The Great Miami River Recreational Trail is a multi-use paved trail that stretches continuously from Piqua to Franklin, with a small section several miles south of Franklin which will someday be connected to the main route. The trail follows the river closely so hikers have nearly constant views of the mighty body of water with its levees, dams and bridges. The Robert J. Shook Memorial Bikeway Bridge over the river is the pawrfect spot to paws and enjoy the view of the river from above.
The northern end of the trail starts at Roadside Park in Piqua, where there is free parking, and courses southward through cities like Dayton, and small towns and communities. It runs through 4 counties and 12 towns, and features at least 12 access points along the way, mostly in Metro Parks or municipal parks, most with free parking, restrooms, and drinking water. The access points you pass will also provide an opportunity to visit a local ice cream shop or restaurant before heading out for the next leg of the hike.
One of the popular stopping places is in downtown Dayton at the Riverscape Metro Park, where you'll find a cafe, shady pavilion that hosts concerts and other events, many shade trees and fountains and porch swings for just relaxing. Your pooch is welcome here, as on the rest of the trail, on leash.
You'll also find many connections to other trails on your trek, including the Mad River Trail, Wolf Creek Trail and more. While the Great Miami River Trail is mostly flat, it's not boring: besides having the river and its wildlife to entertain you and the fur-pup, you'll also walk along country roads and through forested sections that may give up sights of deer, beavers, Great Blue Herons and kingfishers that are around the creeks. Wildflowers adorn the trail's edges and flowering trees and urban landscaping will capture your eye.
Whether you live in this part of Ohio or are visiting, this trail is a must-do, even if for just a short section.
Because this trail is used by bicyclists, in-line skaters, skateboarders and other wheeled conveyances that move faster than walkers and runners, stay to the right to let them pass safely, and keep Fido under good leash control to avoid a mishap.