Public input sought for Portage River Water Trail

Communities along the Portage River in Ottawa, Wood and Sandusky counties are getting together to create a water trail that runs from the Village of Pemberville to the City of Port Clinton.

A water trail is a series of safe and convenient access points to a river as designated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), with parking and educational signage. Easy access encourages recreation and also allows for trash cleanup and monitoring of the river’s health.

The public is invited to attend public meetings to learn more about a Portage River Water Trail and to be part of creating a new recreational and tourism asset in the region. Organizers are asking for local knowledge and experience:

  • Do you live in a Portage River community?
  • Are you a birdwatcher?
  • Do you fish in the Portage River?
  • What are possible Portage River access sites?
  • What are Portage River conditions like at different times of the year?
  • What information would paddlers need to know in your area?

The public meetings will be held:

  • Wednesday, May 15, 7-8 p.m. – Elmore Community Center, 410 Clinton St., Elmore.
  • Tuesday, May 21, 7-8 p.m. – Ottawa County Fairgrounds, Oak Harbor.
  • Thursday, May 23, 7-8 p.m. – Pemberville Opera House, 115 Main St., Pemberville.

Local government officials and these groups will answer questions and share information: Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft, Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG), and the Portage River Basin Council (a committee of TMACOG).

Some designated water trails in the area include East Sandusky Bay Water Trail sponsored by Erie Metroparks, and the Maumee River Trail with a trail guide from Metroparks Toledo. The ODNR has more information about water trails at watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/watertrails.

For more information about the proposed Portage Water Trail project, contact Sara Guiher, TMACOG water quality planner: 419-241-9155 Ext.1147, guiher@tmacog.org.

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