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Lake Erie Circle Tour

Lake Erie Circle Tour route markerThe 629-mile (1,012 km) Lake Erie Circle Tour (LECT) circles the second-smallest Great Lake, spanning four U.S. states and the Canadian province of Ontario in the process. The LECT is the most recent of the four designated Great Lakes Circle Tours, being signed in 1990. The portions of the route in New York and Pennsylvania share the route of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and only a few LECT signs are posted in Pennsylvania while New York has never posted the route. The LECT route is currently not signed at all in Ontario as well.

Lake Erie Circle Tour Route

Lake Erie Circle TourmarkerOntario

The Lake Erie Circle Tour (LECT) enters the province of Ontario via the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor. It traverses the entirety of Southwestern Ontario from Windsor via Leamington, St. Thomas, Tillsonburg, Simcoe, and Port Colborne, to Fort Erie. The LECT uses the Peace Bridge to cross into New York state. In the period when the route was signed in the province, Ontario signed the route using white-on-blue route markers, different from the white-on-green signs used on the U.S. portions. To accommodate francophone tourists, Ontario also had a companion LECT route marker (see image at right) reading Lac Erie Circuit Périphérique. The 416 km (258-mile) Ontario route for the LECT is detailed below.

Note: Route signage for the Ontario segment of the Lake Erie Circle Tour is largely missing along much of the route in the province. This is due in part to the massive “downloading” of many formerly provincial highways. Additionally, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation has ceased signing most of their “Tourist Routes” with a few exceptions..

New York State

Great Lakes Seaway Trail route markerThe Lake Erie Circle Tour (LECT) enters the state of New York via the Peace Bridge connecting Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York. In downtown Buffalo, the LECT picks up the route of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail and follows it along the southern shore of Lake Erie and into Pennsylvania. New York State does not post route markers for its 74.7 miles (120.2 km) of the LECT at all, rather those following the route must first find the Great Lakes Seaway Trail (GLST) and then follow the markers for that route. Additionally, the Seaway Trail was retitled the Great Lakes Seaway Trail in 2010 and new route markers are being installed along the route. The New York route for the LECT is as follows:


Seaway Trail route markerPennsylvania’s 46.7 miles (75 km) of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail (GLST) is the shortest of the Lake Erie Circle Tour-related segments. It runs from the New York state line northeast of the Borough of North East, Pennsylvania, through Erie, past Fairview and Lake City, then into Ohio southwest of Girard. Very few LECT route markers are posted in Pennsylvania, rather the Seaway Trail—retitled the Great Lakes Seaway Trail (GLST) in 2010—is reasonably well posted along the route. The Pennsylvania route for the LECT is as follows:


Length in Ohio: 200 miles (322 km)


The Lake Erie Circle Tour (LECT) enters the state from Ohio in southeastern Monroe Co. It parallels the Lake Erie shoreline through Monroe and the Downriver Detroit area and into the City of Detroit. There, the LECT uses the Ambassador Bridge to cross into Ontario at Windsor. The 49.2-mile (79.3 km) designated route for the LECT is as follows:

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