National Recreation Trails Database


Trail Description Continued

The Great Miami River Watershed Water Trail includes three major river and several smaller streams and collectively offers 291 miles and 117 public access sites. The name Miami was originally the designation of the tribe who bore the name of “Tewightewee.” In the Ottawa language, it signified “mother” and the Shawanoese called the river Shi,me,a,mee,sepe or “Big Miamie River.” The Miami Valley is known for its lush vegetation, abundant water resources, Ohio-Erie canal, and rich archeological past. Today, the Great Miami River corridor is known for its water supply, recreation, industries, productive farmland, and high quality tributaries. The middle and upper mainstem contains some of Ohio’s best smallmouth bass fishing. As a result of the watershed’s glacial deposits, the Great Miami River flows over a buried aquifer with thick deposits of sand, gravel, cobble, and boulders. Its large watershed and abundant groundwater helps to maintain good base flows throughout the year.

Great Miami River and tributaries

The Great Miami River Water Trail includes 156 miles and 60 public access points for trail users to paddle, boat, fish, wildlife watch and enjoy. The Great Miami River has plenty of opportunities for beginner through advanced paddlers. A majority of the river is appropriate for hand-carried boats but there are several deeper sections where the use of motorized boats is popular. During summer low flows the river is a lazy paddle experience for much of its length. During higher flows extreme caution must be taken to safely navigate the river.

The river corridor begins in a rural environment and flows through farm fields and small villages. At river mile 128 the river flows past the first of several small cities and alternates between farm fields and streamside forests. Nearing the City of Dayton trail users must portage a large dam, Taylorsville, before the river flows through the urbanized environment. Around river mile 50 the Great Miami River continues to become much wider and deeper until its confluence with the Ohio River just west of Cincinnati. There are a total of 22 lowhead dams on the river and one major dam that require portage.

Twin Creek is a major tributary of the Great Miami River and enters the Great Miami River at river mile 56.7. The Twin Creek offers ten public access points and boasts itself as the third healthiest stream segment in all of Ohio. There are excellent opportunities for fishing and wildlife watching.

Mad River and tributaries

Mad River, one of Ohio’s only coldwater fisheries to support brown trout, is well known as a popular fishing and canoe and kayak destination. This includes the tributary of Buck Creek which features a popular kayak whitewater park. Frequented by trout clubs and canoeists,the Mad River is Ohio’s longest coldwater stream.

Stillwater River and tributaries

The scenic beauty of the Stillwater River attracts paddlers and fishermen from all over the country. The Stillwater River supports an exceptional diversity of aquatic wildlife and great sport fishing. The Stillwater is an Ohio-designated Scenic River. With excellent habitat and good water quality, the Stillwater and Greenville Creek Scenic River system provides exceptional smallmouth bass fishing. Greenville Falls is located in a gorge west of Covington. Greenville Creek passes through a steep ravine and bluffs in this area and has been dedicated as a state nature preserve.


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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

The on-line database has details on the currently designated National Recreation Trails. The NRT Program online is hosted by American Trails: