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The Little Miami Scenic Trail is a jewel in the crown of Ohio rail-trails, spanning just over 78 miles from the outskirts of Cincinnati to Springfield over historical bridges and through tranquil state parks, charming small towns, and stunning natural habitats.
The trail is part of a vast network of more than 340 miles of off-road trails that travel throughout Ohio’s Miami Valley. It is also a significant section of the cross-state Ohio to Erie Trail, which travels from the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland on more than 270 miles of off-road trails.
For the adventurous, it is possible to embark from the Little Miami on a multiday cycling exploration of the Buckeye State. Begin at the southernmost tip of the trail in Anderson Township, which lies southeast of downtown Cincinnati, on the eastern bank of the Little Miami River. At this end of the trail, you will also find two loop trails—the Armleder Park Trail and the Lunken Airport Bike Path—nearby.
From Anderson, head northeast through Clear Creek Park, where you'll find parking, restrooms, a picnic pavilion, and numerous athletic fields. After 3 miles, you'll pass the Little Miami Golf Center in Newtown, where you'll find more parking and restrooms.
In another mile, you'll arrive in Avoca Park in the village of Terrace Park. This beautiful park has plenty of natural green space to relax in after one of the best rides Ohio has to offer. As you leave Terrace Park and head north, a bridge takes you over US 50, and you soon come to Milford. Here, and for most of the southern portion, the Little Miami River is your companion.
Just north of Milford a lovely 2,500-foot-long bridge carries you across the river toward Loveland. "Old Loveland," the quaint older section, is jam-packed with stores, cafes and even a bike shop. The trail is busy here, and traffic remains constant all the way past Hamilton Township's Fosters Park, where you'll find parking, restrooms, and shady large trees, to the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge. The bridge, which carries I-71 and is named after a former governor, is the highest bridge in Ohio—a twin deck, arch truss bridge looming 239 feet above the river and the trail.
Near the town of Morrow, with its railroad depot and an ancient (but safe) iron trestle, the trail congestion ebbs. There is a lot of ground to cover between Morrow and Xenia, but don't miss Fort Ancient State Memorial, home to a large museum and 3.5 miles of mounds built by the Fort Ancient tribe.
Just to the north is Caesar Creek State Park, with more than 70 miles of great hiking and bridle trails as well as canoe rentals. North of the park, the town of Corwin offers a pleasant place to stop and recharge. This is the last trailhead before Xenia and Xenia Station, where mileage markers re-start at 0. At Xenia Station, three other trails—the Creekside Trail, Xenia-Jamestown Connector, and Prairie Grass Trail—radiate out like sunbeams, lending this charming town a reputation as the crossroads of Ohio trails.
Past Xenia, the trail leaves the river behind and skirts alongside beautiful wooded areas, including Glen Helen Nature Preserve, located across the street from Antioch College in Yellow Springs. Here, you can stop to wander this tranquil oasis or stroll the small downtown, which has a number of quirky shops and restaurants. In town, see a reminder of the trail's railroad past: Yellow Springs Railroad Station now houses the chamber of commerce.
It’s about 7 more miles, with a gradual uphill, to the trail’s end in Springfield. The route once went on-road through the heart of the city, but in September 2016 a new section of the trail opened that now allows trail users to stay on dedicated pathway through Springfield to its end at the Clark County Heritage Center. From here, you can connect with the 35.5-mile Simon Kenton Trail, which travels north, and, slightly farther along, to the 6-mile Buck Creek Trail, which goes through town.
On the southern end of the trail, you can park and find restrooms in Clear Creek Park (6200 Batavia Pike).
Another option on the southern end is the trailhead in Newtown: From I-275, take Exit 63 to OH 32 W/James A. Rhodes Appalachian Highway. After 4.1 miles, turn right onto Round Bottom Road and then turn left onto Valley Avenue. Continue a half mile until the road ends at the Little Miami Golf Center (3811 Newtown Rd.), where you will find the trailhead and parking.
Mid-trail, the Xenia Station trailhead is located on S. Detroit St./OH 380 in Xenia, 1 mile south of the US 35 and US 68 intersection. To reach Xenia Station from I-675, take Exit 13A, and head east on US 35. In 6.6 miles, veer right to remain on US 35 E toward Washington Court House. Continue 2.5 miles, and exit onto US 42. Head north on US 42, and go 1.2 miles. Turn right onto S. Miami Ave., and turn left into the station parking lot in 0.4 mile.
At the northern end of the trail, the Heritage Center (117 S. Fountain Ave.) in Springfield has parking and trail facilities. From I-70, take Exit 54 and head north on OH 72/S. Limestone St. Travel 1.9 miles north (note that to stay on Limestone you need to bear left at the intersection with Selma Road) and turn left onto E. Pleasant St. Take the first right onto S. Fountain Ave. In 0.3 mile, turn left onto High St. to reach the parking lot. From the parking lot, reach the trail by heading two blocks south to W. Jefferson St.
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