The replacement of three bridges and other trail improvement projects along the Little Miami State Park scenic trail in Warren County will impact park visitors until mid-summer and will require temporary closures of the trail, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Melissa Clark, who manages the Little Miami State Park, that includes the scenic trail along the Little Miami River, said, “it’s a painful process. There is a lot going on but it will be good in the end.”
About 50 miles of the trail is managed by ODNR from Hedges Road in Greene County to Terrace Park. Clark said an estimated 1.2 million people use the trail each year.
She said the closures are necessary to take care of trail maintenance and ODNR is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation to close the trail while bridge repairs are being made on U.S. 22/Ohio 3 in southern Warren County.
“Unlike a road, there are no detours and no safe alternate routes to get around the construction areas,” Clark said. “But people will find a way to go around.”
The Friends of Little Miami State Park began an effort in 2020 to pave 1.25 miles of its trail south of Morrow. However, some additional berm work is needed to complete the project. ODNR will add additional berm material along the edges of the new asphalt.
The work is scheduled to begin in April and be completed by May. Trail users are asked to slow down and use caution in areas where work crews are present.
U.S. 22/OHIO 3 Bridge Work
The U.S. 22/Ohio 3 bridge over the Little Miami River is scheduled to be rehabilitated beginning June 7.
This work will require the complete closure of U.S. 22 in Foster for 40-50 days. The Old 3-C highway will see a significant increase in traffic during this time.
For the safety of trail users and motorists, ODNR and ODOT officials determined the temporary closure of the trail was necessary. The Little Miami Scenic Trail will be closed where it crosses Old 3-C. The trail will be open to the north and to the south, but no trail traffic will be allowed to cross Old 3-C.
The temporary closure along the trail during the U.S. 22/Ohio 3 bridge rehabilitation and one of the bridges along the trail will impact a popular destination.
The Monkey Bar & Grille on Old 3-C Highway is located along the trail but owner Mark Altemeier said it will have an impact on his business, “but it’s hard to tell yet.”
Manager Whitney Richardson said they get a lot of bikers at the Monkey Bar that come off the trail to eat and drink on the bar’s patio overlooking the river.
“On a busy summer weekend day, there’s between 500 to 700 people around,” she said. “Sometimes they end up with us and don’t go back on the trail. We’ve had to call for large Uber so they could get home with their bikes.”
Altemeier said he’s been told by state and local officials that the four-mile stretch between Loveland and Old 3-C Highway gets the heaviest use of the entire trail.
For more information regarding closures along Little Miami State Park’s trail, call the park office at 937-382-1096 or visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.