North Coast Inland Trail (Lorain County)


North Coast Inland Trail (Lorain County) Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Lorain
Length: 13.7 miles
Trail end points: Industrial Way (Elyria) and County Line Rd. (Kipton)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6121507
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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North Coast Inland Trail (Lorain County) Description

The Kipton to Elyria rail-trail was constructed where the Toledo, Norwalk and Cleveland Railroad once stood. The The Kipton to Elyria rail-trai stretches 13-miles and is primarily paved, aside from a small portion that is crushed stone towards Kipton. The Kipton to Elyria rail-trail is part of the 65-mile North Coast Inland Trail. The corridor is classic rail-trail: flat and mostly straight.

Heading northeast from Kipton's downtown community park and restored depot, you travel only 50 feet before encountering a plaque commemorating the Great Kipton Train Wreck. This was the scene of an 1891 train collision in which eight people died. The wreck was blamed on the station engineer's watch, which was slow by four minutes and caused him to delay moving one of the trains to a separate track. Railroad officials hired prominent Cleveland jeweler Webb Ball to investigate railroad timekeeping and institute precision performance and inspection standards. Locals credit Ball's capable work with the origin of the much-used idiom "on the ball."

Heading toward Oberlin you pass rural homes and take in sweeping views of a community golf course. Before entering Oberlin the trail turns off the rail corridor and onto country roads for less than 1 mile. The on-road bike lanes are well defined, traffic is light and the route is easy to negotiate.

The rail line picks up again in the beautiful college town of Oberlin. The trail travels through the town's central park, with drinking fountains and a playground, and passes Oberlin's restored train depot. Past Oberlin, the vista becomes rolling farmland, with herds of cattle and roaming horses. You also pass rural homesteads and are welcomed by the baying of kenneled hounds. Birdlife along the trail includes cardinals, turkey vultures, bluebirds, warblers and vireos.

The trail ends in Elyria when it hits Industrial Parkway. Plans are afoot to extend this trail in both directions between Elyria and Toledo.

Parking and Trail Access

The Kipton trailhead is easy to reach from US 20 by taking State Route 511 north for just over 0.5 mile to downtown Kipton. Park on the left in Kipton Community Park on Rosa Street.

To reach the Oberlin trailhead from US 20, follow SR 58 north to downtown Oberlin. There is a parking lot on the left at the Oberlin Depot.

North Coast Inland Trail (Lorain County) Reviews

Went on our normal bike ride on the NCITrail with 12 people stopped at the Oberlin Café for lunch . Found out the city of Oberlin passed laws against locking your bikes to lamp post ,park bench, tree, they will confiscate your bike. Charlie

I came from Michigan rode my bike from Monroe I rode the segment from Elmore to Bellevue I'm planning to ride the hole length nice

"Dave" August 17, 2016 The west end of the trail is rough gravel and leads to a busy road (RT20. The east end leads to a 2 lane one way Ed with the trailhead nowhere near the end. The best part was a McDonald's smoothie in Oberlin.


We've ridden the entire length of this trail several times, from Kipton to Elyria and back. It's typically a very pleasant, easy ride with friendly people who always say "hi" as we pass. However, today (7/4/2016), on our way back from Elyria, we encountered a "gang" of at least 15 youths (probably aged 10-14) between the "green" crossing after McDonald's and before the golf course.

They were grouped together both deep and wide. We saw an opening on the right and said "excuse us...on your right" and they started trash-talking, challenging us to race them (they would have lost), being rude and threatening. We did not engage them, hoping they would lose interest.

They continued taunting and jabbering for about 4 minutes, before turning left off of the trail.

We've seen the occasional "shady" individual or groups of two on the trail, and just continue on our way. But, this was a bit scary. Knowing the Oberlin area, I'm actually surprised it hasn't happened before. So, be careful out there. Maybe carry a small can of mace, just in case.

I guess im spoiled riding in PA and WV . Gave this a try being only an hour away . Next time ill make the extra drive out of state or at least the Towpath in Cuyahoga Valley . If you like a bike road that is straight and flat with no scenery than this is for you .

this is our closest & one of our most favorite trails! we either ride a quick 11 mile roundtrip Kipton to Oberlin or time permitting Oberlin to Elyria 16 miles roundtrip or the full 26.2 miles Kipton to Elyria on the weekend. beautiful countryside, smooth & flat ~ always fun! excited to see work at Baird Rd to extend the trail westbound. we LOVE this trail!

Love this trail. If you park in Elyria there are no bathrooms & really none on the trail. Only a few benches along the way. There is a McDonalds about 8 miles in to the ride. The trail is not usually too crowded. There are stretches with direct sun exposure so sunscreen is suggested and plenty of water. The trail ends and you have to ride on the road for about 1.5 mile but there is a designated lane for bikes. It's worth it to do it because the trail picks back up and it's a nice part of the trail.
There is an option to ride into the college town of Oberlin. There are some sandwich shops and ice cream.

The trail is as discribed. We rode from Kipton east to Elyria and back. Was a nice early fall day for the 26 mile round trip. I would imagine that in the dog days of summer, during mid day, this might be a rough ride as the trail is not overly canopied.

Anyway, we traveled from the east side of Cleveland to check out a new trail and found it well worth the trip. Enjoy!

This is one of my favorite places to ride. I can use my headphones and not worry about car traffic, other than crossing backroads. It's very pretty, even in winter. Go later in the evening and you'll see rabbits and deer crossing your path. It's a gradual incline and decline so you will pedal. If the winter is not harsh this year, I will keep riding all winter as well.

We rode on the Ohio North Coast Inland Trail, starting in Kipton and heading toward Oberlin, in August 2012. Our ride was unfortunately shortened by a rainstorm, but we had a great time and the trail is in great shape. We look forward to returning!

As a novice rider, I really enjoyed this trail. Straight and mostly flat with very gradual inclines, the trail takes you through great farmland and small towns. Be careful at intersections. A lot of the trail is without shade, so an early start keeps you cool during summer months. Get off the trail in Oberlin to see the historic college's great buildings, have brunch in one of the small restaurants, and head back to finish the trail. The trail still ends outside of Kipton. I don't know if anyone will connect this great trail as was mentioned in the reviews from a decade ago but if they do, I for one will be riding it.

Words can not describe or do justice to this flat and easy to ride trail.

You must be careful as many of the streets to cross are highways. One especially is very blind. Signs warn you of this.

People are friendly to bikers there. Traffic stopped in both directions so we could cross. I have not seen this before.

Thank you.

"This is a peaceful trail, great for biking. It is presently underutilized even on weekends, and I selfishly hope it stays that way for a while."

Great trail -- can't wait until they get it all done.

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