The 5 best Miami Valley bike trails (and how to make the most of them)

Dayton has worked hard to become a cyclist-friendly city in recent years. Pedaling to work or for play is easier than ever with the combo of bike paths and clearly-marked bikeways on the city streets.

But for the serious cyclist, Dayton is a dream come true -- we’re situated in the heart of 330 miles of paved bike trails connecting to other towns and venues through Southwest Ohio. 

Whether you're a die-hard fan of pedal power or just the occasional dabbler, we've come up with everything you need to know about the best bike trails in the Miami Valley. 

Great Miami River Bikeway

Pete Kreke and his step-grandson Brady Cecil, 5, ride along the Great Miami River bike path in September in Hamilton. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

The Great Miami River Trail goes northward to Piqua and southward to Middletown. Along the way, there is beautiful scenery, small towns and -- if you're lucky -- a sunrise or sunset that's a perfect way to start or end your day.

Length: 57 miles, plus 19 miles total for Middletown and Hamilton segments. 

Connecting Trails: Wolf Creek Trail, Mad River Trail, Stillwater Trail, Ohio-to-Indiana Trail, Dayton-Kettering Connector. 

End Points: Franklin, Ohio (south) to Piqua, Ohio (north). There are also segments in Middletown and Hamilton. 

Counties: Warren, Montgomery, Miami, Butler. 

Cities & Towns:  Franklin, Miamisburg, West Carrollton, Moraine, Dayton, Huber Heights, Vandalia, Tipp City, Troy, Piqua (contiguous). Also segments in Middletown and Hamilton. 

Surfaces: Paved, multi-use.

Info: Website

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John Bryan State Park

While in Yellow Springs, you may want to stop by either Glen Helen or John Bryant state parks. The perfect retreat for a bike ride or nature walk, these YS favorites are a great stop during a sunny afternoon.

Passing through Yellow Springs, you'll find John Bryan State Park. It has a bike trail that ramps up to catch some air, bridges to test your skills of balance and lots of trees that make an appearance at the last second. It's not the beast that MoMBA is, but it does bring instant gratification.

Length: 12 miles

Connecting Trails:  Horace Mann Trail,  Camp Trail,  Poplar Trail, Gorge Trail,  North Rim Trail,  John L. Rich Trail,  Orton Memorial Trail,  Swimming Pool Road Trail,   Arboretum Trail,  Power Line Loop

End Points: John Bryan State Park

Counties: Greene

Cities & Towns: Yellow Springs, Springfield, Clifton

Surfaces: Dirt, multi-use

Info: Website

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Little Miami Scenic Trail

Kim and Jason Allison of Springfield ride their bikes along the Little Miami Scenic Trail in this 2014 file photo. The trail is closed in Milford near the Shawnee Run overpass due to a sinkhole. (Bill Lackey/Staff)
Photo: Breaking News Staff

The Little Miami Scenic Trail runs past Fort Ancient and King’s Island. The only downside: the path is on the wrong side of the Little Miami River to stop for a coaster ride. When the Little Miami Trail ends, you can pick up local bike-friendly trails and cycle down to the Ohio River.

Length: 78 miles

Connecting Trails: Creekside Trail, Xenia-Jamestown Connector, Ohio-to-Erie Trail, Simon Kenton

End Points: Beechmont Ave. in Anderson Township (south) to Springfield (north)

Counties: Hamilton, Clermont, Warren, Greene, Clark

Cities & Towns: Newtown, Milford, Loveland, Morrow, Oregonia, Corwin, Spring Valley, Xenia, Yellow Springs, Springfield

Surfaces: Paved, multi-use. Short bike lanes stretch in the City of Springfield.

Info: Website

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MetroParks Mountain Biking Area at Huffman MetroPark

The MetroParks mountain biking area (MoMBA) at Huffman MetroPark has new trails for children. Whether biking on training wheels or using their feet to propel themselves along, small children have a space of their own to learn to mountain bike. JAN UNDERWOOD / FIVE RIVERS METROPARKS

If sweet hills and close-call turns on skinny trails are what you want, the MoMBA is for you. Metro Parks Mountain Bike Area (MoMBA) at Huffman MetroPark is certified by the International Mountain Biking Association. It will bring the challenge -- and quite possibly, the pain. New kid-friendly trails make it fun for the whole family, no matter the skill level.

Length: 9 miles

Trails: Beginner (Tot, Hilltop Flow, Twisted, Voodoo) Intermediate (Mr. Zig Zag, Creekside, Upper & Lower Stealth) Advanced (Hawk’s Lair, The Talon)

End Points: Huffman MetroPark

Counties: Montgomery

Cities & Towns: Dayton

Surfaces: dirt, various grade

Info: Website

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Creekside Trail

The Creekside Trail in Beavercreek that runs from Eastwood MetroPark to Xenia is approximately 18 miles. (source: TY GREENLEES / STAFF)

The Creekside Trail provides a critical crossing over I-675 and connects the two hubs of the trail network in the Miami Valley: Xenia and Dayton. Fifth Third Gateway Park is a popular meet-up place right on the Greene-Montgomery County Line, and the James Ranch Park/Beavercreek Station is a rest area that is also home to Beavercreek’s September 11th Memorial.

Length: 15 miles

Connecting Trails: Little Miami Scenic Trail, Creekside Trail, Ohio-to-Erie Trail (all connections at Xenia Station)

End Points: Eastwood MetroPark (west) to Xenia, Ohio (east)

Counties: Montgomery, Greene

Cities & Towns: Dayton, Riverside, Beavercreek, Xenia

Surfaces: Paved, multi-use 

Info: Website

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Did we miss your favorite biking spot? Drop us a line and let us know: