Vermilion-Lorain Water Trail

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The Water Trail

Lorain-Vermilion Water TrailsThe water tail is a total of 27 miles long. It begins at the shale cliffs of the Vermilion River Reservation and follows until the Vermilion River empties out into Lake Erie, cutting through downtown Vermilion. It then continues along the shoreline, passing Showse Park of Vermilion and Lakeview Park of Lorain. It enters the mouth of the Black River and goes through downtown Lorain and passes the U.S. Steel Mill. The trail ends at Bur Oak Picnic of the Black River Reservation in Elyria. Kayakers and Canoes can access the trail at several points. Signage will be posted int he coming months at these points.

Access Points

Vermilion River Reservation
51211 North Ridge Road, Vermilion, OH

City of Vermilion South Street Beach Boat Launch
777 River Road, Vermilion, OH

City of Vermilion Main Street Boat Launch
480 Main Street, Vermilion, OH

City of Vermilion Showse Park
3325 Edgewater Dr., Vermilion, OH

Lakeview Park
1800 Waest Erie Ave, Lorain, OH

City of Lorain Port Authority Lakeside Landing Park
301 Lakeside Ave, Lorain, OH

City of Lorain Port Authority Black River
Wharf Boat Launch

355 Broadway Ave, Lorain, OH

Black River Reservation
6150 Ford Road, Elyria, OH

Safety Tips for Kayaking and Canoeing

  • Always boat with another person.
  • Wear a lifejacket at all times, particularly in moving water. By law children under 10 must wear life jackets of an appropriate size.
  • Dress for the water temperature. Bring an extra change of clothes and your cell phone in a waterproof bag.
  • Neoprene shoes or tennis shoes with woolen socks are recommended footwear.
  • File a “float plan” with a reliable person, indicating where you are going and when you will leave and return. Remember to contact the person once you have safely returned.
  • Do not overload or unevenly load your boat. Keep the weight in the boat centered from side to side and bow to stern. The lower and closed the load in the bath is to the boat’s centerline, the more stable it will be.
  • Always maintain three points of contact (for example, two hands, and one foot touching the boat) while moving around in the boat.
  • Be prepared to swim. If the water looks too hazardous to swim, then don’t boat on it.
  • Never boat over lowhead dams.
  • Portage (carry your boat around) and section of water about which you feel uncertain.
  • If you capsize, hold on to your boat unless it presents a life-threatening situation. If floating in current, position yourself on the upstream side of the capsized boat.
  • Carry plenty of drinking water.
  • Avoide overexertion and guard against extreme weather conditions.
  • Do not attempt to stand or walk in swift water.


The Lorain-Vermilion Water Trail is a partnership between the Lorain County Metro Parks, the City of Lorain, the City of Vermilion, Lorain Port Authority, Vermilion Port Authority, Vermilion Shores, Beaver Park Marina, and the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft and Division of Wildlife.

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