North Bay Beach, Kelleys Island, Ohio

Kelleys Island is an island in Lake Erie in northern Ohio. Home to a village of the same name, the island also includes beaches, a state park, and other attractions.

Kelleys Island State Park is a short ferry ride from Marblehead, Ohio. This 677-acre state park has camping, rentals, boating, swimming, trails, picnic areas and fishing. In this image from mid June 2013, paved roads lead to a variety of campsites. On the right is a drinking fountain with foot bath, and on the left is the wash house with electric outlets. A shower house is a short walk up the road. On some evenings, there are nature-themed films with popcorn in a mini amphitheater near the park entrance.

The waves of Lake Erie are just a few short steps down this footpath; the footpath itself is located at the end of the camp road near the group camping sections. Be careful, though, as this path can get muddy and there is poison ivy along the trail. Almost 200 years ago, Kelleys Island was known as Cunningham's Island. In 1833 however, brothers Datus and Irad Kelley began buying land on the island as they built up their timber, limestone quarry, orchard and vineyard operations.

Kelley's Island State Park has a 100-foot swimming beach at the end of the trail from the campsites. In addition to the swimmers and boaters, gulls, herons, and Canada geese all enjoy the beach here. If the swimmers and boaters need ice cream or a fishing pole, they can flock to the sundry store near the park entrance on Division Street, Unc'l Dik's.

The wind and waves began picking up early on this mid-June evening; the state park beach is part of the North Bay area. The campgrounds are close enough to the water so that campers can hear the breakers coming in at night.

Located a few steps west of the foot path on the beach, this fish cleaning hut is the place to filet the walleye, perch, smallmouth bass, and white bass that are plentiful in the western basin of Lake Erie. There is also a charging station for marine batteries in this hut.

This easterly view of the swimming beach at Kelleys Island also shows the private swim area in the far distance that belongs to the Erie County 4H Club.

The Lake Erie water snake is a subspecies of the Northern water snake. This snake is nonvenomous, but will bite if handled by humans. Nerodia sipedon insularum, frequently mistaken for cottonmouth or copperhead snakes, was added to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service "threatened" list in 1999 but was removed in 2011. The particular snake in this image had just enjoyed a minnow for dinner.

The boaters and paddlers in this northerly-facing image are enjoying the calm waters of an early mid-June evening. (There is a double-lane launch ramp nearby, plus a kayak rental.) Storms can come on suddenly in shallow Lake Erie, and as a result, boaters with smaller engines may have trouble getting to shore.

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