campground, too, and were surprised at how nice it was.  The roads and sites were all paved, and there was one loop with larger full hook-up sites.  Plenty of room for larger RVs, but I don’t want to think about how much it would cost to bring the motorhome over on the ferry!

From the state park, we made our way back to the village for some lunch and to walk through the few shops in town.

Downtown Village

It’s a cute little village!

Hippie Van

We planned on going to 4pm mass back in Marblehead, so we wanted to make sure we got on the 3pm ferry at the latest.  As it turned out, we got there just as the 2:30 ferry was loading, so we got on that one – although they almost didn’t wait for me, just a few feet behind Tom and Bryce!

They did, though, and we rode back with just a few other people.  Tom and I road on the upper level, while Nick stayed with the bikes.

Nicolas watching the bikes

The ride back across was pretty rough, especially with the lighter load!

Since we got on the earlier ferry, we had some time to kill before mass, so we went to see the Marblehead Lighthouse.

Marblehead Lighthouse

Lighthouse Keeper's House

It’s a very pretty lighthouse, in a nice park in the small town of Marblehead.

Marblehead Lighthouse

Apparently, it’s a nice spot for wedding pictures, but I don’t think I’d want to have all these strangers in the background of my pictures!

Somebody's getting married!

We also had a nice view of Cedar Point from there – we can see Bryce’s roller coaster!

Cedar Point

Nicolas by the lighthouse

It was a beautiful and enjoyable day – sunny, 70s, nice breeze – perfect weather for bike riding!

1 comment:

  1. You once again found a new place to have fun exploring. We'll be marking that on our list of places to see.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.


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