The Little Miami State and National Scenic River (Ohio) -- Main Branch

Thomas P. Martin, Ph.D., FACSM
Professor
Health, Fitness and Sport Department
Wittenberg University
P.O. Box 720
Springfield, OH 45501
(937) 327-6470 (work)
tmartin@wittenberg. edu

Link to Tom Martin's Web Page

Link to Little Miami Map

The following file of GPS coordinates for waypoints can be opened in Internet Explorer using EasyGPS software. This software can be downloaded for free at: EasyGPS software

After you have downloaded the EasyGPS software, then right click on the following link and save by selecting "Save Target As." Once the file is saved, you can open it with the EasyGPS software.

Link to GPS file of Waypoints in .loc Format provided by Jacob Meddles

Maps available from the author: (1) a 2x3 foot (poster size) color map, (2) a 10x15 inch laminated color map, and (3) 20 topographic map pages (B&W 8 1/2 x 11) covering the canoeable part of the river from John Bryan State Park to Cincinnati (Ohio River).  River miles are marked on these maps.

Link to Mad River - Southwest Ohio Web Site

Updated - June, 2006

LITTLE MIAMI RIVER REPORT

Introduction

During June and July of 2000, Tom Martin, an Ohio Division of Watercraft Volunteer and professor at Wittenberg University in Springfield Ohio, collected information, canoed, and drove to bridges and access points along the main branch of the Little Miami River. Tom and George Brose took four days in early June to canoe the 86.4 miles from John Bryan State Park to the Ohio River.

The purpose of this project was to correct and update the information on the main branch of the Little Miami River contained in the Ohio Division of Watercraft pamphlet "Boating on Ohio’s Streams: 2 Southwest Section," which was last published 10/95. The project was expanded to include additional information on river miles, Global Positioning System (GPS) data, access points, and canoe liveries.

The river miles used in this report are those established by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and adopted by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The river miles begin (0.0) where the Little Miami River empties into the Ohio River and proceed upstream. All OEPA river mile locations are presented in red. Background research produced two other sources that provided river mile information.

In June of 1977 the Dan Beard Council, Troop 858, of the Boy Scouts of America produced a map of "The Little Miami River Canoe Trail." It began at the Grinnell Road bridge which was designated as river mile 0.0 near John Bryan State Park and ended at the Kellogg Ave. bridge (river mile 85.4) adjacent to the Magrish Recreation Center in Cincinnati.

The second source of river miles was produced by the Miami Conservancy District, 38 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, Ohio 45402, (937) 223-1271 [MCD 34132-34134, 11/95]. The river miles placed on topographic maps begin in the middle of the Ohio River (0.0), which is the Kentucky-Ohio border, and proceed upstream.

These three sources attempted to accurately measure river miles. However, the river miles presented are somewhat different. For example, for the river distance from the mouth of the Little Miami River to the Grinnell Road Bridge, near John Bryan State Park, the mileage presented is:

OEPA                         85.4 miles

Troop 858                   86.9 miles (85.4 + 1.5 to mouth of river)

Miami Conservancy     82.4 miles (82.6 – 0.2 to mouth of river)

It is not know which of the three river mile measurements is the most accurate. The OEPA river miles were used for this report because they are the ones used by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. There are also signs with river miles indicated hanging under some bridges. These river miles do not correspond with any of the above sources and the origin of the signs is not known. The river mile discrepancies may be attributed to measurement error, changes in the path of the river, as well as the use of different (e.g. old versus updated) United States Geologic Survey (USGS) topographic maps.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) data in this report was collected with a Garmin GPS 12 Personal Navigator. This unit used WGS 84 map datum. Bridge measurements were taken in the middle of the upstream side of each bridge. Launch site measurements were taken at the launch site at river’s edge. Ninety percent of the site measurements were checked on a second or third day to insure accuracy.

Canoe liveries paddle most river miles and attempt to keep the river clear of dangerous strainers. However, there are three sections of the river that are not routinely paddled by liveries. Appropriate precautions should be taken before paddling these sections:

1. John Bryan State Park (86.4) to Fairgrounds Road Bridge (77.7) – 8.7 mile segment:

The section from John Bryan State Park to Jacoby Road Launch (83.1) has the Grinnell Mill Race Dam (4 feet high, portage right) at river mile 85.6 and typically has a number of strainers and some trees down all the way across the river. This section can provide seasonal canoeing for skilled canoeists, however, it is too low for continuous paddling (much dragging due to shallow water) during dry periods.
  Grinnell Mill Race Dam (4 ft)
Log Across River - Strainer Log Across River - Strainer
The section from Jacoby Road Launch (83.1) to Fairgrounds Road Bridge (77.7) normally has strainers and may have trees down all the way across the river. There is a 2 foot dam at river mile 80.5 (portage right). This section can provide recreational paddling for skilled canoeists.
Log Across River - Strainer Dam (2 ft) near US 68 Bridge

2. RiversEdge Canoe Livery (60.1) to Harveysburg Hill Road Bridge in Corwin (54.4) – 5.6 mile segment:

This segment has a 4-foot dam at river mile 55.3, portage left. The short portage is not obvious and has brush, trees, and rocks to negotiate. This section can provide recreational paddling for skilled canoeists.

Dam (4 ft) 1 Mile N of Corwin

3. Bass Island Access (8.1) to Mouth of Little Miami River (0.0) – 8.1 mile segment:

This segment provides easy paddling, however, for the last mile, there are marinas that have large powerboats that do not always adhere to the no-wake zone. Also, there is no take-out point at the mouth of the Little Miami River and it is dangerous to canoe on the Ohio River due to large waves caused by power boats and barges. Therefore, it is suggested that the final take-out be at Magrish Recreation Center (1.5).
The recreational canoeist should read related literature, check with liveries, and personally check the section of river to be paddled before embarking on a canoe trip. River level should be checked and the weather forecast taken into consideration before embarking on a river trip. Extended rain and storms can raise the river to a dangerous level. Also, keep in mind that each storm can add or remove strainers (i.e. logs/trees across river) from the river. Strainers are dangerous and should be avoided. A float plan including put-in and take-out points should be left with a responsible person along with an estimated time of return.

Ohio boating law requires that there be a properly maintained Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person on board. The PFD must fit the person for whom it is intended and children under 10 MUST wear their PFDs at all times. It is recommended that all paddlers wear their PFDs whenever on or near the water.

Many access points are in secluded areas. Be sure to lock all valuables in your trunk or take your vehicle to a secure area before launching your boat. There have been many documented vehicle break-ins at access points along the river - so take reasonable precautions.

This report describes waypoints as of July 2000. Keep in mind that, over time, bridges, dams and/or access points will be constructed as well as removed from the river.
 

Note - River Miles, that is, water distance from mouth of river to each waypoint, are given in red
 

  • DAM – in Clifton at the head of the gorge. NO PORTAGE – ILLEGAL TO PADDLE FROM ABOVE THE DAM TO JOHN BRYAN STATE PARK THROUGH THE GORGE

  •  

    86.4 John Bryan State Park at bend below lower picnic area, 0.1 mile carry, access river right (seasonal paddling)
    GPS – N 39o 47.134   W 83o 51.780
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Camping - fee
    Picnicking
    Water


    nbsp; 85.6 DAM (4 foot) for start of Grinnell Mill Race, portage river right
    GPS – N 39o 46.969   W 83o 52.327
     

    85.4 Grinnell Road Bridge, steep access river left downstream side of bridge
    GPS – N 39o 46.965   W 83o 52.510
    Pulloff

    The Grinnell Mill Race enters on river right just below bridge. Yellow Springs Creek empties into the Little Miami on river right at River Mile 85.2. There is a covered bridge about 0.1 mile up Yellow Springs Creek in Glen Helen Nature Preserve of Antioch University.

     

    83.1 Jacoby Road Launch, Morris Bean Reserve, Greene County Park District on river left. SR-72 to Clifton, 4 miles SW on Clifton Road, 0.5 mile NW on Jacoby Road to access. Also, US-68 to Clifton Road (4 miles south of Yellow Springs), 2 miles NE on Clifton Road,0.5 mile NW on Jacoby Road to access.
    GPS – N 39o 45.834   W 83o 54.12
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Camping - permission required, fee
    Picnicking

    Primitive camping by permit at least one day in advance from Greene County Park District, 651 Dayton-Xenia Road, Xenia, OH 45385, (937) 562-7440, $10/day, 3 day limit.

     

    80.8 Little Miami Scenic Trail Bridge (Yellow Springs–Xenia bike path over old railroad bridge)
    GPS –  N 39o 44.832   W 83o 55.714
    Little Miami Scenic Trail Bridge

     

    80.6 US-68 bridge north of Xenia, roadside access river left
    GPS –  N 39o 44.889   W 83o 55.858
    Roadside Parking

    Sign under US-68 states mile 82.3
     

    80.5 DAM (2 foot) - portage river right
    GPS –  N 39o 44.731   W 83o 56.006
     

    80.0 SR-235 Bridge
    GPS –  N 39o 44.451   W 83o 56.197
     

    77.7 Fairgrounds Road Bridge, access river left under bridge
    GPS –  N 39o 43.450   W 83o 57.822
    Pulloff

    Sign under Fairgrounds Road Bridge states mile 78.4
    Downstream – foot bridge between houses  N 39o 43.038   W 83o 58.161
    Look for very large red, white, and blue tires on left (end of Kil-Kare drag strip) at River Mile 76.4 Downstream, bear right to avoid strainer
     

    75.6 Trebein Bridge, intersection of Old Dayton-Xenia Road and Hilltop Road, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 42.454   W 83o 59.261
     

    74.9 Creekside Trail Bridge (Dayton-Xenia bike path, also called the H connector bike path, over old railroad bridge)
    GPS –  N 39o 42.418   W 83o 59.931
     

    74.5 Glenn Thompson Reserve, Jacobs Landing, Eagle Pass Canoe Launch, Greene County Park District, access river left just before US 35-Bridge, 3 miles W of Xenia at intersection of US-35 and North Valley Road
    GPS –  N 39o 42.086   W 83o 59.954
    Parking Lot
    Picnicking
     

    72.3 Indian Ripple Road Bridge
    GPS –  N 39o 41.498   W 84o 01.710
     

    72.2 Narrows Reserve Canoe Launch, Greene County Park District, 0.1 mile downstream from Indian Ripple Road Bridge, river right. US-35 to Factory Road, S to intersection at Indian Ripple Road. Miami Scenic River Interpretive Center and camping with permit 0.75 mile from launch.
    GPS –  N 39o 41.396   W 84o 01.739
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Camping – with permit 0.75 mile from launch, fee
    Picnicking
    Water

    Primitive camping by permit at least one day in advance from Greene County Park District, 651 Dayton-Xenia Road, Xenia, OH 45385, (937) 562-7440, $10/day, 3 day limit.
     

    69.8 Upper Bellbrook Road Bridge, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 39.726   W 84o 02.421

    Sign under bridge states mile 70.6
     

    68.5 Mill Bridge Launch, Greene County Park District, river right just before Washington Mills Road Bridge. SR-725 to Bellbrook, 2 miles N on Washington Mills Road, access just off Graf Mill Road
    GPS –  N 39o 38.710   W 84o 02.571
    Parking Lot
    Camping – with permission, fee
    Picnicking

    Sign under bridge states mile 69.3
    Primitive camping by permit at least one day in advance from Greene County Park District, 651 Dayton-Xenia Road, Xenia, OH 45385, (937) 562-7440, $10/day, 3 day limit.
     

    67.5 Bellbrook Canoe Rental (formerly Fyffe’s) access river right with permission. SR-725 to Bellbrook, N 1mile on Washington Mill Road
    GPS –  N 39o 38.538   W 84o 03.474
    Parking Lot
    Canoe Rentals
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food – Snacks

    Bellbrook Canoe Rental, 3234 Washington Mill Road, Bellbrook, OH 45305, (937) 848-4812
     

    66.6 Lower Bellbrook Road Bridge, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 37.985   W 84o 03.097
     

    65.6 State Route-725 Bridge, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 37.260   W 84o 03.023
     

    63.3 Little Miami Reserve Launch, Sparr’s Landing, Constitution Park, Greene County Park District, access river left. US-42, N 0.25 mile on SR-725.
    GPS –  N 39o 36.370   W 84o 00.838
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms – Across street
    Camping - with permission, fee
    Picnicking

    Primitive camping by permit at least one day in advance from Greene County Park District, 651 Dayton-Xenia Road, Xenia, OH 45385, (937) 562-7440, $10/day, 3 day limit.
    Restrooms across SR-725 at Walton Park (Spring Valley City Ball Fields)
     

    63.0 US-42 bridge, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 36.122   W 84o 00.833

    Sign under bridge states mile 63.7
     

    60.8 Ohio Spring Valley Wildlife area launch site just E of Roxanna-New Burlington Road bridge, bridge is just E of Roxanna off US-42, access river left 0.1 mile past bridge
    GPS –  N 39o 34.961   W 84o 01.777
    Parking Lot
     

    60.1 RiversEdge Canoe Livery, access river right with permission, 4 miles N of Waynesville on US-42
    GPS –  N 39o 34.505   W 84o 01.937
    Parking Lot
    Canoe Rentals
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food – Snacks

    RiversEdge Canoe Livery, 3928 St. Rt. 42 S., Waynesville, OH 45068, 1-800-628-2319 or (937) 862-4540,
     

    55.3 DAM (4-foot), portage river left. Access from New Burlington Road 1 mile N of Harveysburg Hill Road bridge in Corwin
    GPS –  N 39o 31.900   W 84o 03.845
    Pulloff

    The short portage is not obvious and has brush, trees, and rocks to negotiate.
     

    54.4 Harveysburg Hill Road Bridge in Corwin, access river left just before bridge. Facilities 0.25 mile E in Corwin along Little Miami Scenic Trail. US-42 to Waynesville, 0.5 mile E on Harveysburg Hill Road.
    GPS –  N 39o 31.632   W 84o 04.802
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food

    Bowman Park Warren County, 0.25 mile W, picnicking and restrooms
     

    53.8 SR-73 Bridge, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 31.506   W 84o 05.268
     

    51.2 Caesar Creek Access, Little Miami State Park, access river left just before Middletown Road covered bridge.
    GPS –  N 39o 29.890   W 84o 06.031
    Parking Lot

    Covered Bridge

    Caesar Creek Access

    Little Miami State Park

    50.9 Caesar Creek enters Little Miami
     

    47.7 Oregonia Road Bridge in Oregonia, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 27.299   W 84o 05.888
     

    45.9 Little Miami Canoe Rental Old Mill Base (formerly Gordon’s), access river left with permission. I-71 Exit 36 (Wilmington Road), 1 mile W to Mathers Mill, 0.1 mile N on Corwin Road.
    GPS –  N 39o 25.917   W 84o 06.144
    Parking Lot
    Canoe Rentals
    Restrooms
    Camping - fee
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food – Snacks

    Little Miami Canoe Rental, 219 Mill Street (St. Rte 123), Morrow, OH 45152, 1-800-634-4277 or (513) 899-3616, http://www.littlemiamicanoe.com
     

    45.7 Mathers Mill Access, Little Miami State Park, access river left at Wilmington Road Bridge. I-71  Exit 36 (Wilmington Road), 1mile W to Mathers Mill.
    GPS –  N 39o 25.765   W 84o 06.315
    Parking Lot
     

    44.7 I-71 Bridge
    GPS –  N 39o 25.185   W 84o 06.235
     

    43.7 Fort Ancient Access, Little Miami State Park, access river left just past SR-350 bridge. I-71 Exit 32, SR-123 0.25 mile S to SR-350 E, 3 miles to bridge. Parking lot and canoe access. Morgan’s Fort Ancient Canoe Livery located adjacent to Access
    GPS –  N 39o 24.385   W 84o 06.017
    Parking Lot
    Canoe Rentals
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food

    Morgan’s Ft. Ancient Canoe Livery, 5701 State Route-350, Oregonia, OH 45054, 1-800-932-2663 or (513) 932-7658, http://www.morganscanoe.com
     

    41.5 Strout Road Bridge, Morgan’s Riverside Park, access river right just before bridge with permission
    GPS –  N 39o 22.753   W 84o 05.569
    Parking Lot
    Canoe Rentals
    Restrooms
    Camping - fee
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food
     

    38.6 Little Miami Canoe Rental, at SR-123 bridge (Mill Street) in Morrow, access river left just past bridge with permission.
    GPS –  N 39o 21.383   W 84o 07.744
    Parking Lot
    Canoe Rentals
    Restrooms
    Camping - fee
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food – Snacks

    Little Miami Canoe Rental, 219 Mill Street (SR-123), Morrow, OH 45152, 1-800-634-4277 or (513) 899-3616, http://www.littlemiamicanoe.com
     

    38.5 Morgan's Canoe Livery Access, with permission - river right
    Todd Fork enters Little Miami - river left
     

    37.0 Halls Creek Access, Little Miami State Park - river right. Entrance on Mason-Morrow-Millgrove Road (CR-38) just E of intersection with Halls Creek Road
    GPS –  N 39o 21.944   W 84o 09.330
    Parking Lot
     

    36.0 Stubbs Mill Road Bridge, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 21.796   W 84o 10.434
     

    33.4 Roger’s Ball Park at Hobart and High in South Lebanon, access river right just upstream of Main Street Bridge
    GPS –  N 39o 22.056   W 84o 12.932
    Parking Lot
    Picnicking
     

    33.3 Bruce’s Canoe Access off Main Street in South Lebanon, access river left just past Main Street Bridge with permission
    GPS –  N 39o 22.093   W 84o 13.116
    Roadside Parking – Customers Only
     

    32.9 SR-48 Bridge, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 22.126   W 84o 13.492

    Sign under bridge states mile 33
     

    32.1. Old Penn Central Railroad Bridge
     

    30.7 Grandin Road Bridge at Kings Mills, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 21.108   W 84o 14.554
     

    28.2 Old 3C Bridge in Foster - facilities river left
    GPS –  N 39o 19.315   W 84o 15.143
    Parking Lot – Hamilton Township
    Restrooms
    Picnicking – with permission
    Water
    Food

    Train Stop Restaurant river left just before bridge.
     

    28.1 New 3C Bridge (SR-3 & US-22) in Foster
    GPS –  N 39o 19.215   W 84o 15.144
     

    27.9 Carl A. Rahe Access (formerly Glenn Island Public Access), Little Miami State Park, access river right 0.2 mile past new 3C Bridge in Foster. Entrance on Old 3C highway under new 3C Bridge.
    GPS –  N 39o 19.096   W 84o 15.114
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
     

    23.9 Bishop City Park in Loveland, access river right just past West Loveland Ave. Bridge, restrooms/water/food across bridge.
    GPS –  N 39o 16.105   W 84o 15.662
    Roadside Parking
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food
     

    23.7 Bruce’s Loveland Canoe Rental at Carl Brown and Crutchfield Place in Loveland, access river left, just past railroad bridge, with permission.
    GPS –  N 39o 15.987   W 84o 15.634
    Parking Lot
    Canoe Rentals
    Restrooms
    Camping - fee
    Picnicking
    Water
    Food

    Bruce’s Canoe Rental, 200 Carl Brown Way, Loveland, OH 45140, (513) 683-4611 or 683-4604
     

    21.5 Branch Hill-Guinea Road Bridge, emergency access only
    GPS –  N 39o 14.801   W 84o 17.691
     

    20.9 I-275 Bridge
     

    20.6 Lake Isabella Park, Hamilton County Park District, access river right 0.25 mile past I-275 Bridge. I-275 Exit 52, 0.5 mile S on Loveland Road, nominal fee required.
    GPS –  N 39o 14.150   W 84o 17.964
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
    Water
     

    18.1 SR-126 Bridge, Remington Rd, access river left
    GPS –  39o 12.502   W 84o 19.116
     

    17.7 Kelley Nature Preserve, Clermont County Park District, canoe launch just W of Miamiville off SR-126
    GPS –  N 39o 12.547   W 84o 18.385
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
     

    17.0 SR-126 Bridge (Miamiville Road) and bike path bridge
    GPS –  N 39o 12.647   W 84o 17.602
     

    15.0 Access at end of Lincoln Road off SR-126 just E of Camp Dennison, DAV Ballfield just S of put-in
    GPS –  N 39o 11.679   W 84o 16.909
    Roadside Parking
     

    13.5 Access river left just N of American Legion Ballfield in Milford with permission
    GPS –  N 39o 10.685   W 84o 17.671
     

    13.0 Canoe Launch at Jim Terrell Park, City of Milford, just S of US-50 and SR-28 Bridge in Milford, access river right. Also site of Little Miami River Excursions Company (formerly Bruce’s).
    GPS –  N 39o 10.224   W 84o 17.900
    Parking Lot
    Picnicking
     

    11.5 Confluence with East Fork of Little Miami River
     

    10.9 Scenic River Canoe & Kayak at intersection of Roundbottom and Mt Carmel roads S of Milford, access river left with permission
    GPS –  N 39o 08.984   W 84o 18.795
    Parking Lot
    Canoe Rentals
    Restrooms
    Picnicking

    Scenic River Canoe & Kayak, 4595 Roundbottom Road, Cincinnati, OH 45244, (513) 831-5552
    Check Clermont County map for directions
     

    8.1 Bass Island Access, Hamilton County Park, southside of Newtown Road Bridge just S of intersection with US-50 about 2 miles E of Mariemont, access river left, nominal fee.
    GPS –  N 39o 08.226   W 84o 21.282
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
     

    6.9 Norfolk and Western Railroad Bridge
     

    3.5 SR-125 (Beechmont Ave.) Bridge
    GPS –  N 39o 06.561   W 84o 24.092

    Sign under bridge states 3.3 mile
     

    1.5 Magrish Recreation Center Access at US-52 (Kellogg Ave.) Bridge just S of Cincinnati Municipal Airport (Lunken Field). Take Canoe Lane to parking lot, access river left.
    GPS –  N 39o 05.132   W 84o 25.262
    Parking Lot
    Restrooms
    Picnicking
    Water

    Sign under bridge states 0.9 mile. This is the last public take-out point on the river. Harbor Towne Yacht Club and Shelter Cove Marina (private) 0.25 mile S of Magrish Recreation Center, access river left with permission, River Mile 1.2
     

    0.0 Mouth of Little Miami River where it empties into the Ohio River
    GPS –  N 39o 04.680   W 84o 25.910

    Four Seasons Marina on Ohio River, US-52 (Kellogg Ave.) just S of Cincinnati Municipal Airport (Lunken Field), just W of Kellogg Ave. Park.  Fuel Dock river right 0.75 mile downriver from confluence with Little Miami River. GPS -  N 39o 05.244   W 84o 25.868, access with permission. It is dangerous to canoe on the Ohio River due to large waves from watercraft (e.g. barges)