Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails
Check out our News link for our most recent news updates!      Show your support by participating in our 2017 Membership Drive!      Support the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails every time you shop by enrolling in the Kroger Community Rewards Program!      Support the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails every time you shop online at AmazonSmile!      Check out our Events Calendar to see what's next!       Like Us on Facebook      Check out our trailside camping area behind the Prairie Grass Trailhead!      Join us at our next monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.      The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure is returning to London on Sunday, June 17, 2018 and Monday, June 18, 2018!     
Please help extend the Ohio to Erie Trail across historic London!
Click here for info on our "Closing the Gap" Fundraiser

2017 News


12-09-17
Madison Press article: London to be two-day GOBA stop

12-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

11-22-17
Hello Friends,

We hope you are having a Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

Come out and join us this Monday for Olde Fashioned Christmas in London. We'll be at the London Coffee Peddler, 127 S. Main Street with free refreshments and good conversation. There will be plenty of merry making from the Peddler to Cowling Park from 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

The Ohio to Erie Trail extension between Maple & Walnut Street in London will soon be completed with a limestone finish by the end of the year. We plan to put asphalt down in the spring, however, only 68% of the original estimated cost has been raised to date. We still need approximately $25,000 to complete the paving. If you can donate to help, that would be greatly appreciated! Just click HERE for more information.

The London camping area continues to be a popular place to stop. The number of bicycle campers has double since last year. We've now had campers from all over Ohio, 25 other states, and 7 other countries. A frequent comment from the visitors is "please tell other towns to provide such a facility"!

FMCPT volunteers have used the Root Ripper machine on both sides of the trail across the county again this year. We are pleased with its effectiveness and have had very little new root problems since using the machine.

The Madison County Engineering Department used their radial-arm mower to cut back high brush along each side of the trail this fall. This saves our volunteers, and the contracted workers, many hours in mowing the grass and keeping the weeds cut down. Volunteers have also been blowing the trail this fall to help keep the leaves from becoming wet and slippery.

If you are a dedicated bicyclist, think about joining us for the Annual New Year's Day Ride! We meet at 1 p.m. day at McDonald's in London. The weather will help determine the length of the ride. The point here is: starting the New Year off right!

The Annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for January 17th at 7 p.m. at the Senior Center in London. The guest speaker is Brian Housh. Along with many other hats he wears, Brian is a Yellow Springs Council Member, and a Midwest Policy Manager involved with Rails-to-Trails Conservancy working to build active transportation networks in the region. The meeting is open to the public and we hope you can come.

We are very pleased that GOBA will be staying in London again in 2018! We will need food providers, sleeping quarters, entertainment, volunteers, Committee members, etc., etc.. If you would like to be involved with GOBA this year, please contact us at fmcpt@columbus.rr.com.

11-12-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

11-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

10-17-17
Madison Press article: Visitors to campgrounds in Madison growing

10-08-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

10-07-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

09-28-17
Adventure Cyclist article: Riding the Rust Belt: Indianapolis to Pittsburg

09-16-17
Hello Friends,

Temporary Trail Closing: The Ohio to Erie Trail just east of London will be closed starting Sept. 18 for a few days. A gas line needs to be repaired and the trail will be open cut during that time. Signs will be posted for a detour between Maple Street in London and Spring Valley Road. The detour is along SR 665 so please use caution if you need to use this route. We will get the word out via our website and Facebook as soon as it is open again.

We hope you were able to make it to the Groundbreaking Ceremony in London for the next section of the Ohio to Erie Trail in London. See the articles below in the Madison Messenger and the Madison Press. We plan to start construction of this section this fall with completion by the end of the year. However, we're still fundraising for the final $27K for this project. If you have not donated yet, now is the time! It's easy on our website here.

The Annual Ohio to Erie Trail Ride from Cincinnati to Cleveland passed through London on Sept. 10th with over 40 riders from eight states. Many of these riders stopped at Phat Daddy's for lunch. See the article below about how the Ohio to Erie Trail gives an economic boost to trail towns along its 326 mile route.

The final Full Moon Ride for this season is Oct. 5th at 7:30 p.m. What a great way to celebrate autumn. Come over a little early and enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants – but save some room for ice cream after the ride! More details are at the link above.

09-17-17
Madison Messenger article: Wheels are turning to close gap in bike trail

09-15-17
Columbus Dispatch article: Ohio to Erie Trail gives economic, tourism boost to Stark County

09-11-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

09-09-17
Madison Press article: Work beginning on local bike trail connector

09-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

08-21-17
Hello Friends,

The 26th Annual Ox Roast Bicycle Tour will be coming to West Jefferson on Labor Day. You can get an early pre-registration discount up until August 26 online here. After that date, you can still pre-register but the tour fee will then be $35. Still a good value since the tour includes food stops, SAGs, and a voucher for a famous Ox Roast sandwich. Maximize your savings by pre-registering now! Check out the festival and about the bike tour at our website here.

The next Full Moon Ride will be on Tuesday, September 5th and will depart near Phat Daddy's Pizza in London at 7:30 p.m. Come early and enjoy dinner at one of the downtown family owned restaurants. Since the days are starting to get a little shorter and the ride starts earlier, you'll have more time after the ride to catch that ice cream treat before you head home. Bring your family and friends and treat them to a fun evening!

Come join us for the Groundbreaking Ceremony to extend the Ohio to Erie Trail another city block towards downtown London. The ceremony will be on Thursday, September 7th at 11 a.m. in the field just west of Maple Street where the asphalt trail currently ends. This Phase I project is expected to cost $78,000 to build. Construction is expected to start this fall and we plan to finish the section this year. We are getting closer to our financial target, but we still NEED YOUR HELP! Please consider a donation to our 501(c ) organization. It's very easy to donate online at FMCPT, or at our GoFundMe campaign. Or, simple send a check. It's all explained here.

08-10-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

08-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

07-25-17
Hello Friends,

Ever wonder what type of plants Native Americans saw as they lived in central Ohio before it was developed? For various reasons, some of those native plants have been preserved along the Prairie Grass Trail. Come to the Prairie Appreciation Bike Ride this Saturday and listen to Professor Emeritus John Silvius and his volunteer staff point out many of these plants (some being quite rare). You'll be encouraged to ask questions as our teachers explain about these native plants and their habitat.

We'll meet at the Prairie Grass Trailhead at 8 a.m. for a brief overview and then head out to designated locations for a field learning experience along the trail. (Various newspaper articles about the ride have links below.)

If you're thinking about going to the "Big" London to Brighton Cycling rally in September, let me suggest one a little closer on August 5th with a lot less congestion. We'll even have the London Jazz & Rib Fest when you get back from the ride and a free bike corral to park your steed. Those tasty ribs and cold beer will be calling out your name after that fun ride. Bring your family and friends and join us at the Rib Tickler Ride.

On Sunday, August 6 the Full Moon Ride will be kicking off again near Phat Daddy's Pizza in downtown London. Come out early and enjoy some of the food and refreshments in downtown London. Last month we had about 20 riders and all seemed to flow smoothly as we headed into a beautiful full moon.

As many of you know, we are Closing the Gap in the Ohio to Erie Trail in London. Phase I of the project extends the trail from Maple Street to Walnut Street. That section is estimated to cost $78,000 for construction. We have raised over 57% to date. We want to complete that section by the end of 2017. However, to do that, we NEED YOUR HELP! Please consider a donation to our 501(c ) organization. It's very easy to donate online at FMCPT, or at our GoFundMe campaign. Or, simply send a check. It's all explained here.

07-23-17
Columbus Dispatch article: Stroll through Battelle Darby honors man who built prairie

07-23-17
Madison Messenger article: Join experts on prairie appreciation bike ride

07-23-17
Madison Messenger article: Kudos to Hall of Famer

07-22-17
Madison Press article: Park Board seeks new 'Friends'

07-14-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

07-11-17
Madison Press article: Annual Prairie Appreciation Bike Ride July 29

07-07-17
Madison Messenger article: Signage ordered to deter overnight camping

07-06-17
Madison Soil and Water Conservation District Facebook Post: Prairie Appreciation Bike Ride

07-05-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

07-01-17
Hello Friends,

The Full Moon Ride is changing! Both the ride start location and the direction are changing effective with the next Full Moon Ride on July 8th. The start location will be in downtown London near Phat Daddy's Pizza at 15 East First Street (across from the Police Department).

Parking is available behind the London Public Library at 20 East First Street. There is also street parking, and possibly St. Patrick Church's parking lot next to Phat Daddy's.

Please come a little early and plan to eat at one of the downtown family owned restaurants. Just click on the names below for their website with hours of operation, menu, and location:
Phat Daddy's Pizza, 15 East First Street
Gizzy's Corner, 165 East Center Street
Ronetti's, 23 South Main Street
Terry Family Ice Cream Shoppe, 129 West High Street
Layla's Sweet Treats, 25 South Main Street
Casey's Carryout & Drive Thru, 123 South Main Street
There are also other restaurants downtown such as McDonald's, KFC/Long John Silver's, Taco Bell, and Subway.

We will start the ride near Phat Daddy's per the posted time for that month and head east via the street route to the trail at Maple Street. Riders can take the trail to the Camp Chase Trail parking lot at Battelle-Darby Metro Park at 8465 Alkire Road, or anywhere along the trail up to that point. Port-a-jons are at the Wilson Road Trailhead or at Battelle-Darby Metro Park.

If you plan to get a refreshment when you return to London, please check the links above to see when places close, and adjust your timing accordingly.

Come join us for the London July 4th Parade. Cyclists will gather near the FMCPT banner bike between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Park Avenue near Cowling Park in London. Feel free to decorate your bike for the event. We'll pass out candy along the route. The parade starts at 11 a.m. We hope you can make it!


The free annual Prairie Appreciation Bike Ride is scheduled for July 29th at 8 a.m. from the Prairie Grass Trailhead. This is a chance to learn about prairie plants along the trail when many are in full bloom. This is a slow paced ride geared for an educational experience.

It won't be long and the London Jazz & Rib Fest will be here on the First Friday & Saturday in August. On Saturday, August 5th the annual Rib Tickler Ride will leave the festival for a fun ride out to Brighton, Ohio. From there the route will go to South Charleston where it will join with the Prairie Grass Trail and head back to London – where the first ribs will be coming off the grills around noon! A Bike Corral will be staffed at the Registration Table where you can leave your bike in a safe spot while you enjoy the festival. Sit down at a table with your ribs and favorite brew and listen to the live band perform. By the way, bring your family and friends along!

The Ohio to Erie Trail is being extended for another block further into downtown London. The land has been acquired for this section and construction is expected this fall. We are still in needed of construction funds to finish this phase. Thanks to the generosity of many of you, the Ohio to Erie Trail Fund, and businesses in the community; we have raised over 54% of the $78,000 needed for construction. We still have a long ways to go, so we're asking to please help us raise the remaining funds. You can help by going to our Closing the GAP page, or our GoFundMe campaign page. Please "Share" the message with your Facebook Friends to pass the word along. Every donation small or large is a big help reaching this goal.

06-12-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

06-01-17
Ohio to Erie Trail newsletter: OTETF Support For Closing the Gap in Madison County

06-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

05-29-17
Madison Press article: Miller inducted in Central Ohio Hall of Fame

05-26-17
Quarterly newsletter released by Miami Valley Bike Trails

05-15-17
Madison Messenger article: Miller named to Senior Hall of Fame

05-13-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

04-30-16
Hello Friends,

This May is the 61th anniversary of the establishment of National Bike Month which is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. National Bike to Work week will be May 15-19 and Bike to Work Day will be May 19th. To help celebrate National Bike Month, here is a short summary of rides taking place in, or through, the Madison County area this summer:
Our Full Moon Rides take place each month through the month of October. This is a no cost, informal, go at your own pace, nighttime experience. It's a fun time but bring your front and rear lights.

Geology Tour – Saturday, May 13, 2017. Retired Geology Professor, Scott Brockman, gives an interesting talk about the local topography and the tale it tells of its history over the recent few thousand years. This is a family paced ride with stops along the way to discuss interesting geological spots.

Strawberry Festival Bike Tour - Saturday, June 10, 2017. This is the 14th year of this multi-route ride. (The actual London Strawberry Festival will be June 22-24 in the downtown historical district and will feature the famous London Cobra Show on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

Prairie Grass Trail Ride (Prairie Appreciation Ride) - Saturday, July 29, 2017. This is a short stop & go educational ride featuring short lectures by experts in native wild plants with time for questions and answers. A great opportunity to learn about rare native plants along the Prairie Grass Trail.

Rib Tickler Ride - Saturday, August 5, 2017. This fun ride starts from the festival area in downtown London and goes to Brighton (no, not England!) You'll get back to the London Rib & Jazz Festival just about the time the ribs are ready and the beer has been cooled!

Ox Roast Bicycle Tour - Monday, September 4, 2017. This is the 26th year of this popular West Jefferson ride. It has gone through various changes over the years and is now sponsored by FMCPT in cooperation with the West Jefferson Community Association during the West Jefferson Ox Roast. Join us on Labor Day and your ride ticket will get you one of those famous Ox Roast sandwiches!

Ohio to Erie Trail Ride - September 9-15, 2017. This is the 4th annual ride sponsored by the Ohio to Erie Trail Fund. This popular supported ride may be sold out by the time of this mailing but check on the above links for additional information. If you are interested in a guided tour of the entire 320-mile trail, these are the pros to show you the way!
Thanks to many of you that have donated to extend the asphalt for the Ohio to Erie Trial further into London. So far, we have raised 39% of the needed construction funds. Please consider a donation so the trail can be paved this fall. Just click HERE for more information.

ENJOY NATIONAL BIKE MONTH!!

05-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

04-15-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

04-03-17
FMCPT email update

04-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

03-22-17
Madison Messenger article: Trail gap fundraiser launched

03-22-17
Adventure Cycling article: Building the Largest Official Cycling Route Network in the World

03-19-17
Progress Update on "Closing the Gap" Fundraiser

03-12-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

03-04-17
Hello Friends,

SAVE THE DATE: Opening Day for Trails & the Official Opening Ceremony for U.S. Bicycle Route 50 in Ohio will take place on Saturday April 8, 2017. Parking will be available at the senior center; however, you might want to park elsewhere in London and cycle over to the ceremony since after the speakers, we'll be riding together as a group around London on the signed street routes. We'll come back to the Prairie Grass Trailhead shelter house for refreshments after the ride.

THE LONDON TRAIL GAP IS NARROWING! Thanks to the Madison County Commissioners, the first section of the trail gap has been purchased. And thanks to Kelley Manns who generously donated about 20% of the property for the trail corridor. The Madison County Engineer has offered to do the engineering work and most of the construction. He estimated the construction cost will be $78,000 to extend the trail 1,600 feet to Walnut Street. A grant has been requested through Rails to Trails Conservancy for part of this cost; however, FMCPT needs your help to get this trail built! PLEASE CLICK HERE to see how you can help make this happen! FMCPT volunteers will start clearing brush from the corridor next week. WITH YOUR HELP, we plan to have this section paved by the end of this year!

Welcome Cyclists A NEW CAFÉ JUST OPENED IN LONDON called GIZZY'S CORNER. It's located just at the end of the off-road Roberts Pass on the east side of London at Maple and Center Streets. It's open for breakfast between 6 a.m.-11 a.m. and lunch between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. All of our local restaurants depend on your patronage to keep their businesses open. Look for the Welcome Cyclists logo in their window.

The season's first Full Moon Ride is scheduled for Saturday March 11th at 7:30 p.m. (weather dependent). Due to the mild winter, we decided to start the ride a month early this year. Let's hope for the best and plan for a fun evening!

Our local master gardeners are sponsoring a GARDEN EXPO on Saturday April 1st from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Della Selsor Building at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London. FMCPT will be on hand with an informational table with material on wildflowers and prairie grasses along the Prairie Grass Trail - which you can see during the Prairie Appreciation Ride on July 29th.

03-01-17
Ohio Department of Transportation press release: Opening Day for Trails / USBR50 Ribbon Cutting

03-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

02-23-17
Madison Messenger article: Trail benefits from Eagle Scouts' elbow grease

02-22-17
Madison Press article: Commissioners purchase land for water tower

02-06-17
Hello Friends,

FMCPT was honored at their recent Annual Membership Meeting with an Exemplary Achievement letter from the Ohio Senate. County Commissioners David Dhume and David Hunter representing Ohio Senator Bob Hackett, presented the award to Board President Mike Michael. Senator Hackett has strongly supported the Ohio to Erie Trail across Madison County every since he was a County Commissioner there many years ago.

Join us this Saturday, Feb. 11th for the 12th Annual Pancake & Sausage Breakfast at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. The breakfast is co-sponsored with our good community friends the Madison County Senior Citizens Center as a combined fundraiser to help with our various activities. In addition to the breakfast, FMCPT will sponsor a silent auction, 50-50 drawing, and an informational booth. Bring your family and start the day off right with good food and good conversation. And, if you have some new or gentle used items for the Silent Auction, please bring them Saturday morning, or contact us at fmcpt@columbus.rr.com or 614-205-6754 for pick up arrangements.

At a recent County Commissioners' meeting, it was announced that the County Commissioners will be applying for an ODNR grant to help purchase a piece of private property which will extend the Ohio to Erie Trail one block further towards the historic downtown in London (see the newspaper articles below). The owner of the property is generously donating about 20% of the land. More information about the project will be available at the Pancake Breakfast on Saturday. FMCPT will soon start a marketing campaign to help raise the needed funds for construction of the trail. You will be hearing more about this in the weeks to come.

The first Full Moon Ride for the season is coming soon on March 11. We hope the weather cooperates for this early fun adventure.

02-02-17
Madison Messenger article: Working to close the downtown gap in bike trail

01-31-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

01-30-17
Madison Press article: County applies for grant to expand London bike trail

01-25-17
Madison Press article: FMCPT receives letter of appreciation

01-16-17
Monthly newsletter released by the Friends of the Little Miami State Park

01-06-17
Hello Friends,

We hope you enjoyed the recent holiday season. Fourteen members of FMCPT kicked off the New Year right by taking a ride on January 1st along the Ohio to Erie Trail. It was such a beautiful day with many walkers and cyclists enjoying the weather on the trail.

Many of you received your annual letter to renew your FMCPT Membership. If you have done so already, thank you very much. Your donation helps FMCPT volunteers to keep the trail maintained. If you have not renewed your membership, please do so at the above link.

The 2017 Annual Membership Meeting will be Wednesday, January 18th at 7 p.m. at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center at 280 W. High Street in London. The guest speaker will be Tony Collins, Director of the Columbus recreation and Parks Department. The Madison County Commissioners will present Trail Sentinels with certificates of appreciation for their many volunteer hours of monitoring the trail for safe usage. Light refreshments will be available, so treat yourself to an interesting evening and come over to the annual meeting. (Please enter through the east side doors by the large parking lot – they open right into the meeting room.)

The 12th Annual Pancake & Sausage Breakfast will be on Saturday, February 11th from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center. In addition to all-you-can-eat pancakes, this fundraiser will have a Silent Auction and a bicycle raffle. Stop in for a fun morning that will surely warm you up! (Please contact Gene Pass or email fmcpt@columbus.rr.com to arrange pick up or drop off for silent auction items as soon as possible.)

01-01-17
FMCPT members start off 2017 with the traditional New Year's Ride.

01-01-17
Monthly newsletter released by Rails to Trails of Wayne County

12-16-16
Ohio to Erie Trail newsletter: Ripper Gets to the Root of the Problem

11-22-16
Madison Messenger article: Pursuing grant to seal other half of bike path

10-18-16
Madison Press article: Friends to host clean-up day for trail

Jump to top of page