The Sandusky River flows nearly 130 miles, roughly in the shape of a capital "C," through the northern Ohio towns of Bucyrus, Upper Sandusky, Tiffin, and Fremont, and into Lake Erie's Sandusky Bay. A portage near its source allowed Native American tribes to reach the Scioto River and travel by water from Lake Erie all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. The War of 1812 brought forts and battles, and the defeat of the British at Fort Stephenson was the first major American victory of the war. Over the years, the Sandusky has provided fish to eat, power for mills, and shipping routes for business and trade. It also, on occasion, has brought floods and devastation to its nearby inhabitants. Designated an Ohio Scenic River since the 1970s, the Sandusky is still the lifeblood flowing through the heart of its region.