Tag Archives: Great Miami River

‘An Attractive Park on Hamilton’s River Front is Now Being Planned’

Hamilton Parks Conservancy

As we prepare to break ground on Marcum Park this spring, an article from the Hamilton Evening Journal from February 1, 1916 reminds us that our city has long had the yearning for a garden spot on the river.

As the article notes, the plans for this park included a bandstand just a block or so away from where our RiversEdge Amphitheater now draws thousands of citizens for concerts and programs.

Plans for this proposed park were short-lived, however, as the site would be excavated for the widening of the river channel, and at a meeting two days later, Miami Conservancy Engineer Arthur Morgan put the kibosh on it.

Below the clipping of the map is the complete text of the article and a description of the imagined park.

Hamilton Evening Journal February 1, 1916
Hamilton Evening Journal
February 1, 1916

J.E. Freudenberger, landscape architect of Dayton, has just completed an elaborate plan for a park system in Hamilton, which was submitted during the last week to the commission in the Butler County capital, named for the purpose of preparing a plan for the adornment of the Miami River Bank north of the new High and Main Street bridge and on the east bank of the river.

The plan calls for the beautification of the land as far north as Dayton street for two squares. The old Hamilton hydraulic will pass through the land proposed to be beautified, but this will be in part covered by a handsome bridge. A pergola is to be built at the north end of the park with a bandstand between it and the hydraulic bridges.

Attractive walks will lead from High Street and also from Monument Avenue into the park, and shrubbery, flowers and grasses will add to the decorative scheme. At the intersection of High Street and Monument Avenue, a wide attractive entrance will lead to the park, which is almost two acres in extent. It is designed to give the Hamilton public a spot for recreation. The tract was formerly used as a dump and has been an eyesore for many years.

According to Mr. Freudenberger, the park will be one of the most attractive small parks in the state.

Hamilton Evening Journal
February 1, 1916

Hamilton eagle ‘scouts’ scan the trees for majesty

HEY! Hamilton! Correspondent Emily Simer Braun has been following the trails of the people she calls “Eagle Scouts,” a group of amateur naturalists who have been tracking the comings and goings of the families of bald eagles now living  around the Great Miami River.

chuckThe podcast begins with an interview lifelong Hamilton resident Chuck Wells, who said, “I believe the eagles actually chose this area.”

She also spoke to Marcia Hunker Henderson, Kim Hunker and Lisa Glasgow, a formidable trio of scouts. Both Marcia and Lisa made mention of their Native American heritage and felt more connected in their pursuit of the perfect photo–or just an eagle sighting.


For all of them, the eagle is part of their American cultural heritage, giving their new hobby a patriotic mission as well as a photographic one.

These “scouts” are all members of the Bald Eagles of Hamilton Facebook group.

Photos by Lisa Glasgow, Matt Bryant and Chuck Wells. Feature photo by Chuck Wells.


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Great Miami River Recreational Trail Update

City Hall

In an effort to improve connectivity and expand the recreational trail network for City residents, three significant trail projects are currently underway.  The first of these projects, known as the Great Miami River Recreational Trail – Phase 2, is a 1.6 mile segment along the Hamilton Hydraulic Canal between Riverside Park and Canal Road.  The second project is the Interceptor Trail that is being built along the river from Columbia Bridge (Pershing Avenue) to Riverside Park.  A ramp will provide access from RiversEdge Park to the Interceptor Trail is currently being designed.

More detailed descriptions of each of these projects can be found below.

Great Miami River Recreational Trail – Phase 2

The Phase 2 project consists of 1.6 miles of paved recreational trail following the alignment of an existing gravel road used to maintain the hydraulic canal.  It extends through portions of Hamilton, Fairfield Township, and St. Clair Township. The project begins at Riverside Park near Third Street in Hamilton and ends at the trailhead parking lot on Canal Road, near Allison Avenue.

A section of Phase 2 trail along the Hydraulic Canal

The project will utilize an existing bridge to cross the Hydraulic Canal at the trailhead parking lot on Canal Road, near Allison Avenue in Fairfield Township.  A new bridge will be built near the Hydraulic Canal its confluence across with the Great Miami River.  The trail will pass beneath existing CSX Railroad and US 127 (Third Street) Bridges over the Hydraulic Canal.

Phase 2 will fill the gap between the Phase 1 trail, at Canal Road, and the trail system along the river in downtown Hamilton.  This will provide a non-motorized connection extending from Waterworks Park in Fairfield, along the river through downtown Hamilton, to Rentschler Forest MetroPark in Fairfield Township.

  • Construction Cost

$2,231,244.00 of which $500,000 is being funded by a grant from ODNR, Clean Ohio Trails Fund; the balance of the project is being funded by the Hamilton Community Foundation.

  • Contractor

Sunesis Construction Co.
2610 Crescentville Road
West Chester, OH 45069

  • Schedule

Construction Start Date: October 23, 2014

Status as of December 10:  10% complete

Completion Date: April 17, 2015 (weather dependent)

Interceptor Trail

1.3 miles of paved trail is being constructed along the river from Columbia Bridge northerly to Riverside Park along with the sanitary sewer interceptor project.  The sanitary sewer interceptor will convey sanitary sewer flows from the west side of the Great Miami River to the Water Reclamation Facility.

This project is mandated by a Consent Decree from the OEPA to mitigate Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSO’s) in the City of Hamilton’s sewer system.

A portion of this project includes the construction of an asphalt road that is approximately 7,000 feet by 10 feet wide; this road will provide access to the sanitary sewer pipes and double as a recreational trail, connecting the Phase 2 project at the Hydraulic Canal near the Power Plant to the existing trail just north of the Columbia Bridge on the east bank of the Great Miami River.

  • Construction Cost

$15,019,309.00 of which $308,000.00 is budgeted for the Access road/Bike path construction.

  • Contractor

SJ Louis Construction, Inc.
13515 Broadway Street West
Rockville, MN 56369-0459

  •  Schedule

Construction Start Date:  April 5, 2013

Completion Date: April 15, 2015 (weather dependent)

 RiversEdge Bike Ramp

The ramp will connect the trails surrounding RiversEdge to the Interceptor Trail located along the toe of the levee.  It will be located near the amphitheater and will extend to the south for 300-ft across the concrete revetment to the trail below.  Construction drawings are being completed by the engineering consultant.

  • Construction Cost

To Be Determined

  • Contractor

To Be Determined

  • Schedule

Construction Start Date: Spring 2015

Status as of December 10:  Design 95% complete

2014 1219 bike 02

Locations of trail construction highlighted in yellow and red.
Key: 1)  Great Miami River Recreation Trail – Phase II [red], 2) Interceptor Trail [yellow], 3) RiversEdge Bike Ramp [yellow]