A while back, I selected five places to view fall foliage. Those were places to do so on foot. If you're looking to get out amid the turning leaves on a bike, look no further than the Little Miami Scenic Trail, one of the paved multiuse paths that have popped up in suburban Dayton.
[Trail system] [Little Miami Scenic Trail]
All told, the trail runs from Springfield to Milford, just outside Cincinnati. I did the 20 miles between Springfield and Xenia last week and fell in love with this straight, flat, beautiful stretch that provides a great way to get into longer country rides.
It's kind of like the Olentangy Greenway Trail -- minus pets, roller-skaters, crowds, street noise and busy intersections. For nearly the entire way, a friend and I were left alone to our thoughts. And trees.
I'll have a full trip guide in Thursday's Venture column. For now, a trip in pictures...
View larger image The trail is marked clearly, and motorized vehicles are prohibited. Along the way, you'll cross a handful of country roads. There's not much traffic, but what's there moves fast.
View larger image All types of riders use the trail, mostly because it's pretty and actually goes somewhere. You can take it to state parks, local preserves, charming small towns and, surprisingly, King's Island.
View larger image If you need a bike, start in Xenia and ride north. Park at Shawnee Park and grab one of the comfy cruisers available for rent at K&G Bike Center.
View larger image The Xenia-Springfield section roughly follows U.S. Rt. 68, though you're quite secluded. You'll see family farms, dense forests, verdant meadows and the Little Miami River, running beneath this bridge.
View larger image Leaves and black walnuts will be falling, so be careful and give the trail a day to dry out after a rain. Wet leaves can be really slick.