Trail Mail
Friends of the Little Miami State Park 
In This Issue
BEST of 2015! 
Root-cutting volunteers
1. Root Cutting
B umps and cracks across the trail: a continuing problem caused by tree roots encroaching under the trail. Rather than just waiting until roots push their way through the pavement, 20 FLMSP volunteers spent over 350 hours planning and cutting roots during the week of November 30 to December 5. Read More

2. Culvert remediation
Dozens of culverts along the trail transport water away from the trail so it does not wash debris on the surface or erode the riverbank. Soil, leaves and sticks eventually clog the culverts; until FLMSP's efforts in the last couple of years many of them had not been cleared since the trail was first laid. Trail segment adopter teams work hard to keep the culverts clear, but some, especially those long buried, require heavy machinery or repair. This year our culvert crew, led by Bruce Cortright, remediated several culverts on the southern half of the park. Much of the work was done with a rented backhoe and volunteers to keep costs low. Read about one particularly difficult culvert remediation here.

3. Trail Uses Counting
The purpose of this pioneering program is to provide reliable data that demonstrates the popularity of our trail corridor state park, a valuable regional asset that merits increased state funding for its restoration and maintenance. In 2015, the program's second year, accuracy was improved through upgraded equipment and better data handling. The Trail Uses Counting Program is possible because of the extensive research and strategic planning by Paul Morgan, a former FLMSP board member and trail adopter. John Theuring, trained by Paul, now leads this valuable program. To learn how the numbers are determined, see the 2015 Trail Uses Counting Program report.
4. Tree planting
A reforestation team effort led by Rick Forrester began in spring 2015 and culminated with the late fall planting of 157 trees of various native species along the trail between Fosters and Loveland. The project even earned a spot on the local Channel 12 news. Read more

One Volunteer's Project

Will Mitchell, a local trail user, contributed his woodworking skills to replace 10 pairs of creek name signs that were rotting off the bridges from where they were mounted years ago. His beautiful new signs can be seen between Loveland and Morrow. Thank you, Will, for making a difference in our park!  
Grinding the Bumps
The trail is smoother now thanks to the efforts of the bump-grinding team, who in November scarified 300 bumps down to ΒΌ inch or less. The project began in September, with volunteers marking every major bump and crack on 50 miles of trail. Then in mid-November a team of ten volunteers led by Don Hahn took turns operating the rented scarifier, removing dust and grindings from the trail, and scouting for the next marked bumps to grind. The team ground every marked bump and several more.

Bump grinding makes the trail safer and smoother for trail users; cyclists and skaters should especially notice the improvement. A project of this size is only possible with the dedication of many volunteers. Thank you to all who served on this team.

New Year's Resolution: Give Back!
You and your family and friends have enjoyed the trail for years, or for the first time. You couldn't imagine losing it. Help us keep it safe and beautiful for years to come by giving an hour or as much as you'd like. Here are some ways you can help:
        • Join the team that will finish up our root cutting project in the spring (see article in this newsletter)
        • Help with regular maintenance on a trail section near you
        • Tow the FLMSP blower to clear the trail of leaves and debris  
        • Help manage trail counters and their data files
        • Write for our newsletter
        • Provide photos of trail users (especially families) for our website
To respond to these needs or learn about other needs, please visit our Volunteer webpage.

What's This?
Volunteer Fred Kindred found this reminder of our trail's past two years ago while clearing a trail berm south of Fosters. Can you identify it? Respond to this newsletter with your answer!

Have you found an old bottle, a railroad spike, or some other interesting artifact near the trail? Let us know by sending an email to . We'll share your answers and discoveries in a future issue. 

This artifact, found by Linda Combs and Bridget Hoffer, was featured in our last newsletter. Pete Carey responded: " This is a U-bolt. It's used to clamp a round pipe or pole to a flat surface. It probably held a sign or signal to a round metal pole. Very common when poles were round pipe. Unusual today."

Friends of the Little Miami State Park is a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation and enhancement of the Little Miami State Park. We assist the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with development planning, capital improvements, and safety concerns, as well as providing most of the maintenance of the park. 
Trail Uses Count Soars!

Our counting program produced an estimate of 910,000 uses or visits to the Little Miami State Park in 2015, a 20% increase over the previous year. The surge is attributed to the trail's growing popularity and more accurate data handling. This large number is solid evidence of the park's importance to the users, the communities it passes through and to our region. To learn how the numbers are determined, see our Trail Uses Counting Program 2015 Report.


Trail Closings & Alerts
Jeremiah Morrow Bridge
The Little Miami Trail will be closed for 6 weeks in February and March under the Jeremiah Morrow I-71 Bridge, except for weekends. The closure is necessary as the Dept. of Natural Resources constructs a retaining wall under the bridge to prevent debris from falling on the trail.

Peters Cartridge Factory
The trail is generally  open near Grandin Road (mile marker 35.0 - 35.5) through the end of February. The trail parking lot at Grandin Rd is also open. Intermittent closures may be necessary for utilities work near the site. Please call the 24/7 hotline for Peters trail closures for updated information: 

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Trail Hotline

Call or text to report trees or large limbs down on the trail, or other non-emergency safety issues. A photo with location is most helpful.

The Power of Volunteers

FLMSP volunteers logged over 5000 volunteer hours in 2015! This is a conservative figure of the actual hours devoted to make the Little Miami State Park a safe and beautiful trail. FLMSP has contributed over 40,000 volunteer hours and $200,000 to improve ODNR's asset in the past 8 years.

Reminder to Volunteers
Have you filed a state Volunteer Agreement Form? This form provides you legal protection while working on the trail. To check if you have a current form on file, go to our website, select "Documents & Forms" from the "Friends" drop-down menu, and scroll to the Volunteer Agreement Forms section. 
If you're not on the "Valid Forms on File" list, download a new form and follow its instructions.

Trail Stylin'
"You know you're a real volunteer when you ask for, and get, a helmet for Christmas." 
Lookin' good, Ron Gorley!

Help FLMSP at no cost to you!

Do you buy groceries at Kroger? Fuel at one of Kroger's fuel centers? Every time you use your Kroger Plus Card for groceries or fuel, the Friends of the Little Miami State Park can receive a percentage of every dollar you spend.
It's easy to sign up on the Kroger Community Rewards page. Remember, you must renew your choice every year to remain in the program.