Safe Trails: Thank You, Friends!

by Erick Wikum

Flashing stop

On November 14, the Friends of the Little Miami State Park held its 2021 annual meeting at the Christian Waldschmidt Homestead Museum in Camp Dennison, in sight of the Little Miami Scenic Trail. President Steve Murphy displayed a list of the Friends’ priorities, a list topped by safety. Murphy recounted several of the Friends’ recent safety-related initiatives including installing flashing, solar-powered stop signs to warn trail users approaching a few high-risk intersections.
The progress that FLMSP has made to make the trail safer, especially over the past two years, is hard to miss. In addition to the aforementioned flashing stop signs, the Friends contributed to trail crossing signs to alert motorists and to reflective paint “ladders” across intersecting roads. The Friends also introduced a trail sentinel program. Sentinels patrol the trail, identifying and reporting dangers and helping trail users who need assistance.
By supporting FLMSP, you can play a role in its ongoing trail safety effort. Here are three ways you can help.
  1. Join: Click here to become a member of the Friends and to donate towards its mission.
  2. Volunteer: Click here to volunteer to assist the Friends, whether on or off of the trail.
  3. Give thanks: Email a thank you note to the Friends at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are so fortunate to have a resource like the Little Miami Scenic Trail. The Friends’ mission is to ensure that we not only can enjoy the trail, but can enjoy it safely. Thank you, Friends!


November 2021

Just Tooling Around: Foster Cache Makeover

Over the course of several weeks, FLMSP's tool cache at Foster got an Extreme Makeover!

Before: Leaky, moldy walls
2021.10 FosterCacheMakeover moldy walls before 600

First step was to take everything out:
2021.10 FosterCacheMakeover everything out 600

Next, two coats--6 gallons--of masonry paint:
2021.10 FosterCacheMakeover painting 600

The old falling-apart shelving unit was replaced with a stainless steel five-rack unit, old railroad electrical cables were cut off at ground level (trip hazard), rocks were removed from the old gravel, and pea gravel was added to make a nicer walking surface.

Here's Carl rewiring the solar panel light fixture:
2021.10 FosterCacheMakeover rewiring solar light 600

After: The results of all that work
2021.10 FosterCacheMakeover after 600
2021.10 FosterCacheMakeover after2 600
2021.10 FosterCacheMakeover after3 600

November 2021 

Okay to not be Okay


Image source:

by Erick Wikum

Let’s take a step off of the Little Miami Scenic Trail (we’ll return soon enough) to consider a critically important topic—mental health.  During this past summer’s Olympic Games, Simone Biles’s very public withdrawal from most of her gymnastics events highlighted the pressure that she and all athletes face.  Her issues led Michael Phelps, the winner of 28 Olympic medals who has experienced mental health struggles of his own, to remind viewers that “it’s okay to not be okay.”  In an interview after winning a gold medal, swimmer Caeleb Dressel fought back tears as he noted that the past year had been very difficult.

Let’s face it; the pandemic has been hard for all of us.  Our “new normal”—whether working or attending school from home or limiting social engagements and family visits—is anything but normal.  News of more dangerous variants and fresh outbreaks coupled with concern for our friends and loved ones takes a real emotional toll.  We wonder when and even if this plague will end.

The UK Mental Health Foundation has published a pamphlet (available at this link) that includes the following 10 tips for looking after your mental health:

1. Talk about your feelings
2. Keep active
3. Eat well
4. Drink sensibly
5. Keep in touch (with family and friends)
6. Ask for help
7. Take a break
8. Do something you’re good at
9. Accept who you are
10. Care for others

Perhaps number 6, asking for help, is the most important of these tips and the most difficult to do.  Admitting you need help is not easy, but doing so is a sign of strength and not weakness.  It is okay to say you’re not okay; it is okay to admit you cannot go it alone.

The record more than 2 million people who availed themselves of the Little Miami Scenic Trail last year know the importance of number 2, keeping active.  Exercise is good medicine, as is enjoying the sights and sounds of the river, vegetation and wildlife.  The trail can play a role in your overall mental health plan.  Be safe and be well!


October 2021

Our Partners

120 ODNR logo

OTETrail 115

Tri StateTrails logo150x52
Initiative of Green Umb 150x50


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