Trail Mail
     Friends of the Little Miami State Park 
In This Issue
Two Sections of Trail Closed

Emergency closure at Milford: A section of trail between the Milford trailhead and Galbraith Rd. is closed because of an unsafe condition caused by erosion under the trail.

The condition is a result of stone walls and dirt being washed out of a culvert that channels water beneath Route 126 and the trail, leaving a 12-foot deep empty space below the trail. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) ordered the area closed because heavy rains, large truck vibrations, or other conditions could cause the trail to collapse into the culvert.

The area has been fenced off and signs announcing the emergency trail closure have been posted at the Milford trailhead and at Galbraith Road. Trail users are not permitted to enter this area and violators are subject to fines.
Milford culvert under trail

ODOT and ODNR will be working together to remediate the hazard, considered a high-priority Emergency condition. The repair consists of inserting a sleeve into the culvert and filling the void with a foam material. The work may take 30 to 60 days to complete, but the two agencies and the Friends of the Little Miami State Park will be working to open the trail or a detour as soon as possible. Watch our website or Facebook page for updates.

Closure near Fort Ancient: The trail will be closed between Senior Road in Morrow and Route 350 in Oregonia from September 12 through the end of November, 2016. No detour is available. The trail will be open for planned event participants only on certain weekends.

The closure in this area is due to erosion of the Little Miami River bank as its course has changed to undercut the trail berm. ODNR is responsible for the remediation which includes stabilizing the bank and building a small bridge over the affected area to accommodate trail use while allowing natural changes in the course of the river.

For updates on all trail closures please see our website,

FLMSP is Conservationist of the Year 

FLMSP was awarded "Conservationist of the Year" honors at this year's Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District annual meeting. 

The award highlighted the work of many volunteers, led by Rick Forrester (in yellow vest above), to prepare and plant hundreds of seedlings along the trail.  The result is a more beautiful trail and a partial reforestation from all the mature trees that are being lost to insect and weather damage.

Between You & Me & the Fencepost ...
a photo essay

Last spring, a trail user informed Fence Repair crew leader Rich Easterly of a partially dismantled fence along the trail near Spring Valley. Apparently the corner section of the fence was removed and laid aside in order to do some repair on the culvert. The fence section was left to rot on the ground.

The Friends' three-men-and-a-dog Fence Repair crew was busy for weeks rebuilding a culvert wall and fence elsewhere on the trail, however, so the Spring Valley project had to wait.

By the time Rich inspected the fence again a few weeks ago, the entire area, including the removed fence section, was overgrown with tall weeds.

New Volunteers
  Tom Burroughs (left) is a local trail runner who has gone the extra mile to help maintain a section of our trail.

Jim Risbeck (right) has retired from his 9-5 job, but has stepped up to volunteer on the trail as well as helping at the FLMSP checkpoint on the Mile to Mile Relay Race.

If Tom and Jim can do it, so can you! Find out more about volunteering with FLMSP here.
Volunteer on the Trail
Friends volunteers are on the trail almost every day of the week, working to keep the trail safe and beautiful and having fun and meeting others in the process. All that's missing is YOU!

You can join a group on your part of the trail and help out whenever you can make it; there are no minimum requirements for volunteering. Here is a partial list of work sessions; others are available:

Tuesday AM - Fosters area - John Theuring leads
Wednesday AM - S. Lebanon area - Paul Morgan leads
Thursday AM - Grandin Road area - Ron Gorley leads
Friday AM - South Morrow area - Paul Morgan leads
Saturday AM - South Morrow area - Paul Morgan leads

To find out more about joining one of these or another group, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator.

Friends of the Little Miami State Park 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, capital improvements, and safety concerns, as well as providing most of the maintenance of the park. 
Trail Hotline

Call or text to report trees or large limbs down on the trail, or other non-emergency safety issues. A photo with location is most helpful.

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Events on Our Trail
  • Morgan's Little Miami Triathlon Fall 2016

Fort Ancient, OH
Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
Kayak, Run, and Bike!

Saturday, Oct. 29 at 5:30 p.m.
Downtown Loveland

Loveland, Ohio will be transformed into a life size Monopoly board game in this fun event from the creators of The Amazing Charity Race. Teams of 4 compete in Lovelandopoly and enjoy live music by The Counting Skeletons, a Costume Contest, and Beer and Food Tasting. 

Beer at Benchmark

Beer and helping FLMSP-what a great combo! You're invited to a beer tasting social event at Benchmark Outfitters beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 15.  All proceeds from the beer tasting and various raffles will be donated to FLMSP.  

FLMSP will have a table set up at the event.  So if you want to learn more about our organization from our volunteers, or make a donation by tasting beer from MadTree Brewery, please join us!

Benchmark is located at 9525 Kenwood Rd (at the corner of Cooper Rd) in Blue Ash.  

The Oak and the Relay

Photo by Dirk Morgan
When the staff at the Morrow exchange point for the Market to Market Relay found this giant oak tree down on the trail Saturday morning, they called our trail hotline. FLMSP volunteer Dirk Morgan leapt into his golf cart/gator with his chainsaw to fix the problem before the almost 200 runners would pass by on their way from Cincinnati to Dayton.
"The tree is as big as an elephant," Dirk reported. It had peeled off the steep slope adjacent to the trail and was too big to remove before the race. But Dirk had a temporary solution. He cut off limbs to widen the arch below the trunk and marked it with caution tape so the runners and other trail users could pass underneath on the trail berm. 

The tree will be cut up this week and removed, an effort that will require two hours or more of work. Thank you, Dirk, for taking up the baton and doing your part to keep the relay running smoothly!

What's This?

Last month's mystery artifact was correctly identified by Dwight Elliot, Pete Carey, Don Hahn, Gary Davis and Ed Stauss as an air brake hose used on rail cars. 

Dwight Elliot says, "Collectively the air hose and pipe are referred to as the 'train line.'  The train line operates the braking system of all the cars that make up a train." 

Gary Davis adds, "Each railroad car has a hose at both ends of the car, just under the coupler. When cars are coupled together a railroad employee then manually couples the air hoses together. The engine then provides air into all cars which provides the ability to apply braking to each car on the train. If a car becomes uncoupled or an air hose breaks the trains brakes will be applied until it stops." 

Grandma Gatewood on TV
Emma "Grandma" Gatewood was the first woman to solo thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 1955 at the age of 67 after raising 11 children and surviving domestic abuse. She was a charter member of the Buckeye Trail Association, founded to create the hiking trail that circles Ohio and shares many sections with our Little Miami State Park trail. 

You can watch Gatewood's story on PBS in October. "TRAIL MAGIC, The Grandma Gatewood Story" will appear on ThinkTV 16.1 in Dayton on October 2nd at 3:00pm and in Cincinnati on CET 48.1 on October 23rd at 2:00pm (subject to change, so check local PBS websites in October to confirm).

Read more about Grandma Gatewood here.


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