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Although the Downtown Connector Trail is short, just a mile through Mount Vernon, it's a key connector between the Kokosing Gap Trail, which heads east to Danville, and the Heart of Ohio Trail, which heads west to Centerburg. All three trails are part of the expansive Ohio to Erie Trail network, which connects trails across the state from Cleveland to Cincinnati.
The Downtown Connector Trail, which opened in May 2016, begins at Memorial Park on its east end and travels west along the Kokosing River to the restored Cleveland, Akron & Columbus (CA&C) Railroad Depot, which dates back to 1907. The trail includes pedestrian/bike bridges over the Kokosing River and Dry Creek.
Parking and restrooms are available on the west end of the trail at Mt. Vernon's CA&C Depot at 501 S. Main St.
On the east end of the trail, you can hop on the Kokosing Gap Trail for a short distance to reach Phillips Park on Liberty Street, where parking and restrooms are available.
Used this connector trail as we finished up on Heart of Ohio Trail and continued on seamlessly to Kokosing Gap. This connector now goes under S. Main Street Bridge.
Recently, on my way to ride several Central Ohio trails, I stopped in Mount Vernon to check out this new addition to the city's Downtown Connector Trail. I've ridden through Mount Vernon on several occasions while riding across Ohio on the Ohio to Erie Trail (OTET) route. The Downtown Connector is an important addition to the OTET. The trail links the Kokosing Gap Trail to the Heart of Ohio Trail. A vast improvement over riding the city's streets to make the appropriate connection back in 2013. Since my last trans-Ohio ride in 2019, an additional arm to the Downtown Connector has been added -- the River Route. The advantage to using the River Route is it allows users of the trail to pass underneath the South Main Street Bridge over the Kokosing River without having to wait for a crossing signal on this very busy roadway. The one disadvantage of this trail option is that it is subject to closure when the river's water levels are high. I appreciate Mount
Vernon's continued desire to find ways to improve the trail experience for those using the trail.
While this short mile long trail has a lot of utility in connecting two key trails in the Ohio to Erie Trail route, I still cannot grade the trail higher than 3 stars due to its short length and in comparison to the sights seen along the two trails that it connects.
Great way to ride both trails. I started at the Railroad Depot in Mount Vernon and did the whole Heart of Ohio Trail. When I got back to my truck I grabbed another water and took the Connector Trail to Kokosing Gap Trail. On the Connector Trail I stopped and watched them play softball and tennis for awhile.
When you enter Mount Vernon, Ohio on the Kokosing Gap Trail you have to cross over Mount Vernon Avenue. If you go straight ahead you end up in Phillips Park, a recreational baseball park and picnic area. This is where the Kokosing Gap Trail used to end. If you turn left after crossing over Mount Vernon Avenue you are on the Downtown Connector. This one mile trail follows the Kokosing River and connects directly with the Heart of Ohio Trail. It also brings you to South Main Street and the southern end of the city's business district. There is a Comfort Inn hotel right at the end of this trail which makes it very convenient for bikers.
A useful trail, but not a trail to travel out of your way to ride.
This short trail connects the Heart of Ohio trail to the Kokosing GAP trail in Mount Vernon OH. Newly constructed in 2015 the paved asphalt is in great condition. Trail follows the Kokosing River.
You can park at the old train station in Mount Vernon at Ariel Foundation Park. Large parking lot. Restrooms in the old train station. Nearby restaurants in Mt. Vernon.
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