Mar. 5 2009

Murray Avenue marks the border between Cincinnati and the neighboring town of Fairfax. I was pleased to discover this hiking and bicycling trail on the Cincinnati side of the street. This video is going east, away from town. It turns out there was once a small electric rail line where the trail is now, as suggested by the power lines along the trail. In fact, this railroad predated most (if not all) of the street itself.

Looking west on Murray Avenue and its accompanying trail, where it goes over the intermittent creek near Bramble Park.

The trail ends here at Settle Road. Murray Avenue has a gap, but it picks up here as this street with a median. Oddly, both sides of Murray are two-way. According to a USGS map, a municipal boundary runs along the south component of Murray Avenue: The 1920s planned suburb of Mariemont is south of the line; Columbia Township is north.

Continuing east, on the south side of Murray Avenue.

Another funny poo-poo sign. I think this is in the Murray Road median. So...why would Mariemont ordinances apply, since we're in Columbia Township?

A 6-way stop sign??? This is north on Plainville Road, from Madisonville Road. We'd have to be in Mariemont, looking into Columbia Township.

Mariemont is centered on a little village square along US 50 (Wooster Pike). I think this is at the southwest junction of US 50 & Miami Road, looking west on US 50 (which has a tree-lined median).

Looking east on US 50 in Mariemont's central square. US 50's median becomes much wider here.

Fans of antique highway memorabilia should go spoony over this! This is in Mariemont still, and it shows something that's nearly extinct (at least in most states): a cutout U.S. route marker! And this one isn't even California style, so it's a particularly old cutout. I'd say it's probably from 1950 or so.

US 50 on the east side of Mariemont features this wide, wide median, which is supposed to be some sort of wildlife sanctuary. A wildlife sanctuary in the middle of US 50? In suburban Cincinnati???

West on US 50 at Indian View Avenue in Mariemont. This is where US 50 gains its median. Note the unusual yellow warning signal.

East on US 50 in Columbia Township at Newtown Road.

Once you pass Newtown Road on US 50, things get a little strange. As a sign of what's to come, notice how crooked the utility poles are.

When I say things get strange, I mean strange! This video continuing east on US 50 seems almost postapocolyptic, except people actually drive on this road. This stretch has an old, dilapidated sidewalk and surprisingly little development.

I violated an Allowed Cloud! This short clearing runs from US 50 northeast to the Little Miami Scenic Trail. I believe this is where a path to some houses along the Little Miami River used to be. As you can see, this clearing is roped off, but I biked through it anyway to get to the trail.

For all the lack of cycling amenities around Cincinnati, it's odd that the region has the nation's longest paved trail: the Little Miami Scenic Trail, which runs 76 miles from Newtown to Springfield. This stretch of the hiking and bicycling trail is on the former path of a railroad that was abandoned in 1974. Shockingly, the trail wasn't extended from Terrace Park to Newtown until 2006. For years, planners have wanted to extend the trail to Lunken Airport and downtown Cincinnati, but of course politics has held that up.

I'm not sure where along the Little Miami Scenic Trail this is - other than that we're looking southeast. I'm guessing this is probably a certain structure in the floodplain on the north bank of the Little Miami River. Thus, it would be in Kroger Hills State Reserve (like Kroger supermarkets).

Looking southwest on the Little Miami Scenic Trail, notice the post with the ruined rail signal on the right.

Continuing northeast on the trail, I've determined that this just about has to be going under the north-south portion of Elm Avenue in the suburb of Terrace Park (where Rob "Pee-in-a-cup" Portman is from).

On the trail still, crossing New Street in Terrace Park.

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