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Heart of Ohio Trail 

In the late 1990s, Knox County began to explore the idea of taking the abandoned rail beds and converting them to multi-use recreational trails. This project is nearly complete as Knox County trails include the Heart of Ohio Trail, Kokosing Gap Trail, and Mohican Valley Trail which make up a greater trail system called Ohio to Erie Trail and spans 326 miles from Cincinnati to Cleveland. 

 The Heart of Ohio Trail offers close to 20 miles for walking, in-line skating, geocaching, and biking. The trail is maintained by the Heart of Ohio Trail group, a 501c3 volunteer board, and organization. The trail surface is comprised of smooth, high-grade asphalt. The picturesque, high-quality Dry Creek stream cascades along several portions of the trail, offering trail participants soothing sounds.  There are 19 bridges on the Heart of Ohio Trail as it crosses over the Dry Creek which switches back and forth and meanders on its way to the Kokosing State Scenic River. During the spring, one can view wildflowers such as Dutchman’s Breeches, Squirrel Corn, or Skunk Cabbage. Many species of birds may be found also be found by trail visitors such as the Red-headed Woodpecker and Northern Mockingbird.  

The Heart of Ohio Trail begins at the C. A. & C. Depot 501 S. Main St. Mount Vernon 43050 and runs to the Village of Centerburg. On the stretch between Mt. Liberty and Centerburg, a marker has been established which marks the “High Point of the Trail” with an elevation of 1285 feet. The newest section of the Heart of Ohio Trail was completed in 2016. This section includes a 182′ pre-fabricated pedestrian bridge where the once occupied Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge stood. This was quite a project as two cranes were used to place three sixty-foot-long bridge spans on the highway where workers then bolted and riveted the pieces into place. The bridge is located on the trail at the US 36/ State Route #3 and Lytle Road.  This project was made possible through an Ohio Department of Transportation grant, with a required local match from the Knox County Park District

Parking access for the Heart of Ohio Trail can be found at;
-501 S. Main Street, Mount Vernon 43050 at C.A.&C. Depot
-7760 Thayer Road, Mount Vernon 43050
-7500 Patton Road, Mount Vernon 40350 (Handicap Accessible Parking Lot)
-7180 Simmons Church Road, Centerburg 43011 (Mount Liberty)
-59 Johnsville Road, Centerburg 43011 (Memorial Park)
-101 N Hartford Street, Centerburg 43011 Fix-it Station and (Future site of the Heart of Ohio Trail Welcome Center)
-2750 Huffman Road, Centerburg 43011

If you would like more information and event listings, visit the Heart of Ohio Trail on Facebook at or email the board at You may donate to the Heart of Ohio Trail Board by visiting the link below. Please consider sharing trail photos upon your visit by tagging #heartoftheohiotrail