On a warm and sunny day, Knox County residents flock to the Kokosing Gap Trail, a linear park that reclaims fourteen miles of old Pennsylvania Railroad tracks. The twenty-year-old trail encourages interaction with both the landscape and the community, providing an attractive and safe place for residents of all ages to experience local beauty. Weaving through towns, woodlands, and farmlands, it crosses the scenic Kokosing River twice, and even offers a playground for young trail-goers. Whether biking, roller skating, running, or walking, you’re bound to see a friendly patron of the trail—so don’t hesitate to say “Hello!”

“In the spring, on a 70° or 80° day, the parking lot in Mount Vernon will be stuffed. There isn’t enough room. There are hundreds of people using the trail.” Randy Cronk, chair, Kokosing Gap Trail Incorporated

“I was riding [my bike on the trail] at least a dozen times a summer. I think it’s nice that it’s really dedicated to pedestrians and cyclists. And also, it’s really beautiful.” Heather Doherty, program manager, Brown Family Environmental Center, Kenyon College

“Now that it’s built, people have come up to me and said, ‘You know, I was opposed to this project, but I think this is the best thing that ever happened to Knox County.’” Phil Samuell, former chair, Kokosing Gap Trail Incorporated

“The price to be on earth is to leave it a little better than you found it. I think [the trail] has truly enhanced the quality of life for people in Knox County.” Phil Samuell, former chair, Kokosing Gap Trail Incorporated

The Kokosing Gap Trail commemorated its anniversaries with posters celebrating the park’s success. Courtesy Phil Samuell 

The retired railroad caboose in Gambier offers a popular stopping place to experience the history of the trail.
The Howard tunnel is one of the most idyllic spots on the trail, and a favorite for photographers and trail-goers alike. Courtesy Phil Samuell and Kokosing Gap Trail Incorporated 
Although the trail is not plowed in winter, it still provides a beautiful park space for those brave enough to venture through the snow—often even on skis. Courtesy Phil Samuell