The Great Miami River Trail, formerly known as the River Corridor Bikeway, will connect with over 150 miles of existing trail in Montgomery, Greene, Clark, Champaign, Warren and Clermont Counties in southwestern Ohio.
An ambitious expansion plan is in the works to expand the trail from Sidney to Fairfield, Ohio, totaling roughly 95 miles in length when completed.
This review covers the southern Stillwater Trail south through Dayton, Ohio and south along the Great Miami River Corridor, roughly 23 miles. The northern starting point is Sinclair Park in Dayton. The trail picks up on the south side of Wright Brothers Parkway at Riverside Drive, just across the street from the park entrance.
This bikeway is one of the more scenically diverse trails in the state. It's not a rail-trail which makes it quite different. It follows the Great Miami River through Dayton much like a subway system, passing above and below city streets as it makes its way along. The path actually serves as a viable alternative for Dayton-area commuters and is a great way for visitors to see a slice of the city.
Much of the bikeway runs along the banks of the Great Miami River. The remainder takes you through a couple of parks and small towns, along the Stillwater River, and a short stretch along I-75.
Highlights include: Interesting riding over ramp-like sections where drains empty into the river in Dayton, a bikeway bridge over the river at Island Park, and many panoramic views from atop steep river banks.
The day we rode past there were peddle boats on the river and people seated at a terrace on the bank above.
Where the Mad and Great Miami Rivers converge, the bikeway briefly heads away from the Great Miami as it jogs you around this junction along the eastern banks. Since this can be a bit confusing to first time visitors, I recommend taking along an updated trail map, or better yet, ride with someone who knows the trail. That way you will avoid wondering if you're heading in the right direction. In fact, if you miss the crossover ramp to street level (when riding east) along the Mad River, you'll find yourself en route to Xenia Station on the Mad River Bikeway which connects to the Little Miami Trail System!
The trail has a couple of areas where you have to navigate city streets for short distances between connecting points of the bikeway. Here the general rule is to keep heading in the same direction and watch carefully for the trail to pickup again. I did notice that at least one of these areas was more clearly marked on my last visit.
In the past the bikeway was comprised of various widths and conditions of trail surface. I would suspect that this holds true today as well. So be ready for a few bumps or rough spots. Aside from that the trail is a nice ride and usually has some newer paved sections.
Note that the Stillwater River Trail is an off-shoot of the Great Miami and is included in the parking and restroom locations in the 'Trail Specs' below.
Length: 55 miles - width varies from 8-12' (95 miles when completed)
Condition: Good to Excellent
Facilities: Restrooms & water at Smith Park, Rice Field, K Station, Riverscape, Island MetroPark, Taylorsville MetroPark, Community Park.
Food: A number of places within a block or so of the trail, but you'll need a good map to find them
Parking: Many places to choose from: Water Works Park, Joyce Park, Fairview Ave. Trailhead, Hamilton Low Dam, Fitton Center Trailhead, St. Rt. 73 Trailhead, Carmondy Blvd. Trailhead, Baxter Dr. Trailhead, River St., Crains Run Park, Rice Field, Friend Park, Carillon Park, Island MetroPark, Triangle Park, Wegerzyn Gardens, Sinclair Park, Rip Rap Park, Taylorsville MetroPark, Lock 9 Park, Riverside Dr.
Fairfield Middletown Miamisburg Dayton Tipp-City Troy Piqua
83.3mi 64.5mi 49.7mi 37.6mi 20.5mi 11.4mi 3.4mi