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When complete, the Ohio River Trail in eastern Cincinnati will be an important 23-mile connector between downtown, riverfront parks, the city's municipal airport and many neighborhoods. Currently, nearly 8 miles of the trail (in disconnected segments) are open along the river's northern shore, including a short overlap with the Lunken Airport Bike Path. The Armleder-Lunken Connector Trail provides a connection between the Lunken Airport Bike Path and the Armleder Park Trail.
The longest completed section links Cincinnati's professional sports stadiums with T.M. Berry International Friendship Park, named for the city's first African-American mayor. One highlight along the way is the Newport Southbank Bridge—affectionately known as the Purple People Bridge—a converted railroad trestle that now carries trail users across the Ohio River to Kentucky.
Eventually, the Ohio River Trail will also connect to the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a 78-mile Hall of Fame rail-trail running between Cincinnati and Springfield. Both trails are components of the Ohio to Erie Trail, a planned 320-mile route that will eventually span Ohio from the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland to the Ohio River in Cincinnati. Over 240 miles of the trail are currently complete and open for use.
Parking lots are available at Corbin Street, Riverview East Academy (3555 Kellogg Avenue), and off Wilmer Avenue, where the trail meets the Lunken Airport Bike Path.
Beechmont levy bridge is completed
This is a great trail through the International Friendship Park, Bicentennial Commons at Sawyer Point, Yeatman's Cove Park, and Smale Riverfront Park. I wanted to go on the Purple People Bridge, but it was closed (May, 2021) because of falling rock and thus the structure had to be evaluated by engineers before it could be opened again. At the east end of the Ohio River Trail, the path just ended, whereas I thought it went to Lunken Airport Trail. I guess I didn't do my homework well enough or didn't see the signs that said the route went on streets to get to that point. I hope to do that another day, hopefully when the Purple People Bridge is open again.
On October 7th, after over 300 miles of pedaling across Ohio, I reached the final trail of my southbound journey on the Ohio to Erie Trail route. I started on the Ohio River Trail (Ohio version) at the Lunken Airport Terminal. Only 5.5 more miles to downtown Cincinnati and I would be able to dip my tires in the waters of the Ohio River and call this trip finished and a success.
The trail runs along US-52 (the Ohio River Scenic Byway) sometimes on side next to the river, sometimes on the side away from the river and for about a 2.5 miles as a bike lane on US-52. You really don't get to see much of the Ohio River until you cross the US-52 and ride into Turkey Ridge Park in the Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood of Cincinnati. Here you ride a trail that skirts the rivers edge while passing by Riverview East Academy. Immediately afterword you ride into the Ohio River Edge Launch Club where you can ride down to the water and dip your tires in the Ohio River at this boat launch. I had a different river access point in mind so I continued toward downtown.
Further on you return to US-52 where you will ride a well-defined bike lane on both sides of US-52 for the next 2.5 miles. Riding along this bike lane I noticed how this once empty stretch along the river had changed since I last rode on this bikeway 3 years ago. There have been many new riverview condos or townhouses built along this stretch. So much so that there is a lot fewer panoramic views of the Ohio River and downtown Cincinnati than previously. When you reach The International Friendship Park the bike lane ends and you will re-cross US-52 (now Riverside Dr.) and enter the Park. From here you will follow a Bike Path all the way to the riverfront downtown. On nice days and weekends this area can be quite crowded. On this cloudy, overcast Monday, the Riverfront was nearly empty. You will pass under several large bridges that span the river on your way to the downtown riverfront.
When you reach Yeatman's Cove and Sawyer Point Park you are pretty much done with the trail. You will reach the Newport Southbank Bridge (or Purple People Bridge) and can choose to ride over to Newport, Kentucky on this pedestrian and bicycle bridge and get some wonderful views of the Cincinnati skyline. If you continue traveling west you will reach the arena, (until recently named US Bank Arena), where a parking lot slopes into the waters of the Ohio River. This is where I go to dip my tires in the river.
The Ohio River Trail continues to travel west for another mile or so past the Great American Ballpark (home of MLB's Cincinnati Reds) and Paul Brown Stadium (home of the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals). Check out the bars and restaurants in the area known as the Banks located between the two stadiums. There is also a park area on the banks of the Ohio River between the two ballparks. The trail ends just a little past Paul Brown Stadium when the trail passes under the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.
my wife and love this ride! We usually start it by Cincinnati's Music Hall and take back streets to the trail. You can start it at Smalle Park and head east. Goes past both stadiums and then through Bi-Centineal Park/ Sawyer Point. Nice view of the river all the way along the trail. You'll pass a busy resturant, then on to the Theodore M. Berry park, where it stops. Lots of areas for picnics, if you are so inclined. Smalle Park has swings overlooking the river, a carasol, water features , and plenty of places to eat. You can also cross the Purple People Bridge to go to Newport on the Levee a shopping area , that is home to Newport Aquarium. plenty of places to lock bikes to enjoy it all
Started downtown and skirted across the airport very enjoyable ride. recommend this one
not bad for first time ride. description says 8 miles but was way shorter than that.
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