Trifecta - 12X26 - CycleBlaze

September 10, 2021


When I was planning this trip I looked at several different trails in Ohio and kept returning to the 80 mile Little Miami Scenic Trail running from the outskirts of Cincinnati to Springfield.  I had ridden most of the Little Miami in 2018 when I rode the 326 mile Ohio to Erie Trail from Cincinnati to Cleveland.  My primary recollection from that trip was the difficulty I had in transitioning from the road ride out of Cinci to the Little Miami Trail.  I still clearly remember circling the Cincinnati Municipal Airport at Lunken Field on what I was convinced was the Little Miami only to discover I had in fact been on what I will refer to as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

What I had clearly forgotten was just what a wonderful ride it was.

Staying at the Hammel House Inn in Waynesville harkens back to previous adventures where we would be able to stay close to the trail and ride in and out enabling Laura to pursue a parallel itinerary.  Our accommodations are only 1/2 mile from the trail so we were in no rush this morning.  We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and by the time I hit the trail it was high noon.  With only 40+ miles to go, blue skies and temps in the mid-70's there was plenty of time to enjoy an afternoon ride.

Little Miami River a short distance from today's start at the Little Miami River Golf Center.
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I labeled this post Trifecta since there were some striking similarities across the Little Miami, Carinal Greenway and Nickel Plate trails.  The picture below could have been taken on any of these trails.  Given the relative proximity of these trails they would make a great collective introduction to some outstanding Midwest rail trails.

Little Miami Scenic Trail.
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What immediately struck me as I headed down trail today was how many folks there were.  Walkers, runners, cyclists and dogs walking their owners.  It felt just a bit "crowded".  On second thought, it was great to see so many people enjoying this terrific resource.  The sense of "crowd" likely was a reaction to seeing more trail users today than I had seen collectively in S. Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.  The proximity of the Little Miami to a major city coupled with a significant number of trailheads between Cincinnati and Waynesville provide lots of access.

I was about 10 miles from the start when I had a number of riders overtake me.  I felt I was moving at a pretty good clip.  As I entered Loveland I discovered signs announcing a race in progress ! Whew.

I took a break in Loveland and enjoyed a cold iced coffee...just what I needed.  I was not alone.  Loveland provides a number of outdoor eateries directly on the trail.

One of several spots directly on the trail in Loveland
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The 25+ miles from Loveland to Waynesville were thoroughly enjoyable.  The trail passes thorough a number of small villages and towns.  Many who have openly "adopted" the trail.  Many have restored their original depots to celebrate the past and welcome the present and future.

Morrow Village
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The trail closely parallels the Little Miami River.  In the ten miles before Waynesville there were several canoe and kayak liveries that reminded me of home along the Saco River.

Lots of opportunity for fun on the river.
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Not many folks out on the river today but with warm temps for the weekend, I have little doubt a number of these will be on the river starting tomorrow.
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I am looking forward to tomorrow's ride into Springfield.  Then it's back on the road for a long trip to PA and some rides I have been looking forward to for awhile.

Today's ride: 44 miles (71 km)
Total: 390 miles (628 km)

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