Little Miami Trails Pieces Falling into Place

After two decades of coordinated effort, key connection between the Little Miami and Ohio River bike-hike trails coming soon.

Step by step, piece by piece, the Little Miami Scenic Trail and Ohio River Trail have come together, with the final piece soon taking shape. Once completed, Anderson Township will sit at the intersection of these popular trail networks. 

However simple it seems now, as the last .6 mile link over the Little Miami River is slated to begin construction this summer, the planning and coordinated effort put into this comprehensive regional trails has spanned some 20 years. It has also involved integrated efforts with state, regional and local officials in government, park systems and non-profit trails advocacy organizations.

“This is a tremendous achievement for our community and region,” noted Steve Sievers, Anderson’s assistant administrator for operations. “This effort to connect our extensive Anderson Trails network with regional links has transcended all political boundaries. Our cumulative efforts have been a unifying project, working with ODOT (the Ohio Department of Transportation), park districts, villages, cities and townships,” he said.

“One by one, we all completed our pieces. And the sum of this effort is a jewel for our region, a continuous nearly 80-mile trail network along the Little Miami and Ohio rivers,” Sievers noted.

“This trail system has been built with the vision and strategic planning of public and private trail supporters,” noted Great Parks of Hamilton CEO Todd Palmeter. “While some wondered if it would ever become a reality on the ground, we are glad to report that hundreds of thousands in southwest Ohio will soon have nearby access to these key regional trail spines,” he added.

With the addition of new links, users can travel from downtown Cincinnati to New Richmond, or north to Springfield, Ohio, on the bike trails or dedicated bicycle lanes.

Two decades ago, the Little Miami Trail ended at Milford, there was no Ohio River Trail, and only the Lunken Airport trail existed, Sievers noted. Since then, more than 15 separate segments, in excess of 25 new miles of trails, have brought this vision to reality.

As the pedestrian bridge over the Little Miami and a tunnel under the SR 32 westbound ramp is completed by fall 2022, a connection to downtown Cincinnati will be created.

Great Parks of Hamilton County will begin construction on this bridge widening project this month with completion scheduled for fall 2022. To connect to this planned improvement, Anderson Township recently received a $750,000 federal grant for an extension of the Little Miami Scenic Trail, (the Elstun Connector.) This quarter-mile link will join the trail network at Mt. Washington to the the redeveloping Skytop Pavilion Shopping Center, approved for a new multi-family housing community.

”Anderson Township has been an advocate and helped fund several of these key connections, and is proud to help bring these segments online,” noted Trustee Chair Josh Gerth.  “All trails lead to Anderson, some may say,” added Gerth, “and with this key link, we’re thrilled to have this amenity along miles of our riverfronts for the benefit of our residents and the region.”