For informational/historical purposes only.

The Ohio Department of Transportation

Internet News Release

September 22, 2005


(COLUMBUS September 22, 2005) The Lake Erie Coastal Trail was added to the federal governments National Scenic Byways Program when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designated the Trail as one of 125 National Scenic Byways across the United States. The Trail was dedicated during a ceremony in Washington D.C. this afternoon.

The more than 200-mile trail begins in Ashtabula County and journeys along Lake Erie, ending in Lucas County. Some of the routes amenities include historic lighthouses and scores of museums, national parks, wildlife centers, marshes, prairies, state parks, covered bridges and history centers detailing the rich heritage of the communities along the route.

The Lake Erie Coastal Trail is one of the most impressive trails in Ohio, said Gordon Proctor, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT). It is a great honor for Ohio to receive our fifth nationally designated scenic byway.

Under the National Scenic Byways Program, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities. To be designated as a National Scenic Byway, a road must possess at least one of these qualities and be regionally significant.

This is a great opportunity for northern Ohio. Lake Erie is Ohios greatest natural resource. What better way to showcase our unique heritage and natural beauty than with the National Scenic Byway designation, said Melinda Huntley, executive director of Lake Erie Coastal Ohio, the group responsible for working in partnership with ODOT to have the Trail first designated as an Ohio Scenic Byway and now as a National Scenic Byway.

The National Scenic Byways Program, established by Congress in 1991 and administered by the FHWA, was created to preserve and protect the nations scenic byways and, at the same time, promote tourism and economic development.

As weve traveled the coast working on the byway designation, weve discovered communities filled with hope for revitalizing their downtowns, providing additional recreational activities, restoring the integrity of our historic places and protecting the quality of their environment. The National Byway Designation brings us one step closer to helping them achieve that goal, said Frank Lichtkoppler, Lake Erie Coastal Trail byway chairman and Ohio State University Ohio Sea Grant extension specialist.

Ohio has more than 1,500 miles of scenic byways and five nationally recognized roads across more than 45 counties. For more information about Ohios Byways, visit: or for National Byways visit the National Scenic Byways web site at