LAKE ERIE COASTAL TRAIL AS
OHIOS 21ST SCENIC BYWAY
ASHTABULA (April 22, 2005)
Governor Bob Taft today dedicated the
Lake Erie Coastal Trail as Ohios 21st Scenic Byway. Ohio
Department of Transportation (ODOT) Director Gordon Proctor and
representatives from Lake Erie Coastal Ohio also attended the event.
I cant think of a better way to
celebrate Earth Day than here on the shores of one of Ohios most
precious and unique natural resources. From state parks, lighthouses,
museums, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science
Center, President Garfields Home and Cedar Point, to beaches, marshes
and prairies, this byway is a great opportunity to explore the many
treasures of the Lake Erie region, said Taft. The scenic byway
designation will enable many more Ohioans to enjoy the pleasures of
our Lake Erie region and will attract hundreds of thousands of
visitors from out of state, increasing tourism and economic
development in the region.
The Lake Erie
Coastal Trail begins in Ashtabula County and journeys along the lake
for more than 200 miles, ending in Lucas County. Spearheaded by Lake
Erie Coastal Ohio, the effort to have the trail designated as a scenic
byway received support from regional visitors bureaus, metro parks,
historical societies and dedicated volunteers along the trail.
The trails byway designation and signage will
increase tourism by providing a clear path along the route and a
comprehensive way of obtaining information about the route and its
amenities. The new designation will help increase tourism and lead to
new economic development in the region.
The scenic byway
designation enables us to promote the Lake Erie experience from
Conneaut to Toledo, said Melinda Huntley, director of Lake Erie
Coastal Ohio. That means more dollars for our local businesses and
tax revenues for our local communities.
Tourists took 150
million trips to Ohio during the 2003 travel year and
nature tourists spent $7.4
million in the Lake Erie Region in 2003. A key part of Ohios economy,
tourism directly employed more than 505,000 Ohioans in 2003, with
213,000 of those jobs in the Lake Erie Region.
Of the many
beautiful roads in Ohio, an Ohio Scenic Byway is a road deserving
special recognition because of its importance to the state. I cannot
think of a more qualified road than the Lake Erie Coastal Trail, said
ODOT Director Gordon Proctor.
ODOTs Ohio Scenic
Byway Program, which contains more than 1,500 miles of scenic byways
across the state, is a grassroots-driven program that highlights
historic, scenic, natural, recreational, cultural and archaeological
resources along Ohios roadways. For more information about Ohios