Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail

Details

  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (2005)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesHistoric
  • LocationOH
  • Length293 miles
Byway Visitor Information
Erie County Regional Planning
Statewide Byway Partners
Ohio Department of Transportation
Tourism Ohio
This red and white replica of the original Vermilion Lighthouse looks out over the lake on a summer's day.
Lake Erie Coastal Ohio, Inc. Photo

Overview

The Lake Erie Coastal Trail Scenic Byway (LECT) stretches from Conneaut to Toledo, encompassing 293 miles. The route allows travelers to experience coastal resources and over 150 cultural, historic and natural attractions along Lake Erie’s shoreline area, including lighthouses, museums, local, state, and national parks, public beaches, nature preserves, and much more.

Local Byway Partners
  • Lake Erie Shores and Islands
  • This is Cleveland
  • Ashtabula County Visitors Bureau
  • Remarkable Lake County Ohio

Story of the Byway

The Lake Erie Coastal Trail Scenic Byway (LECT) stretches from Conneaut to Toledo, encompassing 293 miles. The route allows travelers to experience coastal resources and over 160 cultural, historic and natural attractions along Lake Erie’s shoreline area, including lighthouses, museums, local, state, and national parks, public beaches, nature preserves, and much more.

Lake Erie is full of contrasts, some more obvious than others. Exciting big‐city ports and tranquil historic harbors. Rolling farmlands and vineyards, and acres of marshes and swamps producing nature’s bounty. Sun‐kissed waves, and spectacular spikes of ice pushed against the shore in a fortress of staggering proportions. Massive Great Lakes freighters carrying goods to the world, and tiny songbirds, weighing less than a nickel, who’ve traveled from the rainforests of South America.

The Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail journeys along Ohio’s greatest natural resource. Part of the largest freshwater system in the world, Lake Erie was – and continues to be – shaped by glacial history, ecological processes, and human influence. These forces play out in many different ways within the trail corridor, creating diverse landscapes to support rare and unusual flora and fauna, scenic beauty, and opportunities for recreation, relaxation, and discovery. These landscapes set the stage for the dynamic cultural and industrial history that contributes to who we are today.

Driving Directions

The Lake Erie Coastal Trail Scenic Byway (LECT) stretches from Conneaut to Toledo, encompassing 293 miles. The route is typically within 3-5 miles along the southern edge of the Lake Erie Shore, with many segments adjacent to it. It traverses through rural areas, small towns, and through urban and suburban parts of Cleveland and Toledo. Most of the route is on US or State Routes, with a minor portion along local roads.

Points of Interest

  • Mentor March Lagoons Beach

    Along Lake Erie, includes miles of hiking and water trails.

  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

    The world's first museum dedicated to the living heritage of rock and roll music.

  • West Side Market

    Cleveland's oldest public market, home to over 100 vendors.

  • Cedar Point Amusement Park

    On the shores of Lake Erie, it's the Roller Coaster Capital of the World.

  • Firelands Winery

    Wine has been made on the Firelands Winery site since 1880.

Itinerary

  • Breezes along Lake Erie’s Shores

    Traveling from East to West along the shores of Lake Erie, the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail takes you from the small town of Conneaut to the big city of Toledo, with much of the 293 mile route following US Highway 20 and State Route 531. Begin by enjoying the hospitality of the Grand River Valley in Ashtabula County, boasting 31 wineries.

    Traveling along the Lake Erie shoreline, the byway’s largest city, Cleveland, is home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and several professional sports teams. To and from Cleveland, you can enjoy birding, biking, boating, fishing, camping and all things maritime along the shores of Lake Erie.

    Both Cleveland and Toledo are home to many museums and zoos. The byway also passes by Cedar Point, America’s premier coaster park and ferry rides to Lake Erie’s islands. So, whether you take all day or all week, the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Byway offers North Coast scenery and recreation for the entire family.

 Update this byway information today!