Ohio

Little Miami State Park

The Little Miami State Park is a 50-mile rails trail, multi-use, asphalt trail paralleling the Little Miami River in southwestern Ohio. The Little Miami State Park is the gateway trail between the trail systems in the Greater Cincinnati area and the trail systems in the north e.g. Dayton, Columbus, and Cleveland. Trail usage in 2020 was 2.3 million based on physical counters strategically placed along the trail. For most of its 50 miles, the Little Miami State Park follows the Little Miami River, a state wild and scenic river and a national scenic river. Of the 330 mile Ohio to Erie trail (Cincinnati to Cleveland), the Little Miami Trail represents 50 miles.

photo: Winter snow on the trail. Photo by Ohio DNR.

Length: 50.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Equestrian Trail, Fitness Trail, Nature Trail, Rail Trail, Snow Trail, Urban Trail
Agency: State
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Bicycling (on pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Equestrian - Riding
Equestrian - Pack trips
Heritage and History
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Roller/Inline Skating
Skateboarding
Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Snow - Snow Play, General
Snow - Snowshoeing
Wildlife Observation

     The trail is occasionally used for races and triathalons.

See more details.

 

Location: The Little Miami State Park is a 50-mile long, paved asphalt, multi-use, "rail trail" in southwestern Ohio that is built on the railroad bed of the Little Miami Railroad and parallels the Little Miami River.
State(s): Ohio
Counties: Hamilton, Clermont, Warren, Greene
Longitude: -84.127156
Latitude: 39.354506

Driving Directions

Over its 50-mile length, the Trail runs southwest to northeast (Cincinnati to Columbus) offering 11 primary access points or "trail heads", (Terrace Park, Milford, Camp Dennison, Miamiville, Loveland, Fosters, Morrow, South LebanonOregonia, Corwin/Waynesville, Spring Valley, Xenia). Since the Little Miami State Park is built on the railroad bed of the Little Miami Railroad (i.e. "rails-to-trails") the Trail typically goes thru the center of the towns along the way.

Description

The Little Miami Scenic Trail is the longest paved, rail trail in the United States, stretching for 76 miles from Terrace Park OH in the south to Springfield OH in the north. The Little Miami State Park represents 50 of those miles. Of the 330 mile Ohio to Erie trail, the Little Miami Trail represents 50 miles. Its history is that it was originally the Little Miami Railroad.

In 1836 the LMRR Railroad was chartered to connect Cincinnati OH and Xenia OH. The LMRR figured prominently in our nation's history. In 1860 president elect Abraham Lincoln rode the LMRR from Springfield, Illinois to his inauguration in Washington D.C. During the Civil War, Morgan's Raiders captured a Union troop train and made the troops walk back to Camp Dennison. And in both World War I and World War II, the LMRR transported ammunition from Peters Cartridge in Kings Mills to the various theaters of conflict. To this day you will see along the Trail railroad artifacts as well as artifacts from the Civil War, World War I, and World War II. The Friends of the Little Miami State Park are active in restoring and preserving these artifacts.
Work to convert the LMRR into the present day state park began in 1981 with the final Terrace Park leg being completed in 2005. Today's Trail goes through 4 Ohio counties (Hamilton, Clermont, Warren, and Greene) and 11 jurisdictions (Terrace Park, Milford, Camp Dennison, Miamiville, Loveland, Fosters, Morrow, Oregonia, Corwin/Waynesville, Spring Valley, Xenia).

Today the Little Miami State Park is the gateway trail between the trail systems in the the south (Cincinnati and surrounding area) and the trail systems in the north (Dayton, Columbus, and Cleveland). Trail usage in 2020 was 2.3 million based on current and historical electronic trail counters strategically placed along the trail. For most of its 50 miles, the Little Miami State Park follows the Little Miami River, a state and national scenic river..

State resources to maintain the Little Miami State Park are always severely restricted. So in 2009 a group of concerned citizens formed the non-profit Friends of the Little Miami State Park (FLMSP) for the purpose of maintaining and preserving this regional asset. Over 2,400 people receive FLMSP's Trail Mail monthly newsletter, over 400 people are dues-paying members, and FLMSP volunteers account for over 4,000 volunteer hours per year --- FLMSP has no paid staff. Back in 2009 FLMSP's first task was to pave the 15 wooden bridges along the 50-mile trail. These bridges had been the direct cause of 3 very serious accidents during 2008, i.e. broken tibia, broken femur, and paralysis.

Adopt-a-Trail was the first FLMSP program established --- similar in concept to Adopt-a-Highway. For a 50-mile trail, logistics is the constant challenge, so FLMSP divided the trail into 4 sections and divided those 4 sections into 24 segments for the purpose of recruiting volunteers. As the owner, ODNR is committed to to mowing and capital projects, the 24 Segment Adopters and their volunteers are responsible for everything else, e.g. removing honeysuckle, repairing fences, clearing lines of sight at intersections, removing trash and other debris, removing fallen trees, blowing leaves and walnuts from the trail, reforestation, hotline, etc. Today the Adopt-a-Trail program has a volunteer corps of over 100.

The oldest section of the trail was paved in 1981 --- 40 years ago. Over 40 of the 50 miles are the original surface. To the credit of the original railroad engineers, the trail foundation remains in good shape --- but we can’t count on this continuing indefinitely. Therefore, we have a multi-year plan in place to scarify (grind down) the bumps that are the result of root encroachment, cut the offending roots at trail’s edge, and crack-fill the entire trail while we wait for state funding to repave the entire Trail.

Additional Details

Width: 108 inches.
Primary Surface: Asphalt
Secondary Surface: Asphalt
Grass or Vegetation

Average Grade: 1%
Maximum Grade: 3%
Elevation Low Point: 493
Elevation High Point: 956
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
2022

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Friends of the Little Miami State Park
Website: Riding the Trail with Abraham Lincoln
Website: 1854 Trail Guide: Milford - Miamiville
Website: 1854 Trail Guide: South Lebanon
Website: 1854 Trail Guide: Fosters
Website: 1854 Trail Guide: Loveland
Website: Birth and Growth of the Little Miami Scenic Trail Tom Wallace
Website: The Little Miami Wild and Scenic River Ecology and History Stanley Heeden
Website: Little Miami Perfect Flood
Website: Aces & 8's Wild Bill Hickok
Website: On the Trail of Native Americans
Website: The Butterworth Family
Website: Somewhere Nancy Ford Cones Is Smiling
Website: Morgan's Raiders in Miamiville

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Public Contact:
Melissa Clark
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
2045 Morse Rd Bldg E-2
Columbus, OH 45229
(330) 933-5662
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Steve Murphy
President
Friends of the Little Miami State Park
9378 S Mason-Montgomery Rd
Ste 395
Mason, OH 45040 -8827
(513) 617-5800
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Ron Gorley
Vice President
Friends of the Little Miami State Park
9378 S Mason Montgomery Rd
Ste 395
Mason, OH 45040 -8827
(513) 702-9669
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Dick Feldmann
Treasurer
Friends of the Little Miami State Park
9378 S Mason Montgomery Rd
Ste 395
Mason, OH 45040 -8827
(937) 307-4012
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Becky Retzer
Secretary
Friends of the Little Miami State Park
9378 S Mason Montgomery Rd
Ste 395
Mason, OH 45040 -8827
(513) 817-9095
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Bruce Cortright
Board Member
Friends of the Little Miami State Park
9378 S Mason Montgomery Rd
Ste 395
Mason, OH 45040 -8827
(513) 505-7815
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Rick Forrester
Board Member
Friends of the Little Miami State Park
9378 S Mason Montgomery Rd
Ste 395
Mason, OH 45040 -8827
(513) 697-9523
[email protected]

Trail Management:
Larry Bloomfield
Board Member
Friends of the Little Miami State Park
9378 S Mason Montgomery Rd
Ste 395
Mason, OH 45040 -8827
(513) 909-5003
[email protected]

 

Photos

Just hinting yellow. Photo by Ohio DNR.

Just hinting yellow. Photo by Ohio DNR.

Oregonia Bridge. Photo by Ohio DNR.

Oregonia Bridge. Photo by Ohio DNR.

 

Winter snow on the trail. Photo by Ohio DNR.

Winter snow on the trail. Photo by Ohio DNR.

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