Sometimes great history is in your own backyard. And sometimes it’s easy to overlook it in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Such is the case with the Glacial Grooves – the largest and most famous in the world – located on Kelleys Island on western Lake Erie, near Sandusky, Ohio and only a few miles from the Canadian border. A section of the Glacial Grooves was cut and sent to the Smithsonian. It’s a geological wonder.
Take the ferry from the Sandusky area to Kelleys Island (or take a small plane, or your own boat – there are several marinas). Kelleys Island is a vacation haven for many families. It’s the largest American island in Lake Erie, settled by the Erie Indians a thousand years ago as a refuge from the Iroquois. Now there are 367 full-time residents and 3,000 seasonal ones (plus over 8,000 visitors on summer weekends). There are important archaeological and historic sites on the island, as well. You can drive your car (if you take it over on the car ferry), or you can rent a golf cart to cruise around the island. Bring a picnic, or dine at one of the island's many restaurants.
The Glacial Grooves are located next to the Kelleys Island State Park campground and beach (on the north side of the island). Although most of the grooves have been quarried, there are still many left to see. In these Glacial Grooves, you can see 18 different kinds of fossils, including horn coral, gastropods, and other marine invertebrates. You can walk around the perimeter of the hundreds-of-feet-long fenced-in area, and see just how those glaciers carved the rock.