For informational/historical purposes only.


The Ohio Department of Transportation

Internet News Release

April 22, 2005


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 Byways, visit:

For more information, contact: 

 , ODOT at (614) 728-8915; or
Mark Rickel, Governors Office at (614) 644-0957.

T h e   O h i o   D e p a r t m e n t   o f   T r a n s p o r t a t i o n   ( O D O T )

Bob Taft, Governor |  Gordon Proctor, Director
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