Although not as big as the ones on Kelley’s Island, the East Harbor state park glacial grooves are still neat to see if you are visiting Lake Erie in Ohio.
There are several places where you can view glacial grooves in Ohio up in the Lake Erie region. The most famous example can be seen on Kelley’s Island. However, if you are staying on the mainland, you still can see a nice example of the grooves at East Harbor State Park campground.
For my Mother’s Day trip this year, we stayed at East Harbor State Park. Before our trip, I wasn’t even aware that there were glacial grooves at East Harbor. We were thrilled to find out that the glacial grooves were just a short walk from our campsite.
About the East Harbor State Park Glacial Grooves
All of the Great Lakes were carved out by glacial activity. As the glaciers retreated, the basins carved out were filled with water – resulting in the five Great Lakes. The glaciers also left evidence behind in the forms of glacial grooves and striations in the bedrock in the Lake Erie region.
The glacial grooves at East Harbor State Park are fairly small, but still impressive when you consider the sheer force of nature that formed them and how long ago that occurred. The striations are shallow, but clearly defined.
Here is a closer view of the East Harbor State Park glacial grooves where you can get a better look of the parallel striations.
Glacial grooves definition:
Have no idea what glacial grooves are? We didn’t either until our trip to Kelley’s Island! The glacial grooves definition is this
Glacial grooves are sets of parallel furrows which have been ground out of rock surfaces by boulders lodged in the moving sole of a glacier or ice sheet. The rock surfaces have often been polished by finer debris.
Get up close to the glacial grooves at East Harbor State Park
Unlike the glacial grooves on Kelley’s Island, which are protected by a fence and an elevated walkway, you can walk on the glacial grooves at East Harbor.
We took a few moments to look at the striations up close. Then of course, my kids had to pose for a goofy picture 🙂
Location of the East Harbor Glacial Grooves
The East Harbor glacial grooves are located in the campground near the group camping area. After entering the state park, follow the signs to the campground. Park at the camp store. Walk into the campground then follow the signs to sections C, D, and E. Take the first right and continue walking until you pass the group camp area on the right. The glacial grooves are just past that area on the left. There is a small sign that points the way.
GPS coordinates for the East Harbor State Park Glacial Grooves: N 41° 32.549 W 082° 48.996
There is no signage at the actual glacial grooves site. At first glance it just looks like a slab of concrete that nature is slowly taking back. There is a small covered seating area with an informational sign about East Harbor just in front of the grooves. (See the informational sign I included earlier in this post.)
Places to see the glacial grooves in Ohio
If you are looking for other examples of glacial grooves in Ohio, you will find that most are up in the Lake Erie region. The biggest and best example is on Kelley’s island. However, there are other smaller examples of glacial grooves in Ohio as well.
If you are a geology buff, here are the Ohio glacial grooves sites you need to check out…
- Kelley’s Island
- Marblehead, Ohio (Near the lighthouse and also at the Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve)
- Put-In-Bay (in South Bass Island State Park)
- East Harbor State Park
Quick Links to Info on This Page
Pin this East Harbor State Park glacial grooves information for later:
While you are here, be sure to check out the rest of our Lake Erie region tourist destination recommendations.
If you find yourself in the Sandusky area, I definitely recommend checking out the East Harbor State Park glacial grooves. It’s a nice way to learn a little about how Lake Erie was formed and the path of the glaciers.