Friends of the Little Miami State Park

August 2013
Friends of the Little Miami State Park is a non-profit group of volunteers dedicated to restoring and maintaining safety on the park's scenic trail. Working under the sanction of the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, the Friends provide almost all maintenance on the trail. We depend on your support and invite you to join us in serving our community.
In This Issue
Extreme Makeover: Grandin Rd.
Bruce Cortright: Let's Clone Him
GE Lends Some Hands
Trail of History: Morgan's Raiders
Ohio to Erie Trail
Help Wanted
Food, Fuel, and Friends: Kroger Community Rewards

Extreme Makeover: Grandin Road

by Gary Standafer
Adopt-a-Trail volunteers recently cleared vegetation near the Grandin Road, Fosters Road, and Adams Road intersections. Heavy undergrowth results from vegetation such as honeysuckle, weeds, tree saplings, as well as tree branches that encroach from above. This growth is often dense enough to greatly hinder the visibility a trail user has of oncoming cars and trucks at roads crossings. To ensure safety for trail users, the FLMSP volunteers work hard to maintain wide of visibility at all crossings.


Volunteer teams led by trail adopters Paul Morgan and Kathy Maurer used a number of power tools to cut the growth. Power trimmers cut down small saplings and weeds; a power pruning saw trims overhanging limbs that encroach on the trial from above; a chain saw cuts trees and honeysuckle. In addition to the power equipment, hand rakes and hand pruners are used as well to give the area a clean and tidy appearance. We're all safer and the trail is more beautiful thanks to FLMSP volunteers. 

See more Extreme Makeover photos!


Bruce Cortright: Let's Clone Him

by Janet Slater


Like most of us, Bruce Cortright loves the Little Miami Scenic Trail. What makes Bruce remarkable is how he shows his love week after week as one of FLMSP's most active and selfless volunteers.


"For 20 years of my working career, I was lucky enough to work with someone who loved bicycle riding and motivated me to ride," Bruce says. "We were able to put our bikes in the back of our work truck and take a nice hard ride on our lunch breaks. Our job assignments took us all over Hamilton County, so occasionally we would be close to the Little Miami Trail. It was so nice to get off the roads and onto a paved trail. It soon became a favorite ride for us."


As he rode, Bruce was aware of both beauty and problems on the trail. In the 1990s, he started carrying a can of spray paint with him when he rode so he could mark the bumps on the trail through Camp Dennison, hoping someone would repair them one day. He also noticed how honeysuckle, an alien invasive species, was overrunning the trail. He became passionate about the work of Western Wildlife Corridor, a land conservancy group that returns land to its natural state, including removing honeysuckle. "Reclaiming the trail's beauty was something I felt I could do after I retired," Bruce says. And that's what he has done. 


In his two years of volunteering with FLMSP, Bruce has worked on many sections of the trail, clearing intersections for better visibility; removing fallen trees; painting "stop" warnings at all intersections; working on a chainsaw crew; mowing the berm; clearing culverts; leading volunteer groups on work days; cleaning fences; designing T-shirts, signs, and questionnaires to promote FLMSP; helping build the Foster's kiosk; and responding to emergencies. What's more, Bruce travels to the trail from his home on the far west side, and frequently uses his own tools and fuel for trimming.


 Bruce was the first volunteer to join Paul Morgan and Don Hahn on their adopted section from Grandin Rd. to Loveland. "Bruce works hard without desiring recognition, and is one of the most selfless volunteers in the organization," Paul says. "Bruce is top-notch in so many respects. I wish we could clone him!"  . . . More story and photos


GE lends some hands                            
Thanks to 14 GE volunteers, the Little Miami Scenic Trail is safer and more beautiful. On July 19, the group cut underbrush and cleared fallen limbs from the trail berms, under the direction of FLMSP's Bruce Cortright, Randy & Barbee Hirtzel, and Mike Dresch.
Get your group together and get involved! Reply to this email or to to plan your work day.
Trail of History: Morgan's Raiders

                        by Janet Slater


Two beautiful new historic markers along the trail at Miamiville, dedicated on July 14, commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan's rampage through Clermont County. The 1,000-mile ride of Morgan's Raiders through five states terrorized thousands and caused Cincinnati to impose martial law. The raiders stole horses, destroyed bridges, and raided over 4,000 homes and businesses in Ohio alone.


The first marker describes how a brigade of Morgan's Raiders attempted to destroy the Little Miami Railroad bridge at Miamiville. As they prepared to burn the bridge, they were charged by Lt. William Smith and 200 militiamen of the Miami Volunteers from Camp Dennison. The ill-equipped Union militiamen held their line against the experienced Confederates in the resulting firefight until Union Lt. Col. George Neff arrived with a squad of convalescent soldiers who charged across the bridge with bayonets. The raiders retreated after a brief struggle, but they had lost 6 killed, 4 wounded, and 7 captured. The bridge was saved, and today the Scenic Trail bridge crosses the river on the same site.


A bit farther north on the trail, you'll travel the "Dangerous Curve" where that same morning a group of Morgan's scouts sabotaged a train carrying 115 new Union recruits to Camp Dennison. The engine derailed, and after evacuating the passengers, Morgan's men set fire to the cars. The Confederates marched the prisoners to a nearby house where Morgan let them go, but they had to walk the rest of the way to Camp Dennison. This incident is described on the second historical marker.


As area residents learned of Morgan's rampage through the countryside, many buried their valuables, explained Clermont County historian Rick Crawford. One woman hid horses in her parlor, knowing that Confederate gentleman would not enter a lady's residence.


The new markers are two of 56 on the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail that traces the Morgan's Raiders route through Ohio.

The Friends is a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation and enhancement of the Little Miami State Park. We assist the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with development planning, routine maintenance, capital improvements, and safety concerns.   
Ohio to Erie Trail

The Little Miami Scenic Trail is part of the Ohio to Erie trail, moving closer to completion. It's the cover story in the Fall 2013 edition of Rails to Trails Magazine, and you can read it all by following the link below.


"The Ohio to Erie Trail travels 300 miles from the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati to the rolling hills of rural Amish country and on to the sandy shores of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland. When the trail is finally complete- more than 70 percent of it is open for use-it will be the longest paved off-road trail in the country. Along the way, it showcases the best of Ohio. ."




Reply to this newsletter or to  volunteer or to learn more about these service opportunities.

Pull-behind Debris Blower Operator: Requires a medium-duty pickup truck or SUV with a 2" ball or 2" compatible receiver. Training will be provided.


Grant Committee Chairperson:

Lead our grant-seeking effort including research, planning, writing, and program &

financial reporting. Manage and nurture relationships with grantors and identify grant opportunities for our grant writer.


 Social Media Specialist:

Help the work of FLMSP grow by educating and promoting involvement through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Content will be provided; you post it.


Co-adopters: Partner with a current trail adopter on a section of trail near you, and give back to the trail you enjoy.


Give of yourself to the trail and the community--learn about a variety of volunteer opportunities here. 



Food, Fuel, Friends
You can help support and maintain the Little Miami trail at no cost to you! If you already have a Kroger Plus card, register it here and designate "Friends of the Little Miami State Park" (NPO#82685) as your nonprofit organization. If you don't have a card, get one at the customer service desk of any Kroger store.
You will still earn all your fuel points, and FLMSP will receive a donation from Kroger every time you shop!
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Trail Hotline


Call to report downed trees or other non-emergency safety issues



   Monthly FLMSP Meeting
Sunday, Aug. 25
4:00 p.m.
All are welcome at the open meeting. Watch for your email invitation!