Kelley's Island

Discussion in 'Ohio' started by Dusty road, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. Dusty road

    Dusty road Active Member

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    Has anyone ferried their camper out to the campground on Kelley's Island? I think this is something that I would like to do at least once but would like to get the low down about the better sites, where to fish and maybe the ferry times.
     
  2. Novarich

    Novarich Active Member

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    I've been considering that myself.
     
  3. Cinbad

    Cinbad New Member

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    I've be n camping at Kelleys Island a few times. The campsites right next to the breach are awesome but non electric. The other campsites are well kept and sit back a short ways from the water. It's a neat island and has a good winery and restraunts... The swimming beach is right by the camping. The ferry takes you over out of Marblehead. There is a fee maybe around 50 one way. If u want to go, reserve early.
     
  4. Dusty road

    Dusty road Active Member

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    Thanks Cinbad. That's what I was looking for.
     
  5. hammb

    hammb Member

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    I know this is an old thread now, but my grandparents spent ~30 years as volunteers in the state park there. I spent a good portion of my childhood in the state park, including living out of tents for several summers to work summer jobs on the island.

    I haven't camped there in a couple years, but if anybody has any other questions about the park/campground/island I probably could get some answers for you. We just got a pop up this winter and looking to book a weekend there at some point this year, because my 3 year old has yet to visit the island that I spent so much time on. Can't wait to share it with him! Obviously I'm biased in my history, but it's absolutely one of my favorite Ohio state parks.
     
  6. smb985

    smb985 New Member

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    We go every 2 years. Great family friendly and clean park. Lake sites are premium and offer no electric.
     
  7. Dusty road

    Dusty road Active Member

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    Is there a better time of year to go? June, July or August?
     
  8. hammb

    hammb Member

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    Personally my preference would be June, although mayflies can be an issue in June.

    With Kelley's being firmly in the western basin late July/August are prime algal bloom season. The algae doesn't always effect Kelley's (depends how bad the bloom is, the prevailing winds, etc), but when it does it can really hamper your enjoyment of the island. The algae smells, and you won't be able to swim or enjoy the beaches. You could still take a power boat out to fish if you wanted to, but it wouldn't be enjoyable to kayak, etc. Pretty sad that we have to consider this when booking trips, but it's our current reality so for me I would look at June or early July.

    The island also transforms completely for their Island Party weekend (called Island fest, usually the 3rd weekend in July), and also on 4th of July weekend. Both of those weekends you can expect the Island to be jam packed...full camp park, every rental property will be full, tons of boats in the harbors with more people on the Island. For me, I'd personally avoid it like the plague those weeks, but if you're wanting a party those would be good weeks to go, I suppose.

    Other than that expect the typical laid back ebb/flow of Island life. Mondays through Wednesdays are mostly dead. When I worked on the Island some restaurants wouldn't even open on Mondays. By Thursday it starts to pick up, and the campground will be full most Fri-Sunday in the summer months. If you plan to depart on a Sunday expect to have a very long wait to get off the island. They used to issue time tickets, so you could reserve your ferry trip home and enjoy the rest of the day on the island, but I'm not sure they still do that...you may have to actually be in line at the ferry dock. If you can swing it, I'd highly recommend departing the island any day other than a Sunday. Getting to the island can be similarly difficult on Friday evenings, but it's not as bad as seemingly 90% of the island wanting to leave on Sunday morning before noon.
     
  9. Dusty road

    Dusty road Active Member

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    Thanks. We're finally making plans to go. Early or mid June will be our target, then. A Tuesday or Wednesday wouldn't be an issue for us either. kayaking and fishing and relaxing is the plan. No partiers here.
     

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