Hamilton bike path adds to the quality of life

On Wednesday, the city of Hamilton and the Hamilton Community Foundation dedicated the last portion of the two-phase trail project connecting Rentschler Forest MetroPark to downtown Hamilton. This 1.6-mile stretch completes a project, which is part of the Great Miami River Recreation Trail, that took 15 years and $5 million to complete.

“We hope it has a very positive impact on the community,” said John Guidugli, president and CEO of the Hamilton Community Foundation. “We think it’s a quality of life amenity and one of our major strategic initiatives is to improve the quality of life, and we think this does that as well.”

Work on the 10-foot-wide, asphalt connector trail started this past fall and allows bike riders, walkers and joggers who enter the trail at the Rentschler Forest MetroPark to go south along the Great Miami to Joyce Park.

The trail was partially paid for by the Hamilton Community Foundation in honor of its golden anniversary in 2001. The organization provided a series of legacy gifts to the community.

Gifts include the Michael J. Colligan Lodge, Foundation Field, Lentil Park and the entrance sign to the city of Hamilton. The expansion of the city’s portion of the The Miami Valley Recreation Trail — which is the nation’s largest network of paved, off-street trails connecting 10 counties — is the final golden anniversary gift project to be completed.

This first phase of the project completed a trail from Rentschler Forest MetroPark to Canal Road, which was dedicated in June 2012.

The Hamilton Community Foundation put forward $2.9 million for its work on the project with the city of Hamilton kicking in $1 million and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Clean Ohio Fund expending $1.3 million. But the foundation partnered with others, namely Fairfield Twp. and Butler County, in the project.

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