Heritage Corridors of Bath
We welcome visitors to experience our byway, to explore the hamlets, and to enjoy the scenic views the byway offers.
In 2000, the Bath Scenic Byway Task Force received designation from the Ohio Department of Transportation for 35 miles of scenic and historic byway along 12 county roads, now known as the Heritage Corridors of Bath. Subsequently new roads were added resulting in a total of 39 miles of byway that now includes 14 roads. A Corridor Management Plan was created in 2001 and updated in 2007 and 2015.
The mission of the Heritage Corridors of Bath Committee is to preserve Bath's Western Reserve heritage and rural beauty by protecting its roadways and the views enjoyed from them. Comprised of township residents, a township administrator, and a representative of the Summit County Engineer's Office, the committee holds monthly implementation meetings.
The original Corridor Management Plan directed many of its recommendations to Cleveland- Massillon Rd, the byway's most heavily traveled road. The nineteenth century hamlets of Hammond's Corners, Bath Center, and Ghent lay on Cleveland- Massillon Rd and were at risk of fading into little more than clusters of buildings at busy intersections. The Corridor Management Plan laid out steps to restore and preserve the character of the hamlets.
Implemented Hamlet Projects
Heritage gateway signs have been installed at each hamlet replacing the existing ODOT signs.
An eroding hillside at Bath Center has been replaced with a barn stone retaining wall.
The Wye Road Bridge in Ghent has been replaced with a heritage style design that permits views of Yellow Creek.
Trees have been planted at Hammond's Corners to reestablish the leafy atmosphere of a crossroads hamlet.
Allied with the Heritage Corridors of Bath mission was the successful effort led by the Zoning Inspector to achieve National Register of Historic Places designation for the Ghent Historic District.
Other Implemented Projects
The Heritage Corridors of Bath Wayside Exhibit is situated on a site initially identified in the Corridor Management Plan as a visual blight. Through funding from NSB and COCF grants, the 7 acre property was purchased and transformed into a green space. A shelter houses informative panels.
In 2013, the Summit County Engineer's Office re-striped Cleveland-Massillon Rd with wider berms, providing safer pedestrian and bicycle access.
In 2015, the HCOB Committee hosted its Fourteenth Annual Barn Social. Held each year at a different local barn, the event recognizes and celebrates Bath's historic barns.
Barn stone borders and roadside landscaping were installed at Moore's Chapel Cemetery and Ira Cemetery.
Partnerships are vital to the implementation of the Heritage Corridors of Bath mission. Within the township, the Bath Business Association and the Bath Historical Society pursue goals in tandem with those of the committee.
The Bath Business Association has emerged as a respected and influential voice in the community. With their many contributions and sponsored events, they are a model of responsible stewardship in the hamlets. The annual Wye Road bridge lighting has become a popular venue for residents to celebrate the holiday season. And throughout the year, hamlet businesses take pride in they seasonal landscaping and decorations.
The Bath Historical Society manages the Bath Museum in the Historic Town Hall at Bath Center. In a buildup to Bath Township's bicentennial in 2018, they are hosting walking tours of the hamlets. A Bath Historical Society member contributes a monthly installment, The Century Homes of Bath, to the Bath Country Journal. The well-researched articles and accompanying photographs of the township's early homes and settlers have stimulated interest and pride in Bath's heritage.
Many other community organizations and individuals have contributed their time, funds, and encouragement.
It is through the involvement of the Summit County Engineer's Office that several Heritage Corridors of Bath projects have been realized. The Wye Road Bridge, the barn stone retaining wall at Bath Center, and the recent re-striping of Cleveland- Massillon Rd were accomplished with the support of the Summit County Engineer's Office. A member of their office attends HCOB Committee meetings and offers his expertise and counsel.
With the support of the Bath Township administration, the Summit County Engineer's Office, and through strong community partnerships, the HCOB Committee has made significant progress in accomplishing the mission put forth in the Corridor Management Plan.
To learn about Ohio's byways go to this link.
To learn about Ohio's byways go to this link.