Safe Trails: First Aid

29847 1 first aid kit clipartYou have been tasked with designing the official Little Miami Scenic Trail First Aid Kit. It should be compact, able to be carried in a bike saddle bag or fanny pack. The kit should address the most common minor injuries or medical conditions that trail users may experience or encounter among others. What items would you include? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Band aids of various sizes
2. Gauze
3. Medical tape
4. Antiseptic ointment
5. Disposable gloves
6. Instant cold pack
7. Bug bite pen
8. Pain relief pills

In thanks for your design work, you receive the very first official First Aid Kit. Knowing that members of your family have specific, known conditions, you decide to customize your kit. You add an epi pen to treat your son’s life-threatening allergies, an inhaler to treat your wife’s severe asthma, and sugar-based hard candy to treat your mother’s hypoglycemia.

You are eager to try out your first aid kit, and Mother’s Day offers the perfect opportunity. As you load everyone into the car, you realize that you should bring two other items to complement your first aid kit. The first is your fully charged cell phone, so you can call 911 to summon help for more serious situations. The second is bottles of cold water, to prevent or treat dehydration and to treat heat-related illnesses.

Your family enjoys a beautiful hike. The temperature is perfect. You encountered no incidents today, but if you do, with your first aid kit, phone, and water in tow, you will be prepared to respond.


by Erich Wikum

May 2023

What Is the State of Our Park?

deer on trail

by Rick Forrester

With the arrival of spring, everything comes to life along our trail! The Little Miami Park encompasses 50.5 miles of trail and approximately 404 acres of land in Ohio. As such, we have the opportunity to see many of the official State flora and fauna.

State Animal: The White-tailed deer (photo above), seen constantly on the trail especially at dusk. I almost ran into one jogging one evening. I’m not sure who left the most pellets on the trail—him or me!

State Bird: The Cardinal was adopted as the state bird in 1933. They are year-round residents in the park with a clear, strong song and brilliant red plumage.

State Flower: Red Carnation. You won’t see these on the trail! This flower was adopted in memory of President William McKinley who always wore one on his lapel.

Trillium Grandiflorum 600

State Wildflower: Ah, that’s more like it! It’s Trillium Grandiflorum (above), and is found all through the park. This perennial with three leaves and a central flower stalk of 3 white petals is also known as White Trillium or Wood Lily. You’ll see it blooming April to June in part or full shade.

trilobiteState Fossil: Isotelus (left), also known as the Trilobite. The Caesar Creek spillway nearby is a great place to look for these 440-million-year-old creatures that lived in the marine environment that once covered Ohio.

State Gemstone: Flint, which is not really a rock but a variety of quartz, a mineral. It’s found embedded in the sedimentary bedrock underlying our park. Flint was used by Native Americans in and around the park for knives, spear points, and arrowheads, and later used by settlers for flintlock guns and for millstones. For a great experience, head up to the Native American Fort Ancient Museum a mile off the trail on Route 350 at mile 23.5 to see a host of native American artifacts.

State Insect: No, it isn’t the Emerald Ash Borer! It is the Ladybug, chosen for its markings and its habit of eating insect pests. There are both native and introduced ladybugs. The Asian Ladybug was introduced into the US to help control pests, but soon became one itself. Similar to the native ladybugs, the Asian ladybug has a black arch over a flattened circle that sits against the wings. The arch runs up to the eyes creating an “M” or “W” pattern.

State Beverage: If you are thinking it has something to do with all the micro-breweries along the Park, you are in for a surprise. It is…. Tomato Juice! So, when refreshing yourself in the local restaurants, instead of raising an IPA or Stout, raise a Tomato Juice!

black racer snakeState Reptile: If you’ve ever run on the trail and seen a Black Racer snake sunning herself on the asphalt, you have just seen the state reptile. They are non-poisonous and are extremely helpful around the house and farm as they eat significant numbers of rats, mice, and other pests. Do you ever see a snake and jump out of your skin for a second, and then calm down and enjoy the beauty of these creatures? Fear of snakes is called Ophidiophobia, by the way.

And finally…
State Tree: You know this one! The Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra). It’s a member of the horsechestnut family and found throughout the park primarily in shady, moist, well-drained slightly alkaline soils. On a curious note, buckeye wood is used in making artificial limbs. The seeds are not safe to eat, but if you make the classic chocolate/peanut butter buckeyes, you will have a wonderful treat.

buckeye in flowerEnjoy your Park and the State!


May 2023

Safe Trails: Share and Share Alike

ShareTheTrail Loveland MEgan photo

by Erick Wikum

I spent January and February in Northern Wisconsin and skied three cross-country marathons, including my 19th American Birkebeiner. The “Birkie” is a 50km (~30mi) point-to-point race that finishes on the main street of Hayward, Wisconsin. The finishing stretch is lined with hundreds of cowbell-ringing fans. There’s a particular point on the route that features a tight turn where snowmobilers gather to rate and provide good-natured jeering to skiers who fall. Tight turns are just one challenge of ski racing. Another is sharing the trail with thousands of other skiers.

Sharing the Little Miami Scenic Trail with others is far easier, but just as important. The trail is home to bicyclists, walkers, runners, roller skaters, roller skiers, horseback riders, and others. The benefits of using the trail in so many ways come with a responsibility to respect the rights of others and to act in a way that promotes the safety of our fellow trail users and ourselves.

skiers video CaptureTo remind you of the importance of sharing the trail, I would like to share this video from a cross-country ski race, the 90km 2012 Swedish Vasaloppet. This video shows a particularly challenging, heavily trafficked downhill on the racecourse. The spills are a cross between painful and humorous. As you watch, be mindful of the importance of sharing our beautiful Little Miami Trail with others safely.


March 2023

A Smoother Trail Ahead

BumpGrinder crew BCortrightJTelinteloMDreschBBrown 600

by Bill Brown, FLMSP Board Secretary

Most cyclists enjoy riding the Little Miami Scenic Trail for its miles of paved, offroad surface. But that enjoyment can be occasionally interrupted by a jarring bump in the trail which is usually caused by a tree root pushing up the pavement. FLMSP volunteers and Little Miami State Park maintenance workers try to prevent these bumps by removing trees that are too close to the trail. But this doesn’t always prevent the formation of bumps. Repaving an entire section where bumps form is not practical or economical. That’s where bump grinding comes in.

BumpGrinder zoom 400When a generous donor asked for a specific trail project they could support, Bruce Cortright (FLMSP Volunteer) suggested they fund the purchase of a concrete planer, or as we call it, a “bump grinder.” FLMSP has rented grinders in the past, but it required long days and lots of volunteers to get the best use of the equipment over several days of rental. This meant these grinding sessions did not occur very frequently.

The $5,000 donation (given in memory of dedicated FLMSP volunteer Bill Schwinn) allowed FLMSP to purchase a bump grinder, and it arrived in early February. The South Trail Maintenance crew wasted no time in putting it to use, and began grinding bumps on Feb. 7th.

The grinder uses a rotating drum with steel teeth to remove the high spot in the pavement. Different materials are being tested for the best solution to fill in the remaining crack in the pavement.

The result should be smoother rides for bikers and maybe fewer bumps to trip over for walkers, runners, and skaters. Pictured is the South Trail crew of Bruce Cortright, John Telintelo, Mike Dresch and Bill Brown as they grind bumps between Camp Denison and Milford. You should begin to see the grinder in use all along the trail as more crews begin to grind bumps from Newtown to Spring Valley!


March 2023

Safe Trails: Full Stop

2013.07.28 GrandinRd intersection 533x400

by Erick Wikum

In writing, a comma is used to indicate a brief pause, providing the reader with a chance to catch their breath (as illustrated in this very sentence). By contrast, a period is used to indicate a longer pause, a chance for the reader to digest the meaning of the sentence just read. In fact, a period is also known as a full stop.

In the context of road crossings on the Little Miami Scenic Trail, a brief pause versus a full stop takes on a whole different meaning. Recently, I bicycled north on the trail. As I approached the road crossing at South Lebanon, I scanned the roadway and noticed a car approaching from the left. And then, I sensed something else. To my great surprise, a trail user riding an e-bike approached from my rear, veered around me without saying anything, and zoomed across the intersection at full speed.

Now that’s a recipe for disaster, but here’s a recipe, including four tips, for crossing roads safely:

1. Come to a full stop.
2. Check left, right, and left again.
3. Proceed only when it is completely safe to do so.
4. Remain vigilant while crossing expeditiously.

If a car stops for you, ensure that cars in both directions have stopped. You may wish to wave cars through, or to remain back from the intersection until you can cross with no cars present. Also, for your safety and theirs, overtake other trail users on the trail, and not while approaching or crossing a road.

Road crossing may just be the most dangerous aspect of trail use. The only way to cross is with extreme care. Full stop.


November 2022

Our Partners

120 ODNR logo

OTETrail 115

Tri StateTrails logo150x52
Initiative of Green Umb 150x50


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