The two groups are applying to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to develop the 108-mile river for recreational use.
The official water trail designation would make the waterway eligible for state funding, which would go toward putting up signs and improving safety. And according to Metroparks planning coordinator Emily Ziegler, it could also benefit local businesses.
“The river will be marketed at the state level through ODNR, and also by all the regional partners. So it has the potential to bring in outside tourism and economic possibilities as well.”
Roughly half of the counties and districts along the trail’s route have filed their support for the project.
Stephanie Leis of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the environmental impact of recreation on the river would be "negligible."
Community members can voice their questions or concerns at public meetings to be held through February or through an online survey. Those comments will be included in the final submission to ODNR, along with design concepts for signs and brochures.
Ohio's Water Trails
- East Sandusky Bay Water Trail
- Great Miami River Water Trail
- Kokosing River Water Trail
- Mad River Water Trail
- Mahoning River Water Trail
- Muskingum River Water Trail
- Olentangy River Water Trail
- Stillwater River Water Trail
- Vermilion-Lorain Water Trail