March 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
Connecting Pathways on the Trail
by Gary Standafer

While a student at Fairfield High School, Robert Eden was selected as an Ohio All-State football player at his linebacker position, a very distinctive athletic achievement for any young man. All seemed well for Robert as he moved on to college to pursue an academic career in history and play football for the Wittenberg University Tigers. And then, at the age of 21, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

Suddenly Robert's life changed drastically-from playing college football to being confined to a wheelchair. Read More

FLMSP Plans for the Future

by Janet Slater  

A new Strategic Plan for FLMSP is good news. It means our organization has grown in size, scope, and resources, and we have accomplished some of our original goals; it's time to move ahead. Although the Board is still at work on the new Plan, the structure and key points are in place. 

The mission of the Friends of the Little Miami State Park is to create a rewarding user experience on the 50-mile Little Miami State Park trail by improving its safety, condition, convenience, and beauty in a manner consistent with its natural river setting. The board has identified seven main goals to accomplish this mission, prioritizing them based on a recent user survey.

Trail Safety is a top-priority goal. Safety includes limiting trail access to marked public locations, preventing criminal activity, improving warnings for both motorists and trail users at road intersections, marking location by tenths of a mile to facilitate emergency response, educating users about high risk areas, maintaining a safe trail surface and berm, and providing fencing where needed. Read about the remaining six goals here.

Digital art by Dennis Wunsch,

Adopt-a-Trail: Drainage      

This trailside "lake" between Miamiville and Camp Dennison will soon be only a bad memory. It's the result of rain, melting snow and ice meeting clogged drainage ditches. In February trail adopter Bill Schwinn sent a tempting invitation to his team to begin clearing the downstream ditch so accumulated water could run off. "It's kind of like playing in the mud," he wrote. "Will you join us?"

The work began with four hearty souls on Feb. 23 and continued March 9 when a group of eight continued moving limbs and brush out of the drainage ditch. The volunteers also cleared a ravine and redirected its flow to send runoff away from the trail.

"Part of our challenge was trenching through frozen soil that had been insulated by logs and leaf mulch," says Bill. "Considering that we did not have a real chainsaw to cut through heavy logs, we managed remarkably well with the new Kombi saw blades and the Kombi extension chainsaw."

Take a look at these before-and-after photos: 


 Click here to see 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 


Shawnee Tree Serves Our Community
On March 11, Jeff Schoeny, owner of Shawnee Tree, donated a full day of culling growth in the drainage area located between Beech and Center Streets. Mike, Ben and Brad worked tirelessly all day to improve our trail. Thank you, Shawnee Tree!

Snowbird Report: Florida Trails

by Tom Wallace


Florida is becoming a bike trail hotspot. A recent issue of Rails-To-Trails magazine featured the conversion of the old railroad bed between Key Largo and Key West. Just thinking about pedaling down the Seven-Mile Bridge gives me the "wows!"

Another interesting spot down here is the Withlacoochee State Trail, 46 miles of pathway spanning Citrus County and two others. Yes, it's also an old rail bed and the state of Florida did a super job in the conversion: wide and well maintained, yielding a nice, smooth ride. We have a challenge for our trail to match it.

On the other hand--thanks to good work done by many of the Friends--our trail tops theirs in terms of signage, bulletin boards, benches and so on. So once the surface gets improved this year, we'll be clearly ahead. (Sent in your pledge yet?)

If you're in Florida, you may want to check it out. The town of Inverness--about 18 miles west of Crystal River where the manatees hang out--has a trail head with a bike shop that does rentals. As you leave the shop, pedal south towards Floral City for a lovely ride.


New Cables Under the Trail

by Don Hahn                               

A local company recently completed a project that others could not do.  AMS Construction Inc. of Loveland last month completed boring and installing a 6-inch conduit under the Little Miami River and the trail. The project site is about 0.8 miles north of Foster, just north of the second house accessed by private drive that parallels the trail from Old 3C Hwy at Foster trailhead.  Since the cable system is underground the only evidence of the project is the clearing about 30 feet wide that extends up the hill away from the river-see photo.


The project was done for AT&T.  The 6-inch conduit has 3 "inner ducts" that carry 1-1/2 inch bundle of fiber optic cables.  Only one of the inner ducts will initially be used.


Over the past year four other construction attempted to do this same project and failed.  One company reportedly had their 6-inch plastic conduit break about half way across the river.


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.   
   Monthly FLMSP Meeting
 Please join us!
Sunday, March 23
4:00 p.m.
150 East Pike St., Morrow, Ohio
All are welcome at the open meeting.
Trail Hotline

Add this number to your contacts now!

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

 Trail User Survey

The typical Little Miami Trail user is riding a bicycle, spends one to three hours on the trail, appreciates the lack of cars, and likes the summer shade. You probably already knew that. But our recent user survey also gives insights that are shaping the Friends of the Little Miami State Park's plans for the future.

For example, survey responders rated "repairing cracks in the asphalt surface" the highest priority in activities they'd like to see the Friends address. Close behind were repaving as much of the surface as possible, and stabilizing the riverbank to prevent undermining of the trail. These responses confirmed the group's plan for the $187,000 raised through the Recreational Trails Program 4:1 matching grant. On March 13, representatives of FLMSP, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, and construction contractors piled into a van and rode the length of the trail, inspecting and planning work to address cracks, trail slumping, erosion, and drainage problems. The Friends' goal is to complete work in these areas by June 1.

The survey results will also be used as the FLMSP board continues refining its new Strategic Plan. View a graphic summary of the complete user survey here.

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Kentucky Coffee Trees

by Kathy Maurer

 Have you ever noticed the funny looking large leather-like pods that fall on the trail just north of Peters Cartridge Factory? These are from the Kentucky Coffee Trees that grow in that area. Look up while the leaves are off the trees and you can see the pods hanging on the bare branches.  


In the summer their leaves are doubly branched, so although each individual leaflet appears small, in fact the leaves of this tree are the largest leaves of any native species, up to a yard long. Don't try making coffee from the seeds, though-despite the name, they are poisonous! These trees cast mottled shade and could make good replacements for ash trees in our landscape.  



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!