Towpath Trail

Heart Of Ohio Trail

Known as the geographic center of the state, the aptly named Heart of Ohio Trail extends from the southwest corner of Knox County near Centerburg, to Mt. Vernon, OH. [Scroll past 'Specs & Facts' to continue reading.]

New Trail
New Pavement

Latest Update: 1/11/18 by OB - Step Taken to Extend Trail

From, "...the Licking County Planning Commission has successfully applied for a grant to buy a 1.1-mile parcel that will connect two sections of trail: the Heart of Ohio Trail and the Meredith State Road Trail.

"...'They have until the end of December 2018 to purchase the parcel,' Totman told the Knox County Commissioners on Tuesday. 'They did make provision for public access with 10 parking spaces'..." more

Ribbon Cutting for New Trail Section - 12/11/16 by OB

From, "...A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday in Centerburg to open the two-mile section of trail from Clayton Street in Centerburg to Huffman Rd.

"The newest section includes the pedestrian bridge over U.S. 36/Ohio 3, installed in september.

"Knox county park district Director Lori Totman said the section from Huffman Road to the Delaware-Licking county line remains [to be completed]."

SW Trail Expansion - 10/6/16 by OB

The bikeway is now being paved on a new section that leads southwest out of Centerburg and toward the new overpass at U.S. 36/ Rt. 3.

At the moment, we don't have any specifics regarding the exact length of this new trail section.

Trail Overpass Construction - 9/13/16 by OB

Construction is underway to install a trail overpass over U.S. 36/ Ohio Rt. 3 southwest of Centerburg.

This will extend the Heart of Ohio Trail southwest to eventually connect with another segment of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, a cross-state trail.

Kokosing Gap Connection Getting Closer - 3/20/16 by OB

From, "Safety measures for pedestrians and bicyclists are part of the recent projects for the Heart of Ohio Trail in Mount Vernon. Employees with the Ohio Central Railroad were installing a large control panel near the trail's railroad crossing just south of the CA&C Depot this morning... two red flashing towers which are to go up following the installation of the control panel."

The trail work in Mt. Vernon includes an already completed downtown connector for cyclists. The final phase is to connect with the Kokosing Gap Trail along the dikeway, just east of Main Street.

Southwest Trail Extension Coming in 2016 - 1/12/16 by OB

According to the Delaware County Friends of the Trail group, the bikeway will be extended to the Delaware County line sometime in 2016. This extension should add about 3 miles of trail.

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Knox County, OH

Class: A1+

Length: 15.6 miles / asphalt (~16.5 miles when complete)

Condition: Very good

Facilities: Restroom at Ariel-Foundation Park in Mt. Vernon. Porto-johns in Memorial Park in Centerburg. Water spigot just east of the band shell. Trailside shelter in Mt. Liberty.

Parking: Centerburg lot at Memorial Park. (See trail map for more options.)

Worth Noting: This bikeway is part of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail.

Map: Heart of Ohio Trail or Sm Screen Version

Elevation: West to east

More Trails in this Region: NE OH Trails List

The Heart Of Ohio Trail opened in 2009 in an unpaved, natural state. Enough paving was completed in 2013 to add a smooth ribbon of asphalt to connect Centerburg with Mt. Liberty, Bangs and Mt. Vernon's westside.

The newest segment, a 2.2-mile trail section, opened in December 2016. It connects the new trail overpass at U.S. 36/Ohio Rt. 3 with finished trail to the northeast and into Centerburg. This leaves only a ~1.3-mile unfinished segment southwest of the bridge and into Licking County to connect with the next segment of completed trail along the cross-state Ohio-to-Erie Trail route.

Corn In-Season

Heading NE out of Centerburg and crossing Rt. 3, the paved trail slices through a crop field and adjoining property before it heads back into the cover of trees and brush.

Much of the trail corridor is a lush, green ribbon, with occasional creekside views.

The rebuilt bridge structures over the creeks along the route are first rate. They are made of concrete, which should far outlast their wooden-decked counterparts that become rough, uneven and even dangerous when not maintained properly.

The paving contractor, Kokosing Construction, did a fine job. The total trail build here is impressive and top notch.

Where the trail passes through Mt. Liberty, there's a small gravel parking lot with a trailside shelter. The structure, along with a bike rack and picnic table are nearby, courtesy of a local scout troop.

Just outside of Mt. Vernon the trail moves alongside a drag strip where the trail appears to have been moved over slightly to accommodate the raceway.

Lush Vegetation along the Trail

The trail now moves into Mt. Vernon passing Ariel Foundation Park. This park has become a community focal point and a unique trailside stop.

The bikeway makes its junction with a Mt. Vernon downtown connector and the Kokosing Gap Trail after crossing Main Street (Rt. 13).

The next phase will involve construction of a viaduct underpass here to avoid the multiple lane road crossing.

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