This book includes a plain text version that is designed for high accessibility. To use this version please follow this link.
“It’s really made the bikeway a linear park along the river,” he said. “People can go along and enjoy the river, stop and enjoy places along the way. It ties communities together— par- ticularly the communities that aren’t right on the interstate. I think it’s a tremendous asset for the whole region.”


Developing the river corridor


While the Great Miami River has gained state and federal water trail status, supporters say there is still work to do for better access and amenities. “I think we’re in a process of con- tinuing to activate our waterways in new and innovative ways,” said Leslie King, director of the Rivers Institute, a University of Dayton initiative that works to promote and protect the wa- tershed. “We’re trying to think how to leverage each of the riverfront cities as unique assets of the experience, with  At the request of MCD and the Montgomery County Commission in 2012, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a study on 99 miles of the river corridor. The study pointed out many strengths along with some chal- lenges.


It touted the “extensive network” of both the bikeway and water trails, dozens of riverfront parks, and devel- opments in many cities. But it also pointed out problems, such as low-head dams that require por- tages, the need for more accommoda- tions along the river for overnight stays, and a lack of activity hubs in some communities. Still, the Army Corps found that the corridor was “headed in the right direc- tion.”


With recent improvements through  a low-head dam and construction of a white water play area, King says things are moving in the right direction. “I really enjoy the stretch from the Mad River where you start up at


Eastwood (MetroPark) and experience the riparian zone, and then you get into one mile of small, industrial landscape, and then down into the riverfront cityscape.”


A visitor’s perspective


The river corridor isn’t just attractive to residents. The Great Miami River Bike- way and the greater bike network also draws people from all over the country, Manuszak said.


Cindy Rowe is a retired software engineer who lives in Silicon Valley and has done bike tours all over the nation. She and a friend like to do self-support- ed trips about 400 miles long, but most of the long trails she’s found, such as the Katy Trail in Missouri or the Great Allegheny Passage Trail from Pittsburg to Washington, D.C., are predominantly gravel or crushed limestone. Rowe much prefers paved trails, and doesn’t want to ride on roads.


Then she came to visit her sister in Cincinnati and found the region’s trail network on miamivalleytrails.org. “There are all these beautifully paved


trails, and they’re everywhere,” Rowe said. “It’s the best in the country, I have to say that. Clearly, it’s the most exten- sive network of paved trails, with no vehicles, anywhere.” And the Great Miami Trail, she said, was the most fun on her trip. “We did it in the fall, and there were fes- tivals in every town,” she said. “It goes through a lot of parks. The end points are both very attractive.”


She especially enjoyed RiverScape


MetroPark and the Oregon District, both in downtown Dayton. “You feel totally safe,” Rowe said.


“There are people all around having a really good time. It’s just a nice, nice trail to ride.”


Ken McCall is the former database report- er, now retired, for the Dayton Daily News/Cox Media Group Ohio and an avid cyclist. He is a member of Bike Miami Valley, where he serves as co-chairman of the Regional Advocacy Committee; the Dayton Cycling Club; the Ohio Bike Federation; and the League of American Bicyclists. For maps and trail information visit www.miamivalleytrails.org.


The trail includes many opportunities for camping 19


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40