Kayak Kelleys Island

Explore Kelleys Island

This tour takes paddlers on a semi-circumnavigation of Ohio’s largest island: Kelleys Island. Along the way, you’ll appreciate the quiet beauty of Kelleys Island’s shoreline.

Paddle Distance

About 6.5 nautical miles


5 hours (approximately 3 hours of paddling)

Guide to Participant Ratio


What You'll See

Kelleys Island (no apostrophes, thank you!), is the largest of the Ohio’s Erie Islands. Unlike the it’s busier neighbor, South Bass Island, Kelleys Island is known for being quaint and quiet. We’ll leave the sandy beach at Kelleys Island State Park and paddle across North Bay to Long Point, unique ecosystem made up of sparsely vegetated limestone known as alvar. After a lunch rest on an inaccessible beach, we’ll paddle over a 19th century shipwreck, before returning to the Kelleys Island Ferry Dock on the South Shore.

Expect to see plenty of wildlife including osprey, egrets, herons, and terns, as well as the ubiquitous–but harmless–Lake Erie Water Snake.

Conditions to Expect

This paddle occurs along exposed coastline of Lake Erie. Conditions will vary depending on wind and weather, but paddlers could be exposed to winds up to 15kn and seas 1-2′ and small breaking surf landings.

What's Included

Single or tandem sea kayak and equipment (paddle, life-jacket, whistle, spray skirt, and white safety light).

Meeting Location

This tour starts from the beach at Kelleys Island State Park.   Participants will take the Kelleys Island ferry to the island.  Our group will meet at the ferry dock. Once in the island, shuttle service from the ferry to the State Park will be provided.


Skill Level

Prior paddling experience recommended. Before taking this all-day trip, you should be comfortable spending several hours in a closed cockpit kayak. A tandem kayak is a the best option for novice paddlers. All participants should be accustomed to moderate exercise.

Age Limits

14 and over only, please. Participants under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants ages 12 and over may participate as the front paddler in a tandem with an adult.

Height and Weight Limits

In order to ensure your comfort and safety, participants should be between 5′ and 6’4″ tall and 95 lbs to 235 lbs.

Non-Discriminatory Essential Eligibility Criteria

In order to participate in this program, each participant must satisfy the following essential eligibility criteria: 

  • Be able to independently participate in all individual skills and activities while also maintaining an appropriate and safe body position.
  • Be able to hold their breath while under water and, while in the water wearing a properly fitted lifejacket, be able to independently turn from a face down to a face up position keeping their head above water. 
  • Be able to effectively communicate with the instructor and other program participants. 
  • Be able to manage all personal care independently, or with the assistance of a companion.
  • Be able to manage all personal mobility independently, or with the assistance of a companion.