SIDNEY — The city of Sidney will be one step closer to becoming the northern anchor of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail. When completed, the 99-mile trail will extend from Sidney to Hamilton, and be part of the country’s largest paved trail system.
As part of the State of Ohio’s Capital Budget announced Friday, Sidney will receive $850,000 in funding to extend the Canal Feeder Trail from its current terminus east of Interstate 75 (I-75) under I-75 to Kuther Road. Once the 1.2-mile Canal Feeder Trail project is complete, trail advocates will focus their efforts on connecting Sidney with the Great Miami River Trail in Piqua. That portion of the trail is in Shelby County.
“We are grateful to Sen. Matt Huffman, Rep. Susan Manchester, Speaker Robert Cupp, as well as Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration for this investment in Sidney,” Mayor Mike Barhorst said. “I’m also grateful to the mayors of communities along the trail who wrote letters of support.
“It has long been a key priority of the City of Sidney to connect our trail system with the Great Miami River Recreation Trail,” Barhorst said. “Along with additional grant funding, the grants in the Capital Budget will allow us to extend the Canal Feeder Trail beyond I-75. Then we can determine how to make the final connection to Lockington and connect with the Great Miami River Trail.”
The Canal Feeder Trail project received significant support from other communities.
“Sidney received letters of support for this project from mayors of communities up and down the Great Miami River,” said Dan Foley, Great Miami Riverway director. “They fully recognize that every new mile of connected trail increases the value and worth of the entire trail system.”
”Kudos to Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst, the staff of the city of Sidney, and many others for working hard to advocate for this project with the state’s leadership,” Foley said. “These things don’t just happen, they take a lot energy behind the scenes as well as a sense of vision and more than a bit of determination.”
Funding for the Canal Feeder Trail project comes from Ohio’s Capital Budget. The Capital Budget provides appropriations for the repair, reconstruction and construction of capital assets of state agencies, colleges, universities, school districts, and community projects of local or regional interest.
“We’ve had our sights set on the trail for some time,” Sidney Visitor’s Bureau Director Jeff Raible said. “There is no question that the impact on tourism in Sidney will be substantial.”
“Inasmuch as Sidney will be the trailhead once the project is completed, those using the trail will either start or end their journey here, purchasing food and drink, perhaps staying overnight, enjoying all that Sidney has to offer,” Raible said. “We are excited that the conclusion of the project is even closer to reality.”
The Miami Valley region features more than 340 miles of paved multi-use trails along the Great Miami River. In addition, the Great Miami River is Ohio’s only designated National Water Trail, providing plenty of opportunities to paddle, fish, and watch wildlife along the length of the river. Whether hiking, biking, or paddling, the Great Miami Riverway provides plenty of opportunities for active and passive recreation.