The Linear Park is more than 12 miles of paved pathway through the city.
It consists of a trail that runs east and west along an abandoned railroad bed. This section was completed in 2001. Another section of the Linear Park, completed in 2002, runs from French Park to Swift Run Lake north of the city. Much of this section runs along the hydraulic canal. The final section of the Linear Park, designated "River's Edge" runs from Swift Run Lake to Lock Nine Park. This section runs along the Great Miami River and also follows the former Miami-Erie Canal in some places.
The first completed section of the Linear Park (completed in the Spring of 2001), is a 5-plus mile tree-lined bike and walking path overlooking and running through the center of the city. The paved asphalt trail runs east/west on an abandoned railroad bed bisecting the city. Significant features of the trail include a tunnel under Sunset Avenue, a bike bridge spanning College Street, and updates to the steel girder train bridge across the Great Miami River. These updates include a timber deck and wooden guard rails.
The section completed next, referred to as Phase IV of the Linear Park project is an addition to the original paved path. This portion of the path goes from French Park to Swift Run Lake located on State Route 66. One of the highlights of this section is the trail passing through the wooded area north of High Street and west of the Hartzell Propeller property located on Washington Avenue. This section of the path follows the portion of the hydraulic canal that was filled in years ago and no longer exists. It will also bring the path user to the sight of the original City of Piqua Water Plant that was located just south of Frantz Pond. Only a stone foundation wall remains. Other highlights include passing right along Frantz Pond and Echo Lake, traveling north on top of the levee that runs through Fountain Park, Forest Hill Cemetery, and continues on to Swift Run Lake where this phase of the asphalt path ends. A parking lot is paved to that those traveling to the path or to Swift Run for fishing will have a convenient place to park.
The last section completed is called Linear Park - River's Edge. As the name implies, this section follows the Great Miami River. The section begins at Swift Run Lake (north of town by the City's Water Plant) and continues along the river ending at Lock Nine Park. In some areas this section is on the former tow path of the Miami and Erie Canal. This phase was completed in 2003.
Some highlights of this section include a 2000 foot retaining wall in the levee of the Great Miami River, no street crossings the entire section, scenic overlook of the river from the rest area, and scenic views of the river and former canal from various points along the path.
The entire trail is open to walkers, joggers, bikers, and rollerbladers. Access points are:
- Spiker Road
- Davis Parkway
- French Park
- The Municipal Government Complex
- Lock Nine Riverfront Park
- The Miami Valley Centre Mall
- Patrizio Place
- Troy-Sidney Road
- Fountain Park
- Roadside Park
- The City's Water Plant
Honorable Mention Award
The City of Piqua received an Honorable Mention Award for Park Development from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) in February of 2002 for the development of the initial 5-plus mile section of the Linear Park.
Helpful Hints & Information for Trail Users
- Bicyclists must yield to all other users
- Keep right except to pass
- Move off paved trail when stopped
- Trail users do not have the right of way when crossing traffic on city streets. Trail users should yield to all vehicular traffic