Best Management Practices - Great Miami River Watershed Water Trail

 

Trail Mission Statement

Through community partnerships, the Great Miami River Watershed Water Trail connects communities and people to the Great Miami River and its tributaries, offers public access for recreation, promotes wise stewardship of resources, provides accurate information on safety and access, and supports the health of local waterways and surrounding lands.

 

Recreation Opportunities

The Miami Conservancy District works with local partners to create, manage, and maintain the public access points of the Great Miami River Watershed Water Trail. Only access points which are publicly owned and/or managed are considered a part of the water trail network. Access points must also be actively managed and maintained to be eligible. Each partner is solely responsible for the maintenance and management of their own access points.

Local partners include:
Miami County Park District, Five Rivers MetroParks, Concord Township, Darke County Park District, Cities of Sidney, Piqua, Dayton, Troy, Tipp City, Riverside, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Franklin, Middletown, Hamilton, Greenville, Springfield, the Villages of Covington, West Milton, Colerain Township, Great Parks of Hamilton County, Warren County Park District, Butler MetroParks, Greene County Park District, the Mad Men of Trout Unlimited, and National Trails Park District.

MCD convenes the community partners, maintains a database of access points, publishes the paper maps, maintains the on-line interactive map, distributes the water trail signage, and directly manages or maintains some of the access points. MCD assists the community partners explore new access points in areas that are lacking adequate access.

 

Education

Encouraging paddling and other river recreation is a way to bring awareness to how special these rivers are, and how important it is to protect them for future generations.

Play it Safe campaign
MCD launched a Play it Safe media campaign from 2004 - 2009. Television and radio ads were launched to instruct people to wear their lifejackets, how to stay safe around dangerous lowhead dams, and how to access the river. The ads can be viewed at www.miamiconservancy.org/recreation/boating.asp and http://www.miamiconservancy.org/resources/videos/pit_large.html

Great Miami River Watershed Network
MCD co-facilitates quarterly meetings where participants can discuss items of mutual concern and share ideas to leverage resources in the Great Miami River Watershed, primarily water-resource related.

Miami Valley Stream Team
The Miami Valley Stream Team is a volunteer water quality monitoring program. MCD manages the program in the Great Miami River Watershed to increase public awareness of water quality issues and concerns by training volunteers to monitor stream water quality.

 

Conservation

MCD works with local communities to prioritize areas for restoration, protection, and conservation. MCD has provided technical assistance, funding, grant management, and other resources depending on the goals and location of the project. MCD has worked with communities to acquire land for preservation and public access, restore streambanks, and create additional habitat along the rivers such as forest and prairie. The community partners frequently collaborate on restoration and acquisition projects to maximize resources.

Great Miami River Watershed Water Quality Credit Trading Program
MCD manages the Great Miami River Watershed Water Quality Credit Trading program which provides funds for reducing pollutant runoff into area rivers and streams. This program could save communities more than $300 million over the next 20 years while significantly improving water quality.

Great Miami River Watershed Joint Board
The Joint Board is made up of one representative from each of the 15 Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the Great Miami River Watershed. The mission of the Joint Board is to work collaboratively with MCD and other partners to increase activities along rivers and streams that decrease water pollution.

 

Community Support

MCD collaborates with several ongoing partnerships to support the maintenance of the trail and advocate for its stewardship.

Ohio’s Great Corridor Association
MCd helped create the Ohio’s Great Corridor Association (OGCA) and is currently a board member. The OGCA is a nonprofit organziation and promotes a quality of life that keeps Ohio’s talent in Ohio. It is the focus of private investment, a job-generator, and tourist destination. The River Corridor is the largest mixed-use district of its kind touting vibrant city waterfronts interconnected by land and water trails. Between the cities, the River Corridor embraces some of Ohio’s most picturesque and productive farmland and exquisite natural areas.

Local communities view the Great Miami River as a valuable community asset, drawing riverfront investment. Diverse types of festivals and special events line its banks all year long. Tourists, recreationalists and commuters put its trails to good use. Refurbished and innovative housing options create a new neighborhood of urban pioneers. World-class arts and entertainment venues draw diverse visitors from near and far. www.ohiosgreatcorridor.com

USACE Planning Assistance to State project

The recently released Great Miami River Corridor Planning Assistance Study provides a regional perspective of existing and planned river and riverfront recreation and economic development opportunities along 99-miles of the Great
Miami River corridor from Sidney to Hamilton, Ohio. The study was funded by the USACE Planning Assistance to States program with a 100-percent match by the participating agencies and communities. Fifteen communities and agencies along the Great Miami River corridor collaborated with USACE on the study. The participating communities and agencies were MCD; Montgomery County; the cities of Sidney, Piqua, Troy, Dayton, Riverside, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Franklin, Middletown and Hamilton; along with Miami County Park District; Five River MetroParks; and MetroParks of Butler County.

River Summit
Since 2007, The Miami Conservancy District, along with the University of Dayton and many local partners, sponsors the River Summit. The River Summit brings together all the communities along the river to share resources and develop a strategy to use the river corridor as an economic tool. Each year, hundreds of local leaders come together to encourage activity associated with the rivers. http://riversummit.udayton.edu/.

 

Public Information

In 2002, the Great Miami River was the location of four boating related fatalities, and three major boating related rescues. MCD began the Great Miami River Boating Safety Education Program to educate boaters and river recreationalists about the safe way to use the river. MCD also convened a River Access Roundtable inviting all of the organizations within the Great Miami River Watershed with an interest in river recreation to discuss the region’s water-based recreation needs and trends. Out of that conversation the Great Miami River Watershed Water Trail system was born.

Maps
A map and guide are printed for each of the three major trails – the Great Miami River, the Mad River, and the Stillwater River. The maps were first published in 2004 and are funded in part through ODNR Boating Education grants, ODNR Water Trail grants, MCD, and local community partners. Since 2004 MCD has distributed 50,000 Great Miami River Maps, 30,000 Stillwater River Maps, and 20,000 Mad River maps to river users.

The maps are free, printed on waterproof paper, and are made of #2 plastic so they can be recycled when people are done using them. The maps include all of the locations and amenities for each access point. Each map includes a section on planning a trip and a section with details on a Day Trip. The maps also include extensive safety information, watercraft laws and boater responsibility, and trail user etiquette. There is a section on the purpose of the Miami Conservancy District, and contact information for all the relevant community partners. MCD distributes the printed maps through the community partners. All access points are verified in person before they are added to the map. All hazard locations include latitude and longitude points which were professionally surveyed. The maps have had several revisions and reprints. Each time a map is up for revision the River Access group provides input to improve the information about the water trail.

Website
In 2009, MCD debuted an online mapping tool, where river users can view the map information and plan a trip. http://www.miamiconservancy.org/recreation/planatrip.asp. The on-line interactive website includes information on the Great Miami River Watershed Water Trail, safety, low impact ethics, fishing, and give users the ability to download PDF copies of the printed maps. The interactive section of the website allows users to view each access point on a Google map or aerial photography. Users can also view other amenities near the access points such as parks or restrooms. There is a feature that allows users to select points to add to a trip itinerary.

Ohio Water Trail Designation
To help promote the trail, MCD worked with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to achieve Ohio Water Trail designation in 2010.

Ohio’s Great Corridor Association
Since 2008, MCD has supported the Ohio’s Great Corridor Association (OGCA) and is currently a board member. The OGCA promotes a quality of life that keeps Ohio’s talent in Ohio. It is the focus of private investment, a job-generator, and tourist destination. The River Corridor is the largest mixed-use district of its kind touting vibrant city waterfronts interconnected by land and water trails. Local communities view the Great Miami River as a valuable community asset, drawing riverfront investment. Diverse types of festivals and special events line its banks all year long. Tourists, recreationalists and commuters put its trails to good use. www.ohiosgreatcorridor.com

River Summit
Since 2007, The Miami Conservancy District, along with the University of Dayton and many local partners, sponsors the River Summit. The River Summit brings together all the communities along the river to share resources and develop a strategy to use the river corridor as an economic tool. Each year, hundreds of local leaders come together to encourage activity associated with the rivers. http://riversummit.udayton.edu/.

 

Trail Maintenance

The Miami Conservancy District works with local partners to create, manage, and maintain the public access points of the Great Miami River Watershed Water Trail. Only access points which are publicly owned and/or managed are considered a part of the water trail network. Access points must also be actively managed and maintained to be eligible. Each partner is solely responsible for the maintenance and management of their own access points.

Local partners include:
Miami County Park District, Five Rivers MetroParks, Concord Township, Darke County Park District, Cities of Sidney, Piqua, Dayton, Troy, Tipp City, Riverside, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Franklin, Middletown, Hamilton, Greenville, Springfield, the Villages of Covington, West Milton, Colerain Township, Great Parks of Hamilton County, Warren County Park District, Butler MetroParks, Greene County Park District, the Mad Men of Trout Unlimited, and National Trails Park District.

Since 2004, more than a dozen new access points, several with hand-carried boat ramps, were added to the Water Trail system. Communities along the rivers continually discuss potential future access points where needed. MCD periodically convenes the River Roundtable to discuss issues, concerns, and future goals.

 

Planning

The Miami Conservancy District continually reaches out to recreation managers, such as park districts and canoe rental entities to ensure that the maps are providing the information about the river that is most useful to river users. Each time a map is ready for reprint, MCD facilitates a discussion with the River Roundtable to ensure the most accurate information is included on the maps. THe USACE Planning Assistance to States project that produced the Great Miami River Corridor report also provides information useful for the future of the trail and its management.

The Miami Conservancy District (MCD) is a regional government with its boundaries on the Great Miami River Watershed. Created in 1915 to protect the region from flooding, it has evolved over the decades to address water resources issues of all kinds including promoting recreation opportunities. MCD has promoted recreation, including parks, bikeways, and water trails since its inception recognizing that communities that utilize the resources are more likely to want to care for them.

 

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Note:

This website provides access to the National Recreation Trail (NRT) database, a collection of information on the various trails which have been designated as NRT's. These trails are located throughout the United States and U.S. territories. The amount of information may vary from trail to trail. If you need more information than is available on this site, please use the contact(s) listed for that trail. (If no contacts, are listed, you may request help from American Trails at trailhead@americantrails.org)

Application instructions can be found on the NWTS site, which provides information and documents required for new applications. You may use this as a checklist to gather data for the online application. Basic information is entered on the application website, and supporting materials (maps, photos, etc.) can be uploaded but must be in standard electronic formats.


This application process is for trails on state, local, or private land, OR on federal land (outside the US Department of Agriculture). If your water trail is on National Forest, National Grassland, or other land managed by the Department of Agriculture, you should contact the US Forest Service National Recreation Trails Program.


This online application and the NRT database are hosted and maintained by American Trails.