It has been 196 years since the Ohio Legislature first authorized the establishment of canals by the state. Though today, on a quiet bicycle ride up or down the Towpath Trail, the remnants of the Ohio and Erie Canal might seem fairly small and inconsequential – this is not the case. The State of Ohio, and particularly this region of Ohio, were greatly impacted by the development of the Ohio and Erie Canal. If Ohio had never built the canal, or if the state had built the canal in a different location, or if different decisions had been made at many points along the way, this area would be vastly different than it is today. We will be discussing the Ohio and Erie Canal and its impact on this area and the country.