Friends of the Little Miami State Park
Friend of the Little Miami State Park
Today is the four-month anniversary of the Friends of the Little Miami State Park. We have 233 people receiving this newsletter, 49 dues-paying members, and over $4,100 in the bank. My thanks to all of you. Friends of the Little Miami State Park has several initiatives underway:
Adopt-a-Trail Program. Aaron Rourke has recruited 10 of the 40 volunteers he needs to adopt 1-2 mile sections of the 50-mile trail.
Pipe-safe Program. The installation of 14 "pipe-safes" at trail entry and exit points to accept donations.
River Bank Erosion. We're lending our support to Warren County Soil and Water Conservation in their effort to secure a $125,000 grant from the Ohio EPA for river bank restoration just south of Corwin at about mile-marker 15. At this location and at another location at mile marker 16, the river bank is within 3-4 feet of the trail and eroding at 1-2 feet per year.
Next Public Meeting. April 26 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Council Chambers of City Hall, 120 W Loveland Ave , Loveland OH.
Trail Tour. Sunday May 3 buses taking riders from Corwin to various points along the trail so that riders can enjoy a "one-way" ride back to Corwin vs. an "out and back" ride. 
Logo. With the help of our graphic artist, we finalizing our new logo.
Premium Items. Once we have our new logo, we'll be looking at putting it on t-shirts, hats, mugs, etc. for sale along the trail.
Future emails will provide more details on all of the above. But today I'd like to talk about what has been our #1 priority since our founding --- trail safety. In just the last two years, we know of:
  •  A man paralyzed from the neck down and told he would never walk again. Fortunately, he's proven the doctors wrong and is back at work.
  • A man with a broken scapula, punctured lung, and concussion that kept him in the hospital for 4 days.
  • A woman with a broken pelvis.
  • A woman with a broken tibia and fibula air-lifted off the trail.

I'm confident there are others not known to us. Therefore on February 23 a 6-person team conducted a reconnaissance of the trail beginning at the southern end. Our primary focus was on safety issues, culverts, down trees, vegetation encroachment, pavement separation, pavement sinkholes, etc.

 Our group included Alan Ferguson (park manager for Little Miami State Park) and two of his staff, Rusty Cain and Eric Williams. Representing FLMSP was Aaron Rourke (Adopt-a-Trail chairperson), Jess Evans (Volunteer), and Steve Murphy (Vice President). And the week before our reconnaissance, the ODNR civil engineer Gus Smithhisler had also traversed the trail end-to-end.
As a result of this reconnaissance, we confirmed what I think we already knew --- there are 4 bridges that present a real and present danger to trail users and have contributed to the injuries listed above:
  •  The 3 "rivet head" bridges between Hedges Rd and Richland Rd near Xenia
  • The 70' long wooden bridge south of Corwin at approximately mile marker 17.5

Our plan was to "Chipseal" these 4 bridges. Chipseal is a pavement surface treatment that combines a layer(s) of asphalt with a layer(s) of fine aggregate. In our case it would be hand-applied. Chipseal had the advantages that it a) was less expensive, b) represented less of a load on the bridges than either asphalt or concrete, c) could be completed before May 1, and d) with a 2-5 year life would carry us until capital improvement monies became available from the State.

It was also our plan to do all four bridges at the same time --- believing that this would be of more interest to a potential contractor and thereby result in less expense to us.
However, whereas we'd been led to believe the quote to do all 4 bridges would be in the $10-12,000 range, the quote came in at $21,648 --- a number that doesn't include any site prep or environmental containment. As an organization with $4,100 in the bank, it doesn't seem at all realistic to think we can raise the additional monies from non-grant sources.
And so, while we're continuing to pursue other resurfacing options, we're also coming to you --- our members and supporters --- for ideas and suggestions. For example, because of economic realities, we may have to be satisfied with additional signage and etched rumble strips (ala freeway rumble strips) for this season.
Since Simeon is in England until March 29, please forward your ideas and suggestions to or if you think a phone conversation is warranted, you can call me on 513-617-5800.
Steve Murphy
Vice President
Friends of the Little Miami State Park