Take a journey on the Shores & Islands Ohio Heritage Trail

What is it: The rich history of the greater Sandusky region is the focus of Shores & Islands Ohio’s latest trail, the Shores & Islands Heritage Trail. The trail takes history buffs on a journey through the history of the Shores & Islands area. Via the trail, you can learn about the events that have shaped the area while exploring the greater Sandusky region.

The trail was developed by the Shores & Islands Ohio VIsitor Experience team.

Why is it important: “Shores & Islands Ohio is known for many things–our wonderful lake and islands, entertainment, wine, but many folks don’t know the rich history the region has, as well as the MANY museums we have within the two counties,” says Shores & Islands Ohio Visitor Experience Manager Brian Shifflet. “With the upcoming America 250 in 2026, we wanted to get the ball rolling and highlight the rich heritage and history of the region.

“Our hope is that the trail not only entices visitors to the region to explore and learn, but also to enrich our residents’ understanding of the struggles, triumphs, and accomplishments of our ancestors as they made this amazing area their home! From vineyards and fruit growing, the history and creation of carousel figures, to the history of local small-town newspapers, and even the world’s shortest commercial airline route, the area’s museums have something to offer to most anyone!”

How to get involved: The trail uses the same check-in platform as Shores & Islands Ohio’s popular Cheers Trail and Golf Trail. Participants can sign up for the digital passport at https://www.shoresandislands.com/things-to-do/trails/shores-islands-ohio-heritage-trail/

Once signed in, patrons receive a text with a direct link to the passport and all participating stops. While not required, the Shores & Islands Ohio team recommends saving the link to the phone’s home screen for easy access.

Each time a patron visits a store, they can check in via GPS and earn points toward redemption of a prize, according to Jill Bauer, public relations manager for Shores & Islands Ohio. There are 25 locations, which can be viewed on the website, each worth 100 points. After collecting 1,500 points (15 locations), participants can collect an official Heritage Trail Journal at either Shores & Islands Ohio welcome center. The digital passport is valid until and prizes can be redeemed through Feb. 22, 2025.