National Tourism & Travel Week – Travel Matters to Keeping America Connected
May 8, 2019
Contributed by Kevin Swanson
Deputy Director of the Miami County Park District
Board member of the Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau.
Miami County contains unique natural and cultural resources that provide numerous recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. Connecting these destinations through outdoor experiences contributes to the quality of life and impacts the environmental, social and economic well-being of the region. The Great Miami River Trail through Miami County is part of the regional system of over 340 miles of paved, multi-use recreational trails that connect charming downtowns, parks, historic landmarks, and area attractions. The Trail offers something for everyone as it travels along the Great Miami River through beautiful natural landscapes, scenic countryside, forested areas, and city centers. Miami County contains several trail-friendly communities that welcome visitors by providing safe accommodations and encouraging people to use alternate transportation. Providing convenient trail-access and connectivity is a simple way to improve public health through reduced traffic congestion, better air quality, and greater physical fitness. This often translates into increased property values, business growth and increased tourism along with talent attraction and retention.
Tipp City, Troy, and Piqua in the north each overflow with beautiful architecture, charm, and a thriving downtown business district. Unique local eateries in these vibrant river towns will satisfy every taste – whether you want to cool down with a scoop of ice cream or refuel with a full meal. Many of the hometowns have their own specialty shops, weekly farmer’s markets, and annual festivals as well. Between Troy and Piqua, the beautiful Robert Shook Bridge crosses the Great Miami River at Miami County Park District’s Farrington Reserve. Take a moment to pause on the Bridge and enjoy the scenic view of the river or take the perfect selfie. You’ll have a great opportunity to see unique wildlife or a paddler go by along the water-trail. Just a few miles south on the Great Miami corridor is the historic Eldean Covered Bridge in Concord Township. Built in 1860, it is one of only two covered bridges remaining in the County and is still the longest “Long Truss” covered bridge in the Nation. This bridge was given National Historic Landmark designation by the U.S. Department of Interior in 2017. Whether you walk or drive across the bridge, the craftsmanship of the design will take you to another time in Miami County’s early history.