Roads Rivers and Trails

Dream. Plan. Live.

Tag Archives: Little Miami River

Six Steps to Buying your First Kayak

Finding the kayak of your dreams is intimidating and challenging. Before taking the leap and making that huge investment, you should be sure you’re getting exactly what you want. These six steps to buying your first kayak will make your decision easier.

Step one:

Define your ideal experience. This is often the first question we’ll ask on the sales floor and will consequently eliminate the majority of boats. Imagine your perfect day on the water. Do you have a fishing pole, a whitewater helmet, a canine companion, or a cooler of snacks? Your answer is the start to making it happen. When you know what your goals are, we can show you the kayaks best suited for that purpose and explore what sets them apart. Buying your first kayak should make that ideal experience a reality every time you hit the water. Visit our website to browse available options.

Step two:

Learn the ins and outs of kayak design and features. Each boat is built with a specific paddler or body of water in mind. Looking at the length, width, hull style, cockpit style, weight, and rocker of a kayak tell us its ideal use. Wider boats offer stability, longer boats better tracking, shorter boats maneuverability, and higher rocker profiles perform better in rough water. Talking to experienced paddlers can help you understand the differences between each and pinpoint your favorite few styles. At this point you’ve defined the shape, functionality, and features of kayak models, and it’s time to take the next step.

Step three:

Before buying your first kayak, try out different models on the water. Maybe you have your choice narrowed down, but an online review from somebody with the screen name “” doesn’t have you convinced. Now it is time to compare models side by side. Get the peace of mind you need by trying those models with someone there to teach you the differences. Testing different boats allows you to be confident in your decision and put experience behind the statistics. Specialty retailers like RRT can give you this opportunity either by appointment or at public events.

Step four:

Make the commitment.  At this point, your research has paid off and there is nothing to hold you back from an endless summer of fun! Get the kayak that you love the most and bring that dream day on the water to life. The more you enjoy it, the more you’ll use it, and the more you use it, the better life will be.

Step five:

Get paired up with the right accessories. Car racks, paddles, and life jackets are best purchased with or after the kayak purchase. You’ll need to be paired up with a paddle of appropriate length, decided by your boat’s width and your height. When selecting a paddle, remember that the longer you anticipate being on the water, the more important lightweight, carbon paddles are. Life jackets differ depending on your paddling angle, seat structure, and intended use. Lastly, select your rooftop kayak carrier based off the best loading method for you, your car, and your kayak of choice.

Step six:

Most importantly, be safe. Understand water levels, wear a properly fitting PFD, and understand any equipment requirements before you go out. Be familiar with your route, launch and take-out points, and underwater hazards. Having someone knowledgeable show you the ropes will take a whole lot of stress off your plate. For example, have someone show you the proper way to tie your kayak down before driving away or how to roll your kayak if things go awry. Visit our Little Miami River safety blog or check out the Coast Guard safety checklist.  For more resources local to Cincinnati check our our resource page here.


by: Bryan Wolf

Little Miami Conservancy

The Little Miami Conservancy is a not-for-profit dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Little Miami River. The conservancy helps settle easements, owns and protects riverfront nature preserves, and provides a balanced approach to economic development and land management.

previous arrow
next arrow

Our partnership with the Little Miami Conservancy started in the RRT early years. Since 2011, we have made an effort to use whatever resources we can to support and promote the LMC. We have worked together to share booth space at sport shows, we have donated to fundraising efforts, we have had presentations and exhibits in store to promote a clean and healthy river, and in 2014 we worked with the LMC and Loveland Canoe and Kayak to create and print river maps for the Little Miami River. In 2017 we worked with the conservancy to start a co-sponsored fundraising ad campaign on WVXU radio, increasing the donor base LMC has.

In 2012 and 2013 we worked in joining forces and adding to the conservancy clean river sweep efforts. By 2014, we were ready to host and organize our own efforts. We have organized 3-5 events per year to remove trash and debris from the river, spearheaded and led by RRT owner Bryan. Although the river is very clean and healthy, because of its often flooding tributaries, this will always be a continuing effort and one that RRT is committed to. In the fall of 2016 we hosted the first in store fundraiser event for the Conservancy, raising an additional $500 toward their efforts. The event grew to raise over $2,000 in November of 2017, and over $2,000 again in 2018. In both 2017 and again in 2018 we were happy to announce that we secured a grant for the LMC in the amount of $1,500 from Patagonia. In 2019 RRT helped to secure another grant from our friends at Patagonia in the amount of $18,000. This grant will be used for a future dam removal and further restoring our beautiful river.

8-2-14 L Miami C Up (10 of 20)
previous arrow
next arrow

Because of our partnership and efforts we have now been the guests of honor and given an “Award of Appreciation” at their yearly dinner in both 2015 and 2016. Further out initiatives; RRT Owner Emily, was voted on to the executive board of the Conservancy in the Spring of 2017. One of her earliest projects was the adoption of a members perks program providing discounts for your LMC membership to outdoor stores like RRT along with canoe and kayak rental businesses along the Little Miami. If you live near or recreationally enjoy this river, we urge you to contribute to the cause anyway that you can, be it donation of time or money. Contact RRT for the next clean-up date or visit the link below to find more information about the conservancy or to make a donation.

Little Miami Conservancy

Back to Community Involvement Page

The Best Trail Town

The Milford Trail Junction
Written by: Bryan Wolf

What is a trail town? I found this definition online; “A Trail Town is a destination along a long-distance trail or adjacent to an extensive trail system. Whether the trail is a hiking trail, water trail or rail trail, users can venture from the path to explore the unique scenery, commerce and heritage that each trail town has to offer.”  (

Milford Ohio fits the above definition as well or better than any town could. We are in fact the epitome of a trail town. We are home to over 22,000 miles of long distance hiking trail as the biggest trail junction in the United States. We are home to a “rails to trails” program that connects cities more than 70 miles apart. We are home to a National Scenic River that has year-round recreational opportunities. Lastly, we are home to a city that dates back to 1788 and boast unique shopping and dining experiences.

As an outfitter we hope that RRT adds to the qualifications, that we bring additional excitement and attract and inspire more recreational use around the city and that we support users of our trails and river. But we cannot take credit for a single aspect that has built the outstanding resume that you see above. What we are proud of is that we settled in this city because we want to be part of this trail town, and because we recognized it’s potential.

Every year we are lucky to meet and share in the experience of people walking one of three trails across the country, or around the entire state of Ohio. Every day we are lucky to personally enjoy and be immersed in the abundant recreation provided by the Little Miami Scenic Trail and River. Be it by foot, wheels, paddle, or pogo stick, this city ties it all together.

Junction mapThere are a lot of cogs in the trail town system that make us who we are. The over half a dozen canoe and kayak liveries that operate in and around Milford are a big part of that machine. You see the Little Miami River isn’t a one shot or one season river. This is part of the reason why Cincinnati is the self-proclaimed paddle capital. This is why we have the largest and strongest paddling groups in the country. Not because we have short term destination whitewater, but because we have year round beauty and access that is beginner friendly and harnesses the passion of the sport.

One of these great canoe and kayak liveries is Loveland Canoe and Kayak, who operates both out of Loveland and Milford. Owner Mark Bersani had this to say about the Little Miami; “We are fortunate to have one of nature’s best playgrounds right in our backyard.  I love the Little Miami River because of its incredible beauty, rich history, abundant wildlife and accessibility.  It provides awesome recreational opportunities for paddlers, anglers, nature lovers and explorers alike.  When you spend time on the river you can feel the stress of the day melt away as you take in the inspiring scenery and fresh air.”

I reached out to Mark to get some facts, because what good is my nostalgia without facts? The numbers blew me away! In one year Mark will personally put about 16,000 people on the Little Miami River! This is local love right there, we aren’t talking about tourists from other cities. We are talking about a town and its love for the river. Furthermore he added that amongst the half dozen other liveries they would total about 100,000 people per year on the river!

089_LittleMiamiFellas_5-26-15With a healthy and frequented river, so grows the city. This isn’t your grandma’s Milford anymore, although Grandma is still welcome and we love her dearly. In the past five years we have seen the city transform from half empty to overflowing. From a shopping and dining perspective Milford is blowing up, and if you’ve not been here in sometime then you have been missing out. Downtown Milford hosts festivals, has a nature preserve, and even riverside camping. The city grows everyday making it more livable, more shop-able, and more fun.

This year Milford has the opportunity to be part of Outside Magazine’s “Best Towns” competition as we compete to be the best “River Town”. Just having the nomination puts us as one of only sixteen cities to be voted on! So I ask you to please share this, to please vote, and to please spread the word. But also be proud, because if Milford is your city than you should know that it goes toe to toe with cities of a much larger reputation; like that of Bend Oregon, St. Louis Missouri , Charlotte North Carolina, the Appalachian Trails Harpers Ferry in West Virginia, and even Portland Oregon.

Click here to vote now (open until 4/29/16)

If you are unfamiliar with the vast trail town resume I’ve mentioned please check it out. You can find the breakdown of all 22,000 miles of trails that cut right thru Milford on the cities website and the link provided at the end of the article. Special thanks to Mark, visit him in Loveland or Milford ( // 513-683-4611).

Click here for Trail Junction details

Click here for Little Miami River Safety

Reconnecting Children with Nature

In today’s technologically driven world, children are spending more and more of their time in front of screens and less time in nature. Children’s pastimes are spent more with video games, TV, laptops, iPads, iPhones, etc. This means less time kicking the ball, running around, climbing trees, and less time spent in what many consider a quintessential childhood experience.

“We’ve gradually allowed exploratory experiences outdoors to be traded for indoor, largely sedentary experiences that depend on learning tools imagined and manufactured by humans.” Evan McGown, author of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature.

The term Nature Deficit Disorder, coined by Richard Louv (author of The Last Child in the Woods), describes the physical and mental consequences of a lack of exposure to nature, particularly in developing children. These consequences include obesity, anxiety, depression, ADD, and ADHD, among other mental and physical disorders. Exposure to and the understanding of nature is vital to a child’s developing mind. Nature is a source of primary learning, and there are many skills and character building attributes that one acquires through exposure to the outdoors.

Children learn both self-reliance and teamwork, stillness and a sense of adventure, self-awareness and compassion from unstructured play in nature. It bolsters their imagination, confidence, resourcefulness, sense of scale, mental and physical strength, and respect for the world around them.

These are not skills that children typically learn hunched over on a couch, staring into a screen. Yet it is these attributes that create well-rounded, happy people.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that, “Play, especially free play, is essential to development, as it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social and emotional well-being of children and youth.” Yet free play hardly exists in a child’s day to day life. Nature is the best place to allow a child to play freely, and unstructured in a way that inspires their imagination and growth.

But what if you’re unmotivated, scared or just unaware of being outside? This is the reality for many children nowadays. Going outside can be foreign, uncomfortable, and scary. It’s not air conditioned and there are too many bugs. They need strong role models to push them to turn off the screen and go outside. It is best to expose children to the great outdoors early and often. But if it’s too late for you to do this, then consider other options. First, be excited yourself. Plan family trips. Go for walks. It doesn’t have to be a grandiose backpacking expedition; any outside time is valuable. Let your kids bring their friends, so that they can run off with them and have fun.

Encourage them to explore and to have unstructured play. Try to relax and let them explore and be rambunctious.

Consider changing your blogphoto2routines. Could you do what you’re already doing outside? Homework, dinner, reading, relaxation: all of these things can be done comfortably outside in decent weather. Start small. Incorporating nature into your daily life requires a fundamental switch in how you prioritize your time.

“You should sit outside for 20 minutes a day… unless you’re busy, then you should sit for an hour.” – Zen Proverb

Many children, and their parents, teachers, family members and other adult figures, no longer know how to delegate and spend time in nature. It is essential to prioritize time outside every day. It’s as if it is wired in our brains that we do not have time for nature in our routines. In reality, you probably have more time than you think. If you have time to watch Netflix for an hour, then you have time to go for a walk through the local woods. You don’t have to sign your child up for a wilderness summer camp or Scouts if you’re not ready for these commitments. There are plenty of local, more convenient options.

 There is no shortage of activities to do and places to go outside. There are many programs, activities, places and things to do with your children outside in Cincinnati, as well as within a several hour radius of the area. Southwest Ohio is rich in parks and green spaces, as well as miles upon miles of rivers and lakes to explore. Go somewhere new, find places you love to return to over and over again.

Places to Go:

The Cincinnati Nature Center in Milford is a great place to start. 1,025 acres of Eastern deciduous forests with fields, streams and ponds in Rowe woods is an excellent place to hike and spend the day with family. They also have events, a playscape, and a Nature Preschool. The CNC Nature Preschool is for children ages 3-5 years old, where “direct experience in nature is the foundation for our curriculum that is based on Early Learning Content Standards and developmentally appropriate practices.” For more information and rates, visit

There are many great parks around Cincinnati as well, and to find an unexplored park near you, visit

The Little Miami River is a great, calm river to explore with children. There are many liveries in the area which rent out canoes and kayaks as well as providing shuttle services. Check out Mariemont Livery, Loveland Canoe and Kayak, Scenic River Canoe, Morgan’s Canoe or many others for information and rates.

For longer trips, check out Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Ohio, Red River Gorge in Kentucky, Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee/North Carolina, sections of the Appalachian Trail, and countless other options just a short drive away. If you ever need help with trip dreaming and planning, visit the shop and any of us would be more than willing to help you out.

Book Recommendations: 

For more information on local trails, check out the book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Cincinnati, by Tamara York, which we always have in stock in the shop.

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv is the inspiration for this blog and is a great book for understanding the fundamentals and importance of nature to a child’s development.

Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Young, Ellen Haas and Evan McGown is an excellent resource which features specific nature activities and games to inspire connection with nature through free play and sense-oriented activities. Richard Louv said, “this is good medicine for nature-deficit disorder. Coyote’s Guide should become an essential resource for anyone who wants to revive their sense of kinship with nature but needs some help.”

The Best Tent Camping in Ohio by Robert Loewndick and The Best Tent Camping in Kentucky by Johhny Molloy have many good examples of good tent camping for the whole family.

Resource Guides:

There are several comprehensive outdoor guides for the Cincinnati Area. Check out Green Umbrella, a National Sustainability Alliance that seeks to organize events in one comprehensive place.   They promote many outdoor events that are fun for the whole family. For more information, visit

Meet Me Outdoors is a place to find year-round outdoor recreation and nature activities in the tri-state area. They publish an annual magazine which features local activities including places to hike, fish, swim, paddle and backpack. We also always have this in stock (it’s free) at the shop!

Ohio Leave No Child Inside,, is a movement dedicated to getting children outdoors every day.

For a list of local day camps for children, visit for a list of summer camp opportunities created this year by Sherry Hang.

Resource Link List:

These resources are just the start. They are meant more to inspire and help start you upon a connection with nature and outdoor play. There are many more opportunities left unlisted, places to explore and things to do out there. It’s time to turn off the screens, step outside and explore!

“We don’t intend to simply provide more ‘recipes’ for nature connection – instead we want to help you learn how to cook.” – Evan McGown, from Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature.


Eli “Shinbone” Staggs as a youngin’ with his father.

Water Safety Along the Little Miami (and Surrounding Rivers) – Part Three

As in all things educational, you had to begin somewhere, but in a world so full of information, where does one start? Look no further! We have compiled a list of books and local experts (the same ones we pester for our information) that will serve you well throughout life.




Books – All books are available at Roads, Rivers and Trails.

Kayak: A New Frontier

by William McNealy

ISBN: 0897325893

Sea Kayaking: Safety and Rescue

by John Lull

ISBN: 9780899974767

Boundary Waters Canoe Area: Eastern Region

by Robert Beymer and Louis Dzierzak

ISBN: 9780899974613

Canoeing and Kayaking Ohio’s Streams

by Rick Combs and Steve Gillen

ISBN: 0881502529

The Northern Forest Canoe Trail

by The Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Inc.

ISBN: 9781594850615

A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to Kentucky: Fifth Edition

by Bob Sehlinger and Johnny Molloy

ISBN: 9780897325653


Local Liveries: Your (and our) source for the most up to date information and some pretty kick-ass river-fun-time! Liveries are listed north to south along the Little Miami.

Morgan’s Outdoor Adventure

Ft. Ancient Canoe Livery

5701 St. Rt. 350

Oregonia, OH 45054



Green Acres Canoe and Kayak

10465 Suspension Bridge Rd

Harrison, OH 45030



Little Miami Canoe

219 Mill (SR 123)

Morrow, OH 45152



Loveland Canoe and Kayak

200 Crutchfield Place

Loveland, OH 45140



Scenic River Excursions

4595 Roundbottom Rd

Cincinnati, OH 45244



Mariemont Livery

7625 Wooster Pike

Cincinnati, OH 45227



Water Safety Along the Little Miami (and Surrounding Rivers) – Part Two

Today’s topic will be water safety gear, but first a PSA…

Floodwater is NOT Whitewater

We’ve all heard the awesome stories (or even lived them ourselves) about the instant rock-star status involved in running whitewater. Just you, your boat of choice, a helmet, life jacket and a prayer against the awesome power of the river! Hoo-rah! We’ve taken trips out to the New River, the Gauley or any of the hundreds of other whitewater rivers in the U.S. and come back with some great memories. Now you’re working again, kids have games and recitals, in-laws are visiting, and you really need a time-out. It rained really hard a few days ago and the river is up but the sun’s out now and you want some action. It only stands to reason that fast-moving water is fast-moving water, no matter where you go, right?


In whitewater, it’s just you and the river (and rocks.) With a flooded river, even the featureless albeit quick calm of anything above seven feet, you have to contend with uprooted trees, vegetation and other miscellaneous out-wash come down the banks with the rain. Furthermore, while the river may not initially tear up a grove of trees, if you find yourself on the water, it will carry you into said grove of trees. Roots and debris act as “strainers,” a collection of fallen branches or other vegetation which will catch a kayaker up while the river keeps them pinned. Needless to say, this isn’t a position anyone wants to be in, seasoned or fledgling. In addition to this, the river never loses steam. One cubic foot of moving water is roughly 69 lbs of pressure. If we go back to our original 1,700 CFS, that equates to 106,080 lbs of force per second that never stops pushing. As in almost every case, common sense will help you throughout the decision-making process. If it is beyond your comfort zone, either don’t do it or find someone who is better versed than you are in these matters to guide you.


PFDs – What Floats your Boat?

One of the key components to water safety is the Personal Floatation Device (PFD), growing up, these were simply called life jackets. They came in bright orange, sandwiched their wearer between a huge layer of foam and made it short of impossible to move either your arms or torso. Luckily for the world of water sports, the PFD has seen a redesign and revitalization in the realms of mobility while still maintaining their safety. The U.S. Coast Guard provides the following table to showcase the classes of PFDs:

Type PFDs

Minimum Adult Buoyancy

in Pounds (Newtons)

I – Inflatable

33.0 (150)

I – Buoyant Foam or Kapok

22.0 (100)

II – Inflatable

33.0 (150)

II – Buoyant Foam or Kapok

15.5 (70)

III – Inflatable

22.0 (100)

III – Buoyant Foam

15.5 (70)

IV – Ring Buoys

16.5 (75)

IV – Boat Cushions

18.0 (82)

V – Hybrid Inflatables

22.0 (Fully inflated) (100)
7.5 (Deflated) (34)

V – Special Use Device – Inflatable

22.0 to 34.0 (100 to 155)

V – Special Use Device – Buoyant Foam

15.5 to 22.0 (70 to 100)


The human body is naturally buoyant, considering we are 65 to 75% water, and our bodyweight doesn’t apply in the water as much as you may believe. In the above chart, the weights are in addition to the buoyancy of our bodies. For instance, in the Little Miami, PFDs up to a Class III rating are sufficient.  According to the chart above, that is only an additional 15.5 to 20 lbs of buoyancy, how can that be? Think back to the days of summer when you were a kid. No matter how deep you tried to dive in the pool, it was harder and harder to reach the bottom. When you fill your lungs with air, you are literally turning yourself into a flotation device! We are designed to float from birth, the PFD just gives us a little more pick-up.

Foam vs. Inflatable

Reading the chart, one would be inclined to grab an inflatable. Inflatables are effective, but their one Achilles heel is leaking. In the Little Miami area, the river is full of jagged corners, sticks, rocks and other miscellaneous hazards that would present an issue to inflatables. Foam may break down over time but we’re talking decades, and it can take a beating the likes of which an inflatable would never survive. Choose which PFD you will, so long as you choose one and keep it on during your trek. We’ve seen, too often, the jacket strapped into the boat and that boat go floating away down a wave-train sans paddler. You don’t want to end up in this situation (again.)


For the love of all things wet, if we haven’t made the power of the river apparent by now, I’m not sure we can. It’s really simple; you wear a helmet for everything from rollerblading to cross-country motorcycle touring, why would you not do the same for kayaking/canoeing? Your skull can take anywhere from 15 to 170 lbs of force before it cracks, depending on where and how you are hit. How many pounds of force are in the river? Get the picture? Put a helmet on.

Part three: at the feet of the masters, click here

Water Safety Along the Little Miami (and Surrounding Rivers) – Part One

Charlie Foxtrot Sierra

When is it safe to paddle? It’s not that simple.

Most of us are used to seeing the river gauges or hearing on the news that the river is cresting at X feet. What you rarely ever hear, and what all professional liveries go by, is the river’s CFS measurement. CFS stands for Cubic Feet per Second. You can think of CFS as the velocity of the river flow. For anyone who has ever been out on a kayak or canoe trip with the assumption that you will have two solid hours of fun, only to end up at your take-out point 40 minutes later, you have CFS to thank for that.

On the Little Miami and many of our other local rivers, a CFS of 1,700 or higher is a red flag. 1,700 CFS means the water is moving at 1,700 cubic feet per second. I know what you’re thinking; that last sentence may well have been in Greek for all the sense it makes. So let’s break this down into manageable terms, something we can all relate to: garden hoses. “A typical garden hose provides about 3 gallons per minute…one cfs is equivalent to 150 garden hoses being sprayed at the same time.” 150 garden hoses spraying full blast multiplied by 1,700 is…255,000 garden hoses. Understand now why our local river guides close above that?

Well Dam, Sam

“Okay, so 255,000 garden hoses at once is a lot of force, but I just saw the river gauge read in well below that, and I called to find out if we can go out this evening after dinner, but they still told me no. What’s up?”

On top of CFS, let’s bring in another factor we must acknowledge, the release of dams in the area. I spoke with a representative for the USACE at Caesars Creek regarding the protocol for damn release, and this is what he had to say: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers control the waters of both East Fork and Caesar’s Creek dams; using the “Guide Curve,” USACE determines water release from their lakes via dams based on several constantly changing factors (how high the lake is, stream gauges from Spring Valley in the north and Milford in the south, how much rain is in the forecast, what the temperature of the river is, etc.) Readings go to NOAA and USGS to issue various announcements, many are familiar with the flood advisories in our area. When the water level is becoming dangerous to the surrounding environment and/or the area is expecting a large quantity of rain that will endanger the surrounding environment, they release into the Little Miami to counteract what will inevitably be a large surplus of groundwater into the lakes. Caesar Creek is usually sitting around 2,830 acres of water, but in a potential flood threat, it can hold up to 6,110 acres of water.

Depending on the location, it will take anywhere from four to eleven hours to raise the river levels/increase the CFS. If, for instance, you are leaving out of the Morgan’s livery area (Northern Cincinnati) and the USACE releases Caesar Creek, it will take four hours to reach you, then up to another four to seven hours to reach the lower liveries. East Fork is further south, and it will be effect the liveries nearby in a similar time frame. As such, it will depend on the livery or put-in point, time frame and forecast to determine whether you should hit the water or not.

Part two: we discuss various safety protocol on the river, click here

River of Dreams

River of Dreams
An 86 Mile Journey Down the Little Miami River
Written by: Kara Lorenz

Water is wild!  It falls from the sky, crashes to the Earth, and races to the ocean only to repeat the process.  I’m not much for falling from the sky and crashing to the ground, but I sure will join in on the journey to the ocean!  When enough water comes to visit, I enjoy grabbing my kayak and taking it down the river.  Every trip I take is an adventure, no matter the length.  My favorite local paddle has always been on the Little Miami River.  Last year, my friend Vince and I decided to paddle the whole length of the Little Miami, but in a very different way.

When I say different, I mean in a way that has never been done before.  We were not the first to make this journey, nor were we the fastest.  What made this trip unique and record book worthy was our means of transportation down the river, stand up paddle boards, or two Liquid Logic Versa Boards.  For those of you who are not familiar with SUP boards, they are basically a longer and wider surf board motored by what looks like an extremely long canoe paddle.  Stand up paddle boarding is very prevalent in the coastal states and is gaining more and more popularity here in the Midwest.

Our four and a half day, 86 mile journey began at the northern most access point, located near John Bryan State Park.  The first 17 miles of the river were difficult, cluttered with fallen trees and debris.  We found ourselves dragging gear loaded boards through the woods and around large damned up sections of the river.  Gratefully, Liquid Logic was nice enough to include a tag-along wheel on the Versa board making portaging slightly more enjoyable.  It felt like we spent more time walking alongside the river than paddling the river those first 10 miles.  I fell off by board twice on the first day, and that was two times too many considering it was late March and 50 degrees.  After persevering through the most challenging portion of the river, Vince and I got more comfortable on our boards and fine-tuned our SUP skills.  I came to appreciate the different perspective that the stand-up paddle board offered me.  I was able to read the river clearer than ever and see so much more of the river and what lay beyond its banks.  For the next three and a half days, the river meandered across the northern farmland, cradled us between the hills of the ancient Hopewell Indians, and drifted us by an old Civil War Encampment, through the historic river towns of Loveland and Milford, and eventually delivered us to the Ohio River.

The river taught me more in the first 15 miles than I had learned in the first 15 years of my life.  I learned you can never have too many sets of dry clothes and that the northern Little Miami River geese are not as friendly as the southern Little Miami River geese.  Most of all, I learned that every river holds adventures within its banks, and if you let the river guide you for a little while, life becomes a whole lot simpler.  What makes a river different from any other journey is that you can embark upon the same river fifty times, and each time you will walk away with a different experience and understanding.  My challenge to you is to take a journey down a river, whether it is by canoe, kayak, board, or inner tube.  Water is not just for drinking, GO PLAY!

Community Press “Milford Senior, Co-worker Head for Adventure”

Published March 14, 2012
Written by: Tom Skeen

“Milford High School senior Vincent White and co-worker Kara Lorenz soon will embark on a one-of-a-kind adventure.

The two – who work at Roads Rivers and Trails in Milford – will attempt to be the first people to stand-up paddle board the entire length of the Little Miami River.

“As soon as I heard the idea, it stuck in my mind,” White said. “Instead of putting ideas in the back of my mind, I just do it. I don’t think about all the preparation I’m going to have to worry about or how much it will cost or the variables involved. I just go with it.” …”

You can read this article in it’s entirety at:
or visit the Community Press