Welcome to the Kipton Reservation page. This undeveloped reservation once housed the city of Oberlin’s water supply and was known as the Kipton Reservoir. The current reservation is now most commonly used for horseback riding along unimproved trails that loop around the old reservoir (the trails were created and are maintained by the Erie and Lorain County chapters of the Ohio Horse Council.) A small gravel parking lot is on the west side of State Route 511 just south of State Route 20.
Please note that Kipton is a primitive area and there are no facilities. Picnicking is prohibited and restrooms are limited.
The Kipton Reservoir was constructed in 1887 by damming the Brighton Camden Ditch, a tributary of the Vermilion River, and was used as a water supply for the city of Oberlin. In 1905, the city of Oberlin started a program of reforesting the area surrounding the reservoir with trees supplied by the State of Ohio. Many of the trees at the present site are there as a result of this effort, and include white pine, catalpa, larch, ash, red oak, black locust and Norway spruce, none of which are native to the area.
In 1962 the city of Oberlin abandoned the reservoir, which gradually began to flow around the dam and drain on its own. The dam itself finally collapsed in 1974. Lorain County Metro Parks purchased the land in 1993 and maintained it as a park primarily used for horseback riding.