CELEBRATION, GROUP RIDES PLANNED
The Miami Valley’s regional bikeway system keeps getting better. Construction has finished on a portion of trail connecting Montgomery and Miami County’s bikeways together. The public is invited to attend grand opening festivities in Kyle Park in Tipp City. Group bike rides leaving from Troy and Vandalia will take place at 9:00 and 9:30 a.m., respectively, and meet in Kyle Park for the 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, August 12.
The 2.5-mile trail connector is part of a regional plan created to make the region even more bike friendly. Cyclists and others using the trail no longer have to use the road and share their space with cars. “It opens up access to new, exciting rides and to the larger regional bikeways system, giving more people a chance to establish an active lifestyle and have more fun on bikes,” says Outdoor Connections Director Greg Brumitt. “This connector opens a key corridor to connect Miami County, Tipp City and Troy to Montgomery County’s bikeways.”
This initiative—a combined effort of Five Rivers MetroParks, Miami County Park District, Monroe Township, and Tipp City—was funded by a congestion/mitigation air quality grant from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.
Bikeways have demonstrated a positive economic impact on the region, a trend Brumitt says he hopes will continue. “A 2009 economic impact report found our regional bikeways system generated $13 million of economic activity annually by local and visiting walkers, hikers, runners, skaters and cyclists,” he says. “This trail opening represents continued progress in implementation of the Local/Regional Comprehensive Bikeways Plan adopted by MVRPC board of which Five Rivers MetroParks help fund and was a founding steering committee member. Both connecting trail systems are part of an even larger network of trails—the 1,440-mile Buckeye Trail state-wide loop and the 4,600-mile North Country National Scenic Trail, which passes through seven states, 10 national forests and more than 150 public lands as it winds from New York to North Dakota. “We are proud to be able to have this trail opening during the North Country Trail Conference, taking place this week right here in the Miami Valley, as trail enthusiasts from across the country get introduced to the great things happening in the Dayton region,” Brumitt says.
On Friday, August 12, the Miami County group bike ride will leave from Troy at the Hobart Arena parking lot near the levee gazebo at 9 a.m. The Montgomery County ride departs from the Tadmor parking lot at Taylorsville MetroPark at 9:30 a.m. Both groups will meet at Kyle Park for the 10 a.m. event. Five Rivers MetroParks Executive Director Rebecca Benná, Miami County Board of Park Commissioners President John Wannemacher, Monroe Township Trustee Ron Thuma, and Tipp City Mayor Dee Gillis will give a brief presentation before cutting the ribbon, officially opening the new trail connecting Miami and Montgomery counties.