Destinations

Riding on the Popular Little Miami River Scenic Trail

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The Little Miami River Scenic Trail is one of the most popular bike trails in Ohio. It stretches for 78 miles from Cincinnati suburbs to Springfield, Ohio.

Little Miami River Scenic Trail
Little Miami River Scenic Trail

Little Miami River Scenic Trail

It is hard to determine where the trail starts and where it ends, as it continues on in both directions as other trails. However, it starts somewhere in Newtown, in the northeast suburbs of Cincinnati. As it is with many other trails, there is no clear start nor end. In Springfield it looks that the trail ends at S Center Street. However, some trail continues. It appears to be Simon Kenton Trail, which continues to Bellefontaine. There are no official trailhead at either end. However, this is not a problem, as there are numbers of parking lots along the trail that provide an easy trail access.

The trail passes through several towns: Newtown, Milford, Loveland, Morrow, Oregonia, Corwin, Spring Valley, Xenia, Yellow Springs and Springfield.

Starting in Newtown, the trail is very smooth and much busier than its northern section. It passes through some parks, and mixed wooded areas with occasional view of town sections. From time to time, you get a nice view of Little Miami River.

It passes Milford on the opposite site of the river. There is a small, but busy trailhead there. The next town is Loveland. Definitely, the busiest town on the trail. There are many businesses catering to the trail users and they face the trail. This is the trail town, for sure! The short section going through this business district can be very busy. But it’s short.

The following town along the trail is South Lebanon. The trail passes on the opposite side of the river, again. Therefore is you need any services, you need to get off the trail and ride across the bridge to town.

Next town is Morrow. The trail passes through town, but Morrow is smaller and much quieter than many other towns along the trail.

Further north, the trail passes by Caesar Creek State Park. A great place to camp if you drive. Not an easy place to get from the trail by bike (no connecting trail).

Soon after, the trail passes through Spring Valley. Another sleepy town along the trail. No trailhead here, and very few services.

Next is the major trail hub town of Xenia. Few other trails merge here, and you need to be careful near the Xenia Station to get on the right one. Little Miami River Scenic Trail going south is marked no. 1 and 3, and going north is the trail with markers no. 3. Xenia, being a bigger town, has many services available.

Going north, before you get to Yellow Springs, you ride by a covered bridge. The only one directly by the trail. It is Richard P. Eastman Covered Bridge.

Not much later you enter the town of Yellow Springs. There is the Yellow Springs Station there. Another old train depot. The town has many services available.

Going further north takes you eventually to the end of the trail in Springfield. This is quite a big city with many services available – although not along the trail. However, not far from it.

Trail end in Springfield
Trail end in Springfield

Trail Usage

Since the trail is quite long, the usage varies depending on the location. The southern part is much busier. The few miles north and south of Loveland get quite busy, and also, but not as much sections out of Xenia. With the exception of Loveland sections, the trail is never very busy.

Signs along the trail
Signs along the trail

Scenery

While the trail does not provide any spectacular scenery, it is more scenic than many other trails in Ohio. Even though, most of the time you ride through a wooded corridor, occasionally, you get glimpses of Little Miami River. You also see some rural scenery, fields, and also sometimes a not so pleasant industrial sites. Most of the time though, you pass through natural habitat, and what makes this trail more scenic than others is that is varies. It goes from woods to open fields full of wildflowers, to nice wooded corridors closing high above you head, to quite unique, at times, rural towns full of character. Just look at few included images.

Little Miami River
Little Miami River

Trailheads

Newtown – Avoca Park ( 39.139150, -84.341994) – not an official trailhead; parking lot, restroom.

Milford – (39.171315, -84.299674) small parking lot, busy trailhead.

Loveland – (39.254942, -84.273028) Miami Riverview Park (not an official trailhead, but an alternative to park the car, if the main trailhead parking is full), Little Miami Scenic Trail trailhead at W Loveland Ave (39.267570, -84.258559)– small parking lot, very busy. Of course, there are many other parking lots in town, where you can park. Loveland is definitely the busiest town along the trail with many businesses catering to the trail users.

Hamilton Township – (39.322289, -84.251184) again, not an official trailhead, but a small parking lot with a bar and grille across the trail.

Kings Mills – (39.350578, -84.244465) fairly big parking lot of Grandin Rd well behind Cartridge Brewing and other buildings there.

South Lebanon – (39.366023, -84.217642) Loveland Bike Trail parking lot by S Main St – a small parking lot with a restroom.

Morrow – (39.354750, -84.133950) big, long parking lot along the trail with a train depot, restrooms and a shelter. Not too busy.

Oregonia – (39.452674, -84.096788) Little Miami Scenic Trail Parking – again next to the bar and grill;

Waynesville – (39.491652, -84.101639) Caesar Creek Gorge State Nature Preserve parking lot with trail access, Ohio to Erie Canal parking lot with a restroom (39.524924, -84.079304).

Spring Valley – (39.608464, -84.009111) parking along the Main St (Old U.S. 42) in town.

Xenia – Xenia Station – (39.680076, -83.931444) – main trail hub with few other trails converging; old train depot, lots of parking, restrooms, permanent maps. Quite busy.

Yellow Springs – Yellow Springs Station – (39.807902, -83.888262) – old train depot, restrooms, public parking nearby. One of the busier trailheads.

Springfield – (39.879387, -83.840892) Beatty Station Bike Trail Park – small parking lot, restroom; (39.921521, -83.812251) plenty of parking at Clark County Public Library and all over in the area near the trail.

Xenia Station
Xenia Station

Trail Amenities

The trail has a lot amenities in towns. Otherwise, there are very few porta-potties in some parking areas. There are restrooms at the official trailheads (stations).

The trail also has an occasional park bench, trash can.

There are mile markers painted on the pavement, but not along the whole trail. The northern section is missing them.

The signage is pretty good, and the only place that you might end up following the wrong trail is Xenia.

I did not find any water pumps along the trail, but few parks have drinking water fountains.

Little Miami River Trail
Wildflower fields

Off Trail Amenities

There are even more amenities available off-trail. Few times the trail passes on the outskirts of towns. Like for example in Milford or South Lebanon. If you get off the trail and ride to town, you will find a lot choices of accommodations, restaurants, bars, etc.

Covered bridge south of Yellow Springs
The covered bridge south of Yellow Springs

Final Thoughts

The trail is one of the nicest ones that I have ridden on in the Great Lakes area. As just mentioned above, it is unique because of the number of amenities available. It is also unique because it is so close to the big cities of Cincinnati and Dayton. Yet, when you ride it, you feel like you are miles away from big civilization centers, and in the middle of rural Midwest.

It is a great trail for short ride or longer tour as it is connected to many other trails going in every direction.

Little Miami River Scenic Trail
Wildflowers by the trail

My Ratings

Scenery (0-boring, 10-breathtaking): 8.0 (While is mostly ride through natural settings, the scenery changes making the trail much more interesting.)

Easy-to-Follow (0-no maps, often broken into section without clear directions, 10-well marked with maps showing current location): 8.0 (It is a linear trail and its easy to follow, once you are on it.)(The only confusing place might be the hub in Xenia, where other trails merge)(BTW, I did not find printed trail maps anywhere.)

Food Access (0-no food facilities at all, 10-food available every few miles): 9.0

Restrooms (0-none, 10-moderen restrooms every few miles): 3.0 (restrooms at trailheads only)

Surface Quality: 9.0 (Paved and really smooth trail. Only cracked pavement near Springfield. Also the section Caesar Creek and Urbana is a little rough.)

Accessibility: 10.0 (few trailheads with parking lots and many other access points)

Usage (0-not used at all, 10-extremely popular): 5.0 (depending on the section)

Hills (0-completely flat, 10-Extremely hilly): 0.0 (quite flat)

Sun/Shade (0-no shade at all, 10-competely shaded): 3.0 (little shade, depending on the section. The further south, the more shaded the trail gets.)

Morrow Station
Morrow Station

Resources

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If you are interested in Little Miami River Trail, you might want to read my post about another great trail in Ohio: Biking on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

Xenia, Ohio

Rich S. is a lifetime photographer and traveler based in Metro Detroit area. He has been traveling the Great Lakes area for over 30 years. Follow his blog about his trips, interesting activities and destinations in the Great Lakes region.

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