Pioneers, Trains, and a President

The Little Miami State Park is nestled in the valley of the Little Miami River, Ohio’s first National Wild and Scenic River. The rocks are filled with fossils of creatures that lived in the vast inland sea that once covered the region. When the climate cooled, glaciers pushed south and left landforms that we see today. Since the end of the Ice Age, people have lived, hunted, and traveled in the Little Miami region.

When you’re on the trail, you’ll be traveling where native cultures built earth mounds; where the first governor of Ohio ran his mill; and where Abraham Lincoln rode the Little Miami Railroad on route to his inauguration. You’ll pass the home of the Butterworth family, who sheltered escaping slaves and conducted them to the next station on the Underground Railroad.

If you’re observant you might come across reminders of our trail’s more tangible railroad roots—a rusty piece of rail, an old signal post, or an iron spike. After the tracks were abandoned, the rail bed was transformed into a recreational trail under the new Rails to Trails initiative.

Explore the rich history of the Little Miami State Park with the articles, photos, and maps below.

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