The Little Miami State and National Scenic River offers bikers and paddlers a trip into one of Ohio's most beautiful and historic areas. Visitors can traverse the 50-mile linear park by water, on the Little Miami State and Natural Scenic River, or on land via the Little Miami Scenic Bikeway Trail.
From the northernmost canoe access point to the Ohio River, the Little Miami River can provide numerous levels of excitement: an historic journey, an environmental experience, a fishing or recreational trip.
The Little Miami River is approximately 105 miles long and nearly 86 miles are accessible to paddlers.
If you plan to paddle the Little Miami Scenic River, you must exercise caution because the river's immense power is often hidden. All rivers may become dangerous when water is high and flow is rapid from heavy rainfall. Streams such as the Little Miami are always dangerous at lowhead dams and where log jams or submerged trees create powerful forces in the current. Approved, properly fitting life jackets are required. All boats, canoes and kayaks require a current registration sticker.
There are five Scenic River Access Sites along and near the river:
- Caesar Creek
- Ft. Ancient
- Mather’s Mill
- Halls Creek
- Carl Rahe
These areas provide parking, access for paddlers and fishermen, and some hiking trails.
Smallmouth and rock bass provide excellent catches for anglers. Fishing is permitted from boats and from shore at the canoe access sites. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Picnic areas are offered at numerous public sites along the river. There are also picnic tables at the Ft. Ancient Scenic River Access and a shelterhouse at the Carl Rahe Scenic River Access.
Little Miami State Park is a unique recreational asset in the state park system—a trail corridor. This scenic, riverside trail offers numerous recreational pursuits — bicycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, rollerblading, backpacking and horseback riding. The corridor also provides access to boating the Little Miami River.
The park contains 50 miles of paved trail from Terrace Park in Hamilton County to Hedges Road in Greene County. The remainder of the trail to Springfield is also paved and operated by Greene County Parks and Trails. (For information on the trail north of Hedges Road, visit gcparkstrails.com or call 937-376-7440.)
A staging area in Corwin has parking, flush restrooms (seasonally), and picnic tables. Other facilities have been developed along the trail in Oregonia, Morrow, South Lebanon, Fosters, Loveland, Miamiville, and Milford. These trailside stops may include parking, restrooms or portable toilets, benches, picnic tables, restaurants and trail access points. These facilities are wheelchair accessible.
Follow the Buckeye Trail from the intersection of US 50 and Wooster Lane to the end of the Loveland Section.
Cross-country skiing is permitted under the proper conditions.
Special Rules to Remember
- This is a multipurpose trail, please be courteous to others.
- Trail users must stop and move off pavement when patrol, maintenance or other emergency vehicles approach.
- Cyclists must obey all Ohio traffic laws which pertain to bicyclists, including stopping at all posted road crossings, yielding to vehicle traffic and giving an audible signal when passing.
- Night cyclists must have front white light and rear red light.
- No headphones or earphones are permitted while cycling.
- Protective gear, including helmets, is encouraged.
- No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
- Please do not trespass onto adjacent privately owned lands.
- Pets are permitted on the trail provided they are on a hand-held leash no longer than six feet.
- State law prohibits alcohol on public land.
- Fires are not permitted.
- All organized activities or events require a special permit.
- Horse drawn vehicles also require a special permit.
- Please park bikes in designated areas only, and do not leave unattended.
In case of emergency contact the county sheriff or call 911.
Sheriff office numbers for this region:
- Warren County, (513) 932-4080
- Clermont County, (513) 732-2231
- Hamilton County, (513) 825-2280
- Greene County, (513) 376-5111
History & Natural Features
The Little Miami River Valley is historically significant to the state of Ohio. The wooded lands were home to several early Ohio Native American cultures. Nearby are the largest and best known earthworks in the state known as Fort Ancient. Fort Ancient was built by the Hopewell Native American who inhabited the area from 300 B.C. to 600 A.D.
In more recent history, this area was inhabited by the Miami Indians and the Shawnee. After the War of 1812, the Indian threat dissipated and the area attracted settlers. Numerous mills were developed on the river bank and several still stand today. Clifton Mill near Yellow Springs is still in operation. By the mid 1800s, the river corridor was bustling with grist mills, textile mills, stagecoach trails and a railroad line.
Indian mounds and relics, historic buildings, grist mills and stagecoach trails can still be found in this historic river valley. The Little Miami Scenic Park became a state park in 1979.
The Little Miami Scenic Park is located within the beautiful and historic Little Miami River Valley. The Little Miami is a designated federal and state scenic river. It is protected because of its high water quality, panoramic setting and the many historic sites that can be found along its banks.
A trail meanders with the river through four counties encountering rolling farm country, towering cliffs, steep gorges and forests along the way. This steep gorge offers evidence of the erosional forces of glacial meltwater. Outcroppings of limestone and shale are now exposed. Mammoth sycamores border the river's edge where great blue herons reside. Because of the relatively cool sheltered climate in the gorge, eastern hemlocks and Canada yew are able to survive here.
Birdwatchers delight in the abundance and variety of colorful warblers and other songbirds in the park. The shaded slopes offer a variety of woodland wildflowers for visitors to enjoy. More than 340 species of wildflowers are known in the river's corridor. Virginia bluebells, bellworts, wild ginger and wild columbines are only a few to be seen in the park.