Scenic USA - Ohio
Glacial Grooves Memorial
|Photos by Jack Ryan
Jack Ryan Photography
Kelleys Island, located offshore from Port Clinton and Sandusky, is a natural retreat among a cluster of Lake Erie islands. Middle Bass and Put-In-Bay islands may be more popular, but Kelleys has a charm of its own. Visitors enjoy the quaint island atmosphere and its festivals, attractions, and beautiful coastal scenery. The downtown area is center of attention, lined with a variety of restaurants, unique gift and clothing stores, marinas, a microbrewery and winery. A collection of romantic
Victorian homes only add more appeal to the island. Another one of the island attractions is an unusual geologic wonder called the Glacial Grooves Memorial.
During the Pleistocene Epoch, massive glacial ice sheets, some measuring over three kilometers thick, dominated the North American Continent. The incredible weight caused a down-warping of the earth's crust and glacial creep caused deep scars and striations in the bedrock. Eventually, during this great climatic change, the ice cap melted, and stresses took a toll on numerous plants and animals causing their extinction. Rivers changed their courses, and glacial melt created deep river channels and gorges throughout the northern extent of the continent.
Kelleys Island, heavily influenced by the last Ice Age, still exhibits signs of glacial scarring. And the best place to see what these massive glaciers left behind is the Glacial Grooves Memorial. The state park protects some of the largest glacial grooves in the world. An area of about 400 by 35 feet has been stripped of its topsoil, exposing a large section of Devonian limestone that's been deeply scarred. The actual grooves are easy to see from a walkway, stairs and bridge.
Island access is only by water or air. Ferry service from Marblehead departs hourly, and every half hour during the summer months. The island also has an airstrip and several marinas for private planes and boats.
Nearby Points of Interest
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