MOUNT VERNON — The Rails to Trails Conservancy announced April 13 as the Opening Day for Trails. This event is a nationwide celebration of local trails and how they bring life to communities and their residents.
The Friends of the Heart of Ohio Trail, the Kokosing Gap Trail Board, Knox County Park District, Foundation Park Conservancy and the Knox County Health Department has a fun-filled day planned full of activities.
The event will begin at the C.A. & C. Depot, 501 S. Main St., Mount Vernon, at 10 a.m., which will include a two-mile hike that highlights the history and the features of Ariel-Foundation Park.
At 11 a.m. a board member of the Friends of the Heart of Ohio Trail will lead a short hike from the C.A. & C. Depot to the C.A. & C. Freight Depot and present a history of Knox County railroads.
At noon a ten-mile bike ride on the Kokosing Gap Trail departs to the Kokosing Gap Trailhead in Gambier. At this time attendees can visit the locomotive and caboose located on the trail. The caboose will be open from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. for those interested in observing the layout of the car. Several Kokosing Gap Trail volunteers will be available to answer questions about the history and upkeep of the train, located just southeast of the Kenyon Athletic Center at 297 Duff St.
At 2 p.m., join Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists for a two-mile walk on the Kokosing Gap Trail to the Brown Family Environmental Center for a nature hike. Along the way, the group will be looking for early spring flowers and hearing migrant birds as well as resident birds.
Many trails throughout the United States will celebrate this event of the return of spring and the substantial increase of the use of trails for recreational purposes nationwide. Knox County is privileged to have three trails that combine in the Ohio to Erie Trail: Heart of Ohio Trail, Kokosing Gap Trail and the Mohican Valley Trail. This year marks the seventh year for this event nationwide. Join the fun and attend the “Opening Day.” For a detailed listing of events, visit the Knox County Park District website at www.knoxcountyparks.org.