Great Miami Riverway

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Great Miami Riverway
Franklin Summers

The Great Miami Riverway connects the bike trails and Ohio’s Great Miami River with vibrant riverfront communities. The Riverway offers access to abundant recreational activities along the water and into town, making it easy for residents and visitors to enjoy the region’s outdoor recreation scene and create memorable experiences.

When someone mentions “The Smokies” or “The Outer Banks,” you know just what they’re talking about. In a few years, people may have the same reaction to “The Great Miami Riverway.”

The Great Miami Riverway is the new brand for the 99-mile stretch of the Great Miami River from Sidney to Hamilton.

So much to see, so much to do

“We are working to market the Great Miami Riverway as a destination, a place to shop, dine, recreate,” says Kazy Hinds, mayor of Piqua. “With so many cities to explore, you’ll want to come again and again.”

A partnership of 18 cities and organizations, including MCD, worked with a consultant to develop the brand.

“The Great Miami Riverway is more than just the river or the bike trail, it’s the entire Riverway region,” says Sonny Lewis, Franklin city manager. “It’s the towns and nature connected by the Riverway, and the activities and events that happen along the Riverway.”

Many of the Riverway cities had been working to promote the river corridor as a single entity. In 2014, a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers helped put the group on a clear path. The study noted the region’s strengths, including 100 parks. It also noted the corridor’s challenges, including a lack of signage and wayfinding, and a unifying identity.

“While the corridor has many diverse attractions, it lacked the perception of being a destination,” says Janet Bly, MCD general manager. “The Corps study helped the cities realize all they have to offer if they worked together.”

Because of MCD’s abilities to cross-jurisdictional boundaries, the cities asked MCD to facilitate the Great Miami River Corridor Placemaking Project that lead to the Riverway brand.

What’s next?

The partners are assembling funding to market the Riverway as a fun and active destination.

A Riverway coordinator will manage the Great Miami Riverway Placemaking Initiative, develop a marketing and communications plan to attract visitors to the Riverway, and help the partners promote the Riverway in their own marketing programs.

“The Riverway initiative is a wonderful example of how regional collaboration can lead to shared success for all,” says Rob Wile, Hamilton Councilman. “What better asset than the Great Miami River to illuminate our common aspirations. It is the thread that ties the region together.”

Visit the Great Miami Riverway at www.greatmiamiriverway.org