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WPAFB, WSU and Huffman Prairie Trail now connected to 330-mile regional bikeway system
Five Rivers MetroParks invites area bike enthusiasts to a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the opening of the Mad River Bikeway extension. With the completion of the new 3.6 mile recreational bikeway, downtown Dayton and the more than 330 miles of trails in the regional bikeway system are now connected with Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the Air Force Museum, the Huffman Prairie Trail and the Kauffman Avenue Bikeway which extends to Wright State University and Fairborn. The new bikeway segment is also part of the multistate, 4,600 mile North Country/Buckeye Trail that continues past Fairborn on-road to Springfield and beyond.
Planning began on the Mad River Bikeway extension in 2003 with funding support from the Ohio Department of Transportation/FHWA through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The total budget is more than $3 million.
The new section of accessible paved bikeway connects Eastwood MetroPark to Huffman MetroPark and offers many spectacular views of the Mad River. "The pathway passes an area where we have seen bald eagles nesting, under a 1918 railroad tunnel and over the top of Huffman Dam," shared Joe Zimmerman, project manager for Five Rivers MetroParks.
The extension also passes the Hanitch-Huffman house. The house was home to Colonel Frank T. Huffman, whose Huffman Manufacturing Company came to national prominence with the Huffy bicycle.
"This trail has been a long time coming and wouldn't have been possible without the help of our friends at the Miami Conservancy District," added Zimmerman. "Their help with planning and infrastructure kept the project moving. We know that local cyclists will appreciate this extension and make great use of it."
The grand opening of the Mad River Bikeway extension is scheduled for 11:30 am Friday, June 21, at the Eastwood MetroPark main parking lot, 1385 Harshman Road, Dayton. A group bike ride on the new bikeway from Eastwood MetroPark to Huffman MetroPark will follow.
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