GET ACTIVE: Hit the trail for the Great Miami Riverway 2023 River Ride

Sometimes it’s about the journey, other times the destination, but the Great Miami Riverway 2023 River Ride is about both.

The free community ride slated Friday, April 28 showcases the 1.4-mile trail section recently built to connect Middletown and Franklin and the Great Miami River Recreation Trail. The fun continues after the ride with entertainment, food trucks and family activities in both Middletown and Franklin.

“It’s a fun, non-competitive cycling event that showcases these vibrant riverfront cities and this section of trail,” said Sarah Hippensteel Hall, Miami Conservancy District manager of watershed partnerships. “And at each end of the route, there will be a festival with food trucks and fun for the whole family.”

Outdoor recreation has long been a hallmark of the region as the Miami Valley boasts the largest paved trail network in the country with 340 miles and counting. The region also has more than 290 miles of rivers and streams, ideal for outdoor recreation ranging from paddling to fishing and, even, surfing.

The Great Miami River Recreation Trail has also been designated as a National Recreation Trail as portions of several statewide and national trails use the Great Miami and other local trails to pass through the Dayton region. Events like the River Ride highlight the connectivity the trails provide.

“We have so many awesome trails,” Hall said. “This is the first paved trail that connects Franklin and Middletown without having to ride on a busy road. It’s a really scenic section of trail.”

Bigger and better isn’t a cliché as the event – held for the first time in several years – is more than a ride. It’s a celebration.

In Middletown, Jefferson Park will host live music from Chuck Evans, a kids activity area, yard games, a craft project and a variety of food trucks. The Food Truck Park in Franklin will be the place for post-ride festivities with live music from Sweeney Rebellion, a vendor fair, food trucks and more kids activities.

“The cities are excited to host this event and I think people are ready to get back out on the trail,” Hall said. “It’s a great opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends.”

Great Miami Riverway 2023 River Ride

What: Cycle at your own pace along the scenic Great Miami Riverway. The Middletown-Franklin connection of the recreation trail is approximately a 3-mile round trip and will include food, fun and live music at both end points.

When: Friday, April 28. Start between 4-6 p.m. and finish by 7 p.m.

Where: Start at Flyer Trailhead (3801 N. Verity Parkway, Middletown) or Franklin Food Truck Park (20 E. 4th St., Franklin)

Registration: Free event but the first 100 people registered receive a goodie bag. On-site registration also available.

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