Miles and miles of awesome flora and wildlife
The Kokosing Gap Trail is a paved, 14-mile recreational
trail built on a former Pennsylvania Railroad line with
endpoints in Mount Vernon and Danville, Ohio. Visitors
will traverse the Kokosing River twice on railroad bridges
more than 250 feet long with forests, wetlands,
agriculture and villages along the way. A 1940 Alco 0-6-0
locomotive and a 1924 Chesapeake & Ohio caboose sit
next to the trail in Gambier, and a wonderful park with
play structures is adjacent to the trail in Howard.
We would appreciate trail users following these simple
√ Keep right except to pass.
√ Announce your intentions to pass with an audible signal.
√ Control pets. Keep them on a short leash.
√ Stay aware by keeping one ear free of any earbud or headphone.
√ Share the trail with others.
√ Yield to workers.
√ Please don't litter.
√ Please respect private property adjacent to the trail and do not trespass.
√ Alcohol is not permitted on the trail.
√ Horses are not allowed on the trail.
√ Motor vehicles are not permitted. Electric bicycles and wheelchairs are allowed.
Water fountains, bicycle Fixit stations and restrooms are
available on the trail in Mount Vernon, Gambier, Howard
and Danville. Water is turned off and restrooms closed
mid-November to mid-April, but the Howard restroom is open
all year. Park benches are located along the trail about
every 1/2 mile.
Our map of the trail can be found here.
Kokosing Gap Trail is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Our 0-6-0 locomotive was built in November 1940
by the American Locomotive Company (Alco) of
Schenectady, New York for the Alabama State Docks
Commission. The board of trustees of the Kokosing Gap
Trail moved Number 63 to Gambier, Ohio in April 2000. Chesapeake
& Ohio Caboose #90776 was built November 1924
and rode the rails until February 1979. Both of them can
be found in Gambier. More info
The Kokosing Gap Trail runs East to West from Mount
Vernon to Danville and passes through both Gambier and
Howard. Each of these communities provides a point of
access to or departure from the trail. You can find
restaurants, shops, and bed and breakfast destinations a
short distance from the trail.
The Kenyon College Brown Family Environmental Center provides opportunities for self-guided study of organisms and habitats of the Kokosing River valley. It covers approximately 380 acres and has a small visitor center and butterfly garden (which directly adjoins the Kokosing Gap Trail).
This improvement to the trail was provided by the Mount Vernon Rotary Club to celebrate their 50th anniversary in 1997. The playground includes a play set, rest rooms, water fountain, picnic tables and new trees, which are located near the Howard underpass at Howard, Ohio.
Visitors will traverse the Kokosing River twice on
railroad bridges more than 250 feet long, with forests,
wetlands, agriculture, wildlife and livestock along the
way. You'll find this to be a perfect place for a
relaxing canoe or kayak ride or simply an opportunity to
listen to the peace and quiet the waterway provides.
Founded in 1824, Kenyon is the oldest private college
in Ohio. The small college originally educated all-male
clergymen for frontier America, but it soon became a
highly regarded seat of classical education whose
graduates included statesmen such as U.S. President
Rutherford B. Hayes. The college's picturesque campus is
adjacent to the locomotive and caboose in Gambier.
A 15-member board overseeing the Trail's non-profit
501(c)(3) status since 1989
The Kokosing Gap Trail, which is owned by the Knox County Commissioners, is overseen by a 15-member volunteer board that was first appointed by the Knox County Commissioners in 1987. This board is responsible for all day-to-day maintenance, development, and special projects on the trail and must raise its own funds. The trail board also cooperates with the Knox County Park District.
The trail board received its non-profit 501(c)(3) status in 1989. Since 1990, this group of people, along with many other volunteers, have used gifts and donations to enhance the park with improvements such as rest rooms, water fountains, parking lots, benches, a playground and a restored steam locomotive and caboose.
also have been used to purchase maintenance supplies
and equipment and volunteers have built a storage
building to house the equipment. In all sorts of
weather and throughout the whole year, you'll
encounter board members and volunteers blowing leaves,
mowing, clearing brush, cutting trees, repairing
asphalt, and occasionally riding the trail!
visit our Facebook
page for the latest improvements or issues.
The trail is one of the largest, paved rail-to-trail parks in the United States maintained solely by donations and volunteers. Its non-profit board relies solely on gifts, donations and volunteers for support of operations, improvements and maintenance.