MetroParks adds segment to part of Great Miami River Trail

Southwest Ohio is a national destination not just for big-name events and locations but also for hundreds of miles a connected multi-use trail network.

MetroParks of Butler County dedicated earlier this month another piece to the Great Miami River Trail that follows along the river. The 0.7-mile Timberhill segment adds to the 10.6 miles of continuous trail from the Timberhill Area of Rentschler Forest in Fairfield Twp. to Water Works Park in Fairfield.

“Butler County is home to the only remaining gaps in the Great Miami River Trail between Piqua and Fairfield,” said Matt Latham, MetroParks’ park planner/project manager. “The city of Monroe is working on a 2.5-mile section within their city limits, and once that’s completed, there will be two gaps remaining totaling about 4.5 miles in length.”

The river trail is expected to run nearly 90 miles from Piqua in Miami County to Fairfield’s southern Butler County border. About 63 miles of contiguous trail have been constructed from Piqua to Middletown. Last August, Middletown and Franklin worked to complete a 1.4-mile stretch along the trail.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Fairfield city officials have discussed the future connection of the trail from Water Works Park to its FurField Dog Park ― which is less than 2 miles apart ― but it’s dependent on the Marsh Park expansion project.

As it stands today, there are more than 340 miles of connected trails in the region, which makes it the nation’s largest network of connected paved trails. Latham said the trail network had provided the area with an economic impact of more than $13 million.

“This means that every dollar invested into these trails yields a high return which supports local businesses, stimulates job creation, and contributes to those all-important quality-of-life aspects that make our region an attractive place to live, work, play, and operate a business,” he said.

MetroParks Executive Director Jackie O’Connell said the trail segment’s completion “is just one example of how MetroParks strives to make a positive impact to the lives of Butler County residents by contributing to the physical, mental, economic, and environmental health of our region.”

The Great Miami River Trail Timberhill project cost $1.1 million, which includes contributions from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund and Ohio Department of Transportation Safety Funds.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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