Great Miami River Trail


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Great Miami River Trail Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Butler, Miami, Montgomery, Warren
Length: 87.5 miles
Trail end points: 9300 OH-66 (Piqua) and Water Works Park, 5133 Groh Ln. (Fairfield)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6121453

Great Miami River Trail Description


The Great Miami River Trail is the backbone of one of the nation’s largest paved trail networks and spans 87.5 miles throughout Ohio’s Miami Valley. The route connects beautiful natural areas, small towns, and large cities across four counties in southwestern Ohio.

The trail has a wonderfully maintained asphalt surface for its entire length. The majority of the trail meanders alongside the namesake Great Miami River and creates a prime opportunity to observe wildlife along the way.

About the Route

Leaving Piqua on your way south to Troy, you’ll be delighted with the Robert J. Shook Memorial Bikeway Bridge over the river. Riding along the river, trail users can see the impressive levee system that keeps the river out of town and allowed for the trail to be built. Entering Troy, an off-road trail is maintained even through some tight downtown situations. As the trail regains the river, it also passes an impressive city park along the waterfront.

Heading south, trail users will welcome the shaded tree canopy. Tipp City offers many amenities for trail users, including some of the best way-finding signage you can hope to see along a trail. The next stretch of trail is amazingly scenic and quiet as you ride through forests and a metro park before crossing the river again and continuing underneath I-70.

The trail entrance into downtown Dayton is a great experience, as it passes through five different parks, one island, and two trail bridges. The path hugs the river through the city, with ample chances to turn off and enjoy amenities.

South of Dayton, The Great Miami River Trail continues through small towns, including Miamisburg, which boasts many trail-friendly places to visit and helpful signage telling you how to get to them. This long stretch of 77 miles of connected trail ends just south of Middletown and east of Trenton.

After about a 5-mile gap, the southernmost section of the path begins at Rentschler Forest MetroPark north of Hamilton. The trail travels through the city to its southern terminus at Waterworks Park just south of Hamilton.


In Piqua, the trail intersects with the Ohio-to-Indiana Trail (River's Edge Trail).

In Dayton, the trail connects to the Mad River TrailStillwater River Bikeway, and Wolf Creek Trail.

In Chautauqua, the trail connects with the Great-Little Trail.

The Great Miami River Trail is part of the Great American Rail Trail, a 3,700-mile route from Washington to Washington D.C. 

Parking and Trail Access

The Great Miami River Trail runs between 9300 OH-66 (Piqua) and Water Works Park, 5133 Groh Ln. (Fairfield), with parking available at both ends.

Parking is available at:

  • Treasure Island Park, 409 N Elm St (Troy)
  • Miami-Erie Canal Park, 5641 Marina Dr (Dayton)
  • 50 Oxford State Rd (Middletown)

Please see TrailLink Map for all parking options and detailed directions.

Great Miami River Trail Reviews

Pavement Cracks

Been riding this trail for decades and have noticed that sections between Franklin and Dayton have pavement cracks every 30-50 ft that are 2-4 inches in width. It looks like at in the past they were filled in with asphalt, now the asphalt has sunk down in. Yesterday was a jarring and unsettling ride, probably will start in downtown Dayton and ride north until they fix these cracks.

Ran this trail twice

I have ran this trail from top to bottom twice. This included the portion that is known as Canal Feeder Trail in Sidney (not labeled on this map, but said to be part of the trail) and also includes the last little bit from Hamilton to Fairfield.

Last year when i ran it, it was labeled as being 99 miles, however, this year they have it marked as being 87 miles...not sure where the other 12 miles went from the year before...but I measured it out to be 95.72 miles. This includes any and all spurs or any branches off from the main trail. Canal feeder trail is 4.66 miles (this includes the whole trail, across Vandemark Rd where the trail extends and dead ends in the woods with no place to go but back to the Vandemark Rd parking lot). Then starting at Swift Run in Piqua and ending at Trenton (including Canal Feeder) measures 84.55 miles. The last little bit from Reigart Road in Hamilton to Groh Ln in Fairfield measures 11.17 miles.

I frequently run the portions running from Piqua to Vandalia. This portion is mostly wooded and protected. Once it gets in to Dayton it gets a little tricky with more flood bank runs and city views. The run from Marina Drive to Miami St is a little boring but not as boring as the path from Carmody to Trenton that measures 6.2 miles in distance.

I have this trail broke down in to miles pretty good with landmarks. If anyone ever wants to know distance measures, I'm your gal.

The last leg of the map runs Hamilton to Fairfield, and honestly may be the best part through heavy woods and beautiful landscapes.


Trail starting at Trenton.

Rode this trail north towards Middletown. Not too much fun in the direct sunshine. Wouldn’t recommend this if it’s not cloudy. We will try and hit this same trail farther north to see if it is any better. We saw nothing like the pic they show as trees weren’t around this trail at all.

Best Trail in the Area

Long review for a long trail. This is my favorite trail by far in the area. I broke this trail up and completed it in sections starting from Piqua. There are plenty of restrooms and parking. Mostly shaded and cool because it runs along the river. Once you get to downtown Dayton there are several connectors to other trails along with a concession stand near riverscape if you want a quick bite to eat.


Scenic, Smooth, Frustrating

Great diverse scenery, for the most part smooth, well-kept, asphalt pavement but there are a number of intersections that are nor clearly marked as to which direction to go. My brother and I rode from Franklin to Piqua and there is a split in Dayton you have to watch for otherwise you'll go down the Mad River trail. The next area where there were a number of intersections that were not clearly marked was when you got close to Troy. There was one intersection where you had to make a 90 degree turn after crossing a bridge that was very poorly marked. There should be clear consistent arrows at each intersection indicating the direction the main trail continues. It was too easy at many of these to go the wrong way and find out a mile later you better turn around and go back.

Southern part of trail

I ride the southern segments regularly. A good mix of small towns, urban, and scenic areas. The section along the canal to Rentchler forest is one of my favorites. Hopefully, construction on the Third Street Bridge in downtown Dayton will be finished soon, as the trail is closed on both sides of the river.

Labor Day delight

My wife and I did the section from Middletown to Miamisburg today. Parked at Carmody Road lot and traveled to downtown Miamisburg. Total time was 5 hours, however this includes a lunch break, sightseeing in Miamisburg and a historic log cabin. Scenic and well maintained we highly recommend this trail! Plenty to discover and enjoy!

small section from Trenton to Franklin

We were there in May of 2021, and they were adding a mile or so of trail along route 73, so you’ll don’t have to ride on the very busy road. It will connect the Trenton to Franklin parts of trail.

Middletown Segment

Trail was well marked and was not crowded. We have done the Rentschler Woods to Fairfield and it can be very crowded. Not particularly scenic but a good ride.

Beautiful and varied scenery, start to finish.The northern end is poorly marked!We completely lossed the trail at Piqua and had to double back...just added to the adventure. ¿¿

Beautiful and varied scenery, start to finish.The northern end is poorly marked!We completely lossed the trail at Piqua and had to double back...just added to the adventure. ¿¿

north section is poorly marked

The trail North of Dayton to Piqua was frustrating for the first timer due to lack of trail markers. The town of Troy was the most confusing and is very very poorly marked. Compared to other local trials it has very little amenities and It’s hard to find water or restrooms My only other observation of this trail is that it doesn’t mark any road hazards. So beware of Tree roots small curbs and severe cracks for example. The beauty of the trail makes up for a lot this. This trail feels like you are riding multiple trials in a day due to its changing scenery with its calming river views and interesting city scapes.

Great Trail

We use this trail many times a year to get into downtown Dayton. It is scenic and well marked.

In recent years dirt has built up on parts of the trail. PLEASE be careful after rain when the dirt turns to mud. Piqua to Peterson Road and Taylorsville Park to Rip Rap Road Park are sections that can be very muddy.

Great Trail

I’ve ridden the two bottom sections of this trail, Fairfield/Hamilton and Trenton/Middletown. The trail is well paved and good for easy riding. It will be nice once or if they connect the two bottom sections to the main section in Franklin, Oh. So you can ride the whole trail without getting on the road.

Beautiful trail

I rode the section from Dayton to Troy and back on a 90+ degree day. It is a beautiful trail that is well signed, in a good condition, and has a fair amount of shade. There were some rough patches of asphalt near Troy but otherwise it was in excellent condition.

Middletown Section to University of Dayton Athletic Complex

I rode this section of the trail north in August 2017. Like the rest of the trail it is well-maintained and signed. The Middletown section is the most industrial portion of the trail. There is a 1.5 mile gap between where the trail ends north of Middletown and where it picks up again just south of Franklin, Ohio. This gap can be bridged by riding the shoulder of Route 73 until you reach Baxter Road. Route 73 is a divided roadway so the cars and trucks are traveling at high speed. Fortunately, the shoulder is pretty wide and the distance can be covered in 10-15 minutes. Once you are back on the trail heading north, you pass through the cities/towns of Franklin, Miamisburg, and West Carrolton before reaching Dayton and the UD campus. Like much of this trail the towns and cities nearby embrace the trail and cater to cyclists. This section of the trail is the least shaded of all, so those with fair skin definitely should lather up with sunscreen. You might also want to consider the temperature forecast before riding this section as it was pretty hot during my August ride.

Troy to University of Dayton Athletic Complex

This is a great trail. The surface is in good shape and the route is well signed. Despite traveling through the suburban/urban setting of the Great Miami River watershed much of this ride feels as though you are in a park like setting. Worth checking out more than once.

Southern Section of the GMRT

On April 2, 2017, I rode the southern portion of the Great Miami River Trail from Fairfield, OH to Rentschler Forest MetroPark at the Reigart Road Entrance northeast of Hamilton, OH. Here the trail ends as there is a gap from here to the northern portion of the trail which picks up south of Middletown, OH. The round trip was just over 20 miles. This section of the trail is well marked. I was especially impressed that almost all of the driftwood and litter debris that the Great Miami River had deposited along the trail when the water level had been higher, had been moved off of the trail by either volunteers or City of Hamilton workers. It is nice to see the pride in what the trail means to the community. I'd love to see the gap between the Hamilton and Middleton sections of this trail completed and the GMRT become one continuous trail.

Tale of two trails

I rode only the northern end (Huber Heights to Piqua and back approx. 60 mi) and found it to be quite scenic and interesting ride. Surface generally in good shape and smooth. The southern portion of my trip, especially in Montgomery county was well signed and easy to follow where the trail diverts and how far to the next notable trailheads. The middle section (especially around Troy) was very poorly signed and more than once did I need to double back to find where the trail continued. The trail is marked every 1/4 mile, so in theory if you go on too far without the next mileage mark, you should wonder if you strayed, but that's not a reliable system. I particularly note the lack of signage at the Eldean covered bridge about the trail crossing the street and going behind a baseball diamond as an example. Signage picked up somewhat around Piqua.
The loop around Piqua made the perfect turning spot and provided many interesting sights throughout town.

First sentence is wrong

No, the Great Miami River Trail DOES NOT run from Piqua all the way south to Fairfield.

It comes to a dead halt at Middletown, and then picks up again in Hamilton, going south. That's a major gap, with no clear, safe way to bridge it.

It's a fine trail. I've ridden it often. It's particularly pretty along the river from north of Dayton to south of Piqua.

Great Miami River Trail

March 13, 2017: Good news for GMRT users. The I-75 renovation project in downtown Dayton is complete and the GMRT is no longer re-routed onto city streets. The original bike trail has been repaved and is open to riders.

PLUS, the two River Run Projects in downtown Dayton are nearly finished (Grand Opening of the River Runs scheduled for May 5th, 2017) The GMRT runs right past the two canoe/kayak river chutes next to RiverScape metro park.

Great ride

Have ridden this entire trail in 20+ mile sections in 2014-2016. Great river scenery. The two sections in Hamilton, OH are now connected as of July, 2016.

Our Family loves the trail..

We love the Great Miami River Trail. We always see wildlife and enjoy the natural setting. It would be wonderful if there was campgrounds that were located near the trail, so that people could rent a tent or small cabin. Middletown and Monroe area would be perfect.


I walk on this path often! Love it

A nice Sunday ride

Did 51 miles on the Great Miami going north 20 miles from Vandalia and 5 miles south ( and back.) Overall this trail is very pretty. I would strongly recommend it to avid riders who just want to have a good time. The scenery is varied, some city in Troy, lots of woods, river and canal views and some farmland.

I have done trails in 24 states and over half the rails to trails hall of fame and I have three comments that I hope will be construed as a suggestion for improvement and not a criticism. It is hard to be negative when I has such a great day.

1. The route was confusing in places, especially northbound. There were a number of side spurs and for the novice on the trail, the route especially around Troy was confusing. We missed a few turns and went on side routes. Better signage would be very helpful.

2. The lack of amenities on the trail. For this reason alone I like the Little Miami Trail better. I did not find anywhere we could get water on our trip and we wanted to get some lunch. However I saw nothing along the route to the metal walking bridge in Piqua that looked like a place to eat, even a gas station to get a drink. I am sure if we got off the trail there would have been places in Troy or Tipp City, but we were not sure where to even look.

3. The last relates to the first two and that is the lack of good maps online or on the trail. Navigating Troy would have been much easier if we had some kind of map of the town ( with restaurants or gas stations, e.g.) What I tried to download was just not adequate.
The Little Miami trail (in contrast) has wonderful maps although I realize there is no town as big as Troy to navigate through.

In conclusion, the scenery and the mileage makes this trail well worth your time and I would recommend it as a destination bike trip.( we traveled 2 hours to ride part of it and consider the day well spent). However, to get five stars from me a few improvements would be nice

Middletown Section - Lots of Gravel on the trail and lower end covered in water

August 9th, 2015 my wife and I rode the section of the trail that starts north of Middleton and goes south of Middletown. We parked at the second parking area from the north end of this section. The trail had a lot of gravel on it and it looks like it was blown there by a mower when the trail was mowed. There was a couple of places where gravel was washed over the trail. South of Middletown near Windsor Ave the trail was covered for an extended distance by water. We had to turn around a reach our milage goals on the other end of the trail.

The river and wild life made the ride interesting. At Hook Airfield Municipal Airport we enjoyed watching three static line parachutists and then eight free-fall sky divers.

Nice trail that would be much better if the gravel was not thrown onto the trail.

Absolutely fantastic trail!

This trail is such an awesome trail! I've ridden it mostly north of I-70. It has minimal road interaction and is very smooth. Several miles between Tipp City and Troy are along the old Ohio-Erie canal pathway. There are a number of places to stop for a bite or fill up the water bottle. I can't say enough about this trail - you have to ride this one!

Great smooth ride! Love it!

We have done this trail 2x's, one with trail a bike/5 yr old and one time without, both times just great and on road bikes. Although we did not do the whole trail, we did start at the trail head by Old River Park, and went to Franklin. The great thing about this trail is it follows the river 90+ of the way, lots of wildlife, a nice breeze and great scenery. Another nice thing about this trail is that there are plenty of places to stop along the way in the little towns, which is a plus with kids, and there are plenty of parks along the way for them to play and sit on benches alongside the river. The National Air Force Museum is in Dayton and it is free, very cool, so if you want to take a side jaunt it works! (you will be on roads to get there so not a good idea with kids on bikes). We drive from Indianapolis to do this trail because of its high quality of riding, not congested, (maybe a little on a cool day near Franklin), awesome scenery, nice people and things to do in Dayton. Oh, also, by Franklin there is a hill, I do not know the intersection, but it is near the south end of this trail, you will know the hill when you see it-it is a monster. If going south, and you meet a intersection-look to your right, if you can take a side jaunt up that hill and make it, you need to write about it!

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