Even though Ohio Highway 575 is barely a few miles long, this route on Kelleys Island just might be the most scenic by-way in Ohio.
While Ohio isn’t necessarily known as a scenic wonderland, the state is surprisingly home to many beautiful regions and vistas. Kelleys Island, in Lake Erie, is one of the most photogenic regions of the Buckeye State.
Highway 575 is the only state highway on the island. While only a few miles long, this scenic road rivals other Ohio by-ways, including Highway 39 in Amish Country near Mohican State Park, and Highway 664 in the Hocking Hills region.
Kelleys Island Downtown Restaurants and Shops
A journey along Highway 575 on Kelleys Island begins in the island’s quaint downtown area. A few shops and restaurants highlight downtown Kelleys Island; the best being The Village Pump, whose “Pump Fries” and yellow perch are almost island delicacies.
Turning north on Division, this street passes churches and a school typical of any small Ohio village. It barely takes two miles to reach the northern part of the island which is home to the famous Glacial Grooves and Kelleys Island State Park with its beach and campground.
At the entrance to the state park, Highway 575 enters to the left, passing through a wooded area deep enough to make anyone forget they are on a small island. In fact, this part of the road is similar to the previously mentioned Hocking Hills region of Ohio.
Beautiful Western Regions of Kelleys Island
The highway exits the woods and veers to the south following the island’s western Lake Erie shore. The vistas on this part of 575 are stunning – the highlight of the entire few mile trips.
One of Ohio’s best-kept secrets is a beautiful little winery and restaurant on the shores of Lake Erie. Great food, amazing wine, music, and scenic views await you.
West Bay Inn
The West Bay Inn is the only bar and restaurant on this side of the island. With convenient dock access across the highway, the West Bay is a popular stop for boaters.
At the southwestern edge of the island, Highway 575 veers back to the east. Primarily a residential area, the homes look more stately as the tree-lined road leads get closer to downtown.
Ohio Highway 575 on Kelleys Island is only a few miles long, making it perfect for multiple laps around its scenic pathway. If a photo opportunity is missed on the first time passing by, it only takes a few minutes to loop around for a second chance.
Kelleys Island Ferry
While the highway doesn’t reach the residential areas on the east side of the island, it still provides enough of Kelleys Island’s beautiful scenery to make it a worthwhile journey. The Kelleys Island Ferry is the only way to bring a car onto the island. For two adults, expect to pay a round-trip fare of around $70.