|What is a Water Trail?
A water trail is an official state designation given to a river or creek primarily
used for recreational canoeing and kayaking. For a stretch of water to garner official
state designation as a water trail it needs to include a public planning process,
maps and signage, access points, management/stewardship commitment, safety information,
local government partnership and a logo.
Dayton Area Water Trails
The Dayton area has an incredible resource with its network of rivers and streams.
Five Rivers MetroParks is actively working to create better access to water, increased
amenities such as camping and potentially whitewater play spots. Ultimately, our
vision is to have an integrated system of recreation and water trails that can be
used in a variety of ways to improve the quality of life in the Dayton region.
The Great Miami River, Mad River, and Stillwater River were designated as state watertrails in August 2010. All are managed by the Miami Conservancy District.
Printed and online maps are available on their web site at www.miamiconservancy.org.
Five Rivers MetroParks is committed to a Blueway/Greenway system that envisions
safe access for paddlers and a connected network of services to support the recreational
trails and river trails here in Dayton. A whitewater park is a big piece of this
puzzle but not the only piece.
Five Rivers MetroParks is currently working with community partners to restore an approx. one mile stretch of the Mad River from Harshman Road to the west end of Eastwood MetroPark. The project seeks to improve in-stream water and habitat quality, while mitigating bank erosion, removing invasive plant species and replanting native riparian plant communities. A related project will improve river access and recreation opportunities. Engineering design and permitting activities are ongoing. The project is partially funded to begin construction of the first in-river element thanks to the Dayton Rotary Clubhouse 39 in celebration of their 100 year anniversary; known as the legacy launch. MetroParks and its partners hope to raise more funding from a variety of grant opportunities in the 2012 and 2013 timeframe to continue the momentum of the project.
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In addition, MetroParks continues to work with its partners to explore options for safe access through the low head dams on the Great Miami River along with developing the network of land based amenities for recreation trail users. In cooperation with the Miami Conservancy District, City of Dayton and Montgomery County (and as part of the ‘Rivers, Cycling & Active Lifestyle committee of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan), Five Rivers MetroParks has announced its proposal to remove the downtown low dam and install two grade-control whitewater/bypass “canoe” channels that will make the river navigable through downtown and past Carillon Park.
To learn more about this project, click and view the images below and read Bill Pote's blog post, "Completing the River – Downtown Dayton Game Changer," on daytonmostmetro.com.
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Visit the Miami Conservancy District's web site for more information on local water trails.