Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail
Length: 293 miles / 471.5 km
Time to Allow: It takes about 8 hours to drive the Byway straight through, but, to fully experience all that the byway has to offer, plan on spending about 3 or 4 days on the trip.
Visit Lake Erie properly via the Lake Erie Coastal Ohio Trail over 293 miles. The trail takes about eight hours or a few days to enjoy and covers over 12,000 years of lake history. Tour the trail over to sections, including the eastern and western portions spanning the coast along with many towns. As the trail borders Pennsylvania and Michigan, it’s a short trip to enjoy from a few different states, including New York and Indiana. Also, it links to the Pennsylvania Seaway trail on the east if you want to extend the trip.
Pick up the trail at Conneaut right at the border of Pennsylvania and Ohio. The town is beautiful with covered bridges, coastal architecture, and lushly treed areas close to the water. In town, you can find the Township Park with a gorgeous bridge over a creek and an old-fashioned concession are too. Fans of trains can enjoy the Historical Railroad Museum or watch birds from the Bird Observation Platform nearby. Enjoy a night out at the races, too, at the Raceway 7. Enjoy an oasis at the Conneaut Creek if you want some serene time outside.
Ashtabula offers another fun destination for those who love covered bridges as this town has the Historic Bridge Street and Smolen-Gulf Bridge and the Benetka Road Covered Bridge. Pick apples in the fall at Brant Apple Orchard or try out some fun treats like cider or baked goods, or even enjoy a hayride. Stop at Walnut beach or visit the maritime museum. The town offers a couple of B and B’s, including the Michael Cahill B&B with beautiful rooms.
Head to Geneva-on-the-Lake next to visit the state park or the Lakehouse Inn Winery for a glass of vino. Try out coastal water sports too with rentals of gear by the water, or try out a canopy tour and zipline. If you are in an RV or want to camp, you can find no other place better than Geneva State Park, with tons of options. Try out primitive camping, rent a unique cabin, stay at a resort lodge, or rent a typical cabin filled with amenities.
Follow the coast to Cleveland, a famous cityscape on the water with massive amounts of rock and roll, including the Hall of Fame. Check out some famous paintings at the Cleveland Museum of Art. A favorite for the locals is the West Side Market. Stop in at the zoo or check out some local culture at the Christmas Story House Museum. The town offers a variety of fine dining options, including the Ritz-Carlton or the quieter Glidden House. No trip to Cleveland is complete without a trip to Mitchell’s Ice Cream or the Sweet Moses Soda Fountain and Treat Shop.
End the trip close to the border of Michigan in a little triangle covering Waterville and Toledo by the Maumee River. Toledo offers an art museum, zoo, national museum, baseball stadium, botanical gardens, and wildlife area with a park. Sneak in a little shopping in Waterville or enjoy a comedy show at Funny Bone Comedy Club. Find some incredible hotel options like the Home2 Suites by Hilton in the area and spend a few days to enjoy more time by the water.
More Ohio Byways
You can check out additional Byways in Ohio by clicking on the list of byways below, or by going to the Ohio Byways home section. To find even more of scenic byways in the United States, visit our scenic byways map.