January/February 2014
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
Riding the Trail with Abraham Lincoln
by Gary Standafer

What are you thinking about when you bike the Little Miami trail? What daydreams are coming into your mind as you pedal the gentle curves and ever-so-slight inclines of the trail? As you look ahead, is it not easy to see a bend in the trail as a curve of railroad tracks bearing off ever so slightly to the right or to the left as the railroad follows the contour of the river?

Now imagine a train with an engine and three coaches and let your imagination take you back in time to February 13, 1861. The train consists of a steam locomotive with coal hopper and three coaches carrying some very important passengers, one of whom will become the greatest president our nation may ever know. You are now sharing a ride with a man who will soon grow into near sainthood.

 Your daydream has encompassed a small segment of President-Elect Lincoln's 1,904-mile journey from Springfield, Illinois to his inauguration in Washington D.C. The journey began on February 11, 1861 when Abraham Lincoln departed his home in Springfield. He arrived in Cincinnati on the Wabash Line railroad on his 52nd birthday, February 12. . .  Read More 

Clearing the Way

Through the cold and even the snow, FLMSP has been preparing the way for a solution to the worst chronic flooding problem in the Little Miami State Park. Mud and rainwater washing over the trail between Wards Corner and Beech Roads, just south of Loveland, pose a serious safety hazard for trail users. The Friends are partnering with the State of Ohio to install a drainage ditch and culvert to resolve this problem. The first step is clearing large amounts of brush from the area before the professional engineer and surveyor can begin their work.

Volunteer groups from GE and Ethicon, under the direction of FLMSP, got the massive job started. Several hardworking FLMSP volunteers joined Randy and Barbee Hirtzel, trail adopters of this section, in later work sessions.

Bill Schwinn's team of eleven moved north from their adopted section to dedicate their fourth annual New Year's Eve Day work party to the effort. Mike Dresch and Bruce Cortright hand dug temporary drainage ditches and cut and stacked larger limbs.  Another joint session with the Hirtzel and Schwinn teams continued the clearing and stacked branches for later removal.

Then five hardy souls--Bill Schwinn, Bruce Cortright, Barbee Hirtzel, Mike Dresch, and Paul Morgan--worked all day in sub-freezing temperatures on January 16, even as snow fell in the afternoon, using a rented chipper to break down much of the debris. View more photos

Our Adopt-a-Trail coordinator emails regular updates on the nuts and bolts of Adopt-a-Trail and Special Ops work on the trail to anyone who is interested. If you would like to receive these updates, please send an email with SUBSCRIBE TO AAT UPDATES in the subject line to 


Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson) Workday     

Thanks to 30 volunteers from the Blue Ash Johnson & Johnson facility, drainage problems on the trail between Center St. and Beech St. near Loveland are one step closer to a remedy. The team of Ethicon employees led by Bill and Betsy Schwinn and Don and Judy Mills of FLMSP worked hard on November 15 to cut and stack large quantities of brush along the three-quarter-mile trail section, clearing lines of sight in preparation for professional surveying and design of a new drainage ditch and culvert. View more photos here.


The Dirt on Worms

  by Kathy Maurer

Did you know there are no native earthworm species in our northern hardwood forests? This is important because without earthworms, over the years leaves build up on the forest floor creating a spongy surface layer called "duff." It is in the duff that the seeds of the hardwood trees and many other native plants sprout and live. But earthworms eat all the leaves each year causing major changes in the forest ecosystem. Humans have introduced earthworms into many virgin forest areas never realizing they would turn into an unwelcome invasive. Read more at 

The Friends is a nonprofit, all-volunteer 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.   
  Next FLMSP General Meeting
 Please join us!
Sunday, Feb. 23
4:00 p.m.
120 West Loveland Ave., Loveland, OH 
Our Board has been working the past few months on a new strategic plan for FLMSP, and will present it at this important open meeting.
Trail Hotline


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

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Ohio-to-Erie Trail Maps are Here!



Thanks to The Ohio to Erie Trail Fund and its supporters, a set of maps covering all 300 miles of the Trail is now available. Each of the four maps is 8 by 25 inches, folded into six panels, featuring a map, mileage, and a written description of the trail section. You can order the user-friendly map set from the Ohio to Erie Trail Fund for only $2.75 to cover postage and handling here

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All materials for the Recreational Trails Program 4:1 matching grant were submitted after more than 50 hours of careful preparation, and FLMSP has received required approvals from all 10 state and federal agencies. We hope to announce soon that Friends of the Little Miami State Park has been awarded this important grant that will resolve drainage and erosion problems on the trail, and pay for repaving neediest trail sections, especially in the northern half. 




Volunteer & Donor Recognition 

Our all-volunteer organization succeeds or fails based on our ability to recruit, motivate, and recognize our many donors and volunteers. If you think recognizing people is both important and fun, we can use your skills. Respond to this newsletter or to to express your interest or to learn more.