Island Park to West Carrollton (22 miles round trip)
Riding on trail
This 22-mile ride features the south side of the Dayton Loop ride to start before continuing along the river to West Carrollton. Public parking is available at Island MetroPark on Helena Street. Park, then cross the street and turn left then right on the trail headed south between North Bend Boulevard and the river.
If you’re passing by on a summer day around the top of the hour, you may catch sight of the enormous RiverScape fountain when they show off at the confluence of the Great Miami and Mad rivers. Ride across the Mad River on the pedestrian bridge and turn right to pass under Patterson Boulevard to RiverScape MetroPark and its bike hub, Dayton inventor’s walk, and a seasonal snack bar. For more than a snack, dining options in downtown Dayton and the Oregon District on Fifth Street range from great pizza to gourmet cuisine.
When you’re ready, ramp down at RiverScape to the trail and continue downstream past River Run’s two paddling drops and around the curve below. Ramp up with the trail to share quiet Veteran’s Parkway for a half-mile. As the road curves left toward Patterson Boulevard, cyclists turn right on the sidewalk and continue carefully in the crosswalk across Stewart Street. The trail picks up on the other side, following the river and passing the University of Dayton and Carillon Historical Park. Rest a while by the cycling sculpture when the bells are playing, or enjoy a couple of hours touring the historic buildings and displays. Two dining options are included at the park – a mid-century diner and a replica of a historic brewery.
Returning to the trail, follow the Great Miami River, enjoy the open views of the wide floodplain, watch for deer and other wildlife. Ramping up to street level, carefully cross East River Road to a short section that passes in front of a light manufacturing area here in the City of Moraine. The trail crosses back over East River Road to join the river’s edge again through a wooded section near the University of Dayton’s competitive rowing facility. Use caution as you cross a driveway to a public river access parking lot and take a moment to stop and enjoy the dock or check out the informational kiosk.
Continuing past the parking lot, the trail passes bike stairs leading up to a paved sidepath trail through Moraine. Continuing on the trail, you will come to a public restroom and water fountain at the Kay Station – on your right. Then the trail joins Marina Drive and passes the City of West Carrollton’s Miami & Erie Canal Park, where you can read historic markers about the Wright Brothers testing amphibious landing and take-off capabilities on the river. As the trail curves right to continue on the levee top, stop and check your dining app to find some outstanding options at nearly the half-way point before your return trip to Dayton. Continuing on the trail, you will begin to see another broad open floodplain and a river dock’s parking lot. There is a short ramp to the driveway. Take this to the left to check out the South Montgomery County low dam and chat up the local fishermen. This is your turn-around point.