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The Mad River Trail offers a paved route connecting a handful of parks along its namesake river in northeastern Dayton. The scenic pathway is also part of one of the nation's largest network of paved, off-street trails.
Its western end begins near Webster Street in RiverScape MetroPark. Here, where the Mad River meets the Miami River, you can connect to the Great Miami River Trail, an 86-mile trail through western Ohio. At first, the Mad River Trail travels through relatively open landscapes, but, after crossing under Findlay Street Bridge, it becomes lined with trees.
Midway, the trail runs through Eastwood MetroPark, which offers a large lake for boating, picnic shelters, and a playground. Head south to Springfield Street to hop on Creekside Trail, which stretches 15 miles to Xenia.
On the east side of Eastwood Park, the trail parallels Springfield Street for much of the route along Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Be sure to visit the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, one of Dayton’s most highly rated attractions. More than 300 aircraft and missiles are on display, including many rare planes.
At the trail’s eastern end on Marl Road, you can connect to the Wright Brothers Huffman Prairie Bikeway to reach Huffman MetroPark and the Wright Brothers Memorial.
Parking and trail access are available at Webster Street at Corridor Drive and at the Springfield Street entrance of the Eastwood MetroPark.
07/11/22 Nice ride along the river. Enough shaded parts to make up for the full sun.
Great little ride, 7 miles down and 7 miles back. Interesting spots along the way - Eastwood Park, Dayton Firefighters Training Center, National Museum of USAF, Riverscape Park, Downtown Dayton. Nice ramps going from trail up to store level of Downtown. We rode one block from Riverscape Park over to Canal St. Arcade & Deli for lunch. Great place with great sandwiches. Tons of arcade games. Nice outdoor seating. Really enjoyed this short trail. Clean & well maintained.
This is a visually interesting trail. I started at the Huffman Dam, with a dramatic view of downtown Dayton. I then followed the Mad River past the U.S. Air Force Museum, then through wooded Eastwood Metropark and finally into downtown Dayton on the treeless river flood plain between the levees on either side of the river. Once you reach downtown Dayton you can connect to other Dayton-area trails such as Great Miami River Recreational Trail (86.2 miles), the Stillwater River Recreation Trail (7.1 miles), and the Wolf Creek Trail (16.2 miles). From Eastwood MetroPark you can also connect to the Wright Brothers-Huffman Prairie Bikeway to Fairborn, OH (4.6 miles), the Creekside Trail to Xenia, OH (15.2 miles) and the Iron Horse Trail to Kettering, OH (7.6 miles off of the Creekside Trail). I saw quite a few fellow cyclists utilizing this trail during my ride, but for a Saturday afternoon, I didn't feel that the trail was busy. However, you will have to be aware of the many pedestrians and picnickers while riding through the MetroPark section of the trail.
Coming from Xenia, we connected to this trail easily from the Creekside Trail. We headed east so we could visit the National Air Force Museum. There is a crosswalk at the main entrance, but no bike lanes on the road into the museum. There were bike racks and lockers available. It is an easy ride all the way. Part of the trail is in the open and part is covered by a canopy. Part goes through a lovely park (Eastwood Park) and follows the Mad River until it flows into the Great Miami River. On the Western end it goes right along the river and takes you right to Riverscape Metro Park where it connects to the Great Miami River Trail.
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