The Glacial Grooves are the most popular natural destination on Kelleys Island. Our grooves are the largest and best accessible example of this geological phenomenon anywhere in the world! They are located at the intersection of Division Street and Titus Road, only a mile and a half north of downtown. A paved parking lot provides easy access. The grooves are visible from the parking lot or from a winding series of steps and footbridges that loop around their upper rim. Don’t miss this must-see treasure – a National Natural Landmark that draws visitors to Kelleys Island from all around the globe!
The glacial grooves are 400 feet long, 35 feet wide, and up to 15 feet deep. They were created by the slow movement of the massive glacier that created the Great Lakes and Lake Erie Islands. When glaciers move across the earth, they pick up rocks, soil, and other debris, and drag them along. As the ice crept over the soft limestone bedrock of Kelleys Island, these harder bits of rock gouged the grooves that we see today. Originally, the grooves were filled with soil, debris, and quarry waste. In 1972, excavation to uncover the full extent of the grooves began, and they have been a popular tourist attraction ever since. The grooves are also important to historians, scientists and students. They give us valuable information about the direction and movement of the glaciers that shaped our entire landscape. If you only have time to visit one Kelleys Island destination, the Glacial Grooves are not to be missed!
After you explore the grooves, take some time to check out our other nearby natural spots. The North Shore Loop Trail is only a two-minute walk from the grooves; the North Pond Boardwalk and East Quarry Trails are a short five-minute golf cart ride as well. For more information on these natural attractions, visit the website of the Kelleys Island Audubon.