This area is covered in the Chartlet 14842, "Islands in Lake Erie", The anchorage is pretty much the whole North Bay area (1).  You are well protected in any Southerly winds, and, depending on the wind heading, from Easterlies and Westerlies, as well.  I've been there in a Northerly, though, and it can get pretty nasty...

Holding is pretty good.  The bottom is sand over limestone.  Occasionally, you may be in an area where there isn't much sand over the limestone, so your anchor can't dig in.  Haul up you anchor, move a few feet, and try again.  Once or twice I have had trouble setting, and hauled the anchor to find a bunch of Zebra Mussels on it.  I guess the anchor was in the middle of a colony.  For the most part, however, the anchor sets the first time.  Remember, "Back Down to Set" !

Once your anchor is set, take some anchor bearings.  The light at the end of the breakwall, protecting the launch area, will be to your west.  This is Red, flashing 4 seconds, at an elevation of 20 ft.  There are some lights ashore in the campgrounds, but they can be confusing and may be turned off during the night.  To the east, Camp Patmos has a little "lighthouse", with a light.  The chart shows it is quick flashing, but I don't remember.

Pet owners with dinghies should have no problem going ashore to walk Fido.  Don't forget to pick up after your pet!

The far western end has a boat ramp, protected with a breakwall.  There is a red light at the end of the wall.  There is also a small dock, meant for people who need to tie up while launching your boat.  You could tie up your dinghy there, but it is really meant to handle those at the ramps.  

Occasionally, you see boats anchored by the ramp, or anchored with a line led to the breakwall.  I wouldn't do this, because fishermen use this ramp to launch at night,  Anchoring here violates one of the Commandments of Safe Anchoring, "Thou shalt not anchor in areas of high boat traffic."

The "favorite" area of the anchorage, particularly for overnight, is in the western end of the bay.  There is a beautiful sandy beach here, and it's an easy place to come ashore in your dinghy (or you could swim).  The beach area is marked off by buoys - stay outside the buoys when you come ashore with your dinghy.

For those of you who are happy to "rough it", and don't want to fill your holding tank, the western end also has an outhouse by the beach.  If you want a little more civility, there are  trails to the State Park Campgrounds (2), where there are a bathroom facilities with flush toilets, showers, and sinks.  This is a great place to shower and shave in the morning!

The North Bay anchorage is near the world famous attraction, the "Glacial Grooves" (3), the worlds largest exposed area of grooves.  If you need further explanation, there are a lot of signs showing the history of the grooves.  There are also picnic tables around this area, which is a nice area to picnic - if you'd rather go ashore to picnic than eat on your boat.

There is a really neat nature trail behind the grooves (4).  Follow the road behind the boat ramp, toward the water, and you should see some signs to the trail.  This takes you through some wooded area, over a small hill, and down to the water.  You feel like you're in the movie, "The Blair Witch Project", until you come out on the limestone formations on the shore of the island.  You can follow these big rocks around to the North Bay, until some homeowner sees you and tells you that you are trespassing!  Look for lots of "Lake Glass" to take home - maybe Liana will show you how to make a necklace.

Another neat trail is on the Eastern edge of the campgrounds, starting around the figure (1) in the map.  This takes you inland to see one of the few fresh water tidal pools in the Great Lakes, if not the world.  The trail starts around the "fish cleaning" house, and follows a boardwalk through the area, leading to an observation tower to look over the marshland.  There are signs and posters along the way, telling the significance and helping identify the flora and fauna along the trail.

If you're looking for provisions, "Uncle Dik's" is right across from the entrance to the campground, on Division Street.  "Uncle Dik's" has ice, beer, pop, ice cream cones, and anything else a camper might need if he was stuck on the island and forgot something.  Like beer.

If you're really feeling adventurous, or want some nightlife, walk south down Division Street and the "town" is only about a mile away.  But, if you're looking for night life, why are you anchoring out??


Kelley’s Island North Bay
Kelley’s Island North Bay is a beautiful anchorage.  There is a great beach, good holding, lots of attractions, and facilities ranging from an outhouse to a full bathroom at the campgrounds.
1 - Kelley's North Bay
2 - Kelley's Island State Park
3 - Glacial Grooves
4 - Nature Walk along N shore
5 - Boats can be seen anchoring south of the island
Select an Anchorage Below