The sleepy little town of Port Clinton blossoms in summer, and Walk Erie Tours has begun sharing its most intimate tales and interesting locations with its Port Clinton Legacy Tour, presented by Walk Erie Tours developed by Criss and Stacy Maple of Lakeside.
There is also a Marblehead Legacy Tour to introduce both visitors and local residents to the magic of Marblehead and the Marblehead Lighthouse.
Port Clinton actually got its name from a New York politician, DeWitt Clinton. He wanted to build a commercial canal from the mouth of the Portage River in Sandusky County to the Ohio River, allowing barges filled with goods access to a national market.
Ezekiel Smith Haines bought 1,200 acres in the area for a whopping $4,000 and named the port town on the Portage River as Port Clinton, which became a Lake Erie harbor. These days, Port Clinton is most famously a part of Vacationland, offering ferry rides to the popular Lake Erie Islands, a wealth of sport fishing and a vibrant night life during the warm weather months.
The local stories abound, said Stacy Maple, a noted chef at Lakeside Chautauqua on the Marblehead Peninsula. The Maples and their tour guides promise to share lots of secrets about both Port Clinton and Marblehead on the 60- to 75-minute tours.
The tours cost $35, $25 for kids 12 and under. They will be held on Saturdays during the summer at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Public parking is available. The tours are rain or shine, and walkers should dress accordingly.
The strolls around the towns are leisurely, with frequent stops to learn about vacation spots and points of interest. Pets are not welcome, but people of all ages can handle the pace of the tours. Private groups can be arranged.
High points of the Port Clinton Legacy Tours include Lakeview Park, the Port Clinton Public Beach, urban wetlands, Port Clinton Lighthouse, Waterworks Park, the Portage River Inlet and Friendship Park.
The Marblehead Legacy Tour waypoints are Rocky Point Winery, Clemons Park, Holy Assumption Orthodox Church and Cemetery, Kelleys Island Ferry, U.S. Coast Guard Station and Jamestown Tavern.