On the Underground Railroad in Xenia, Ohio

December 27, 2012

The love of cycling runs deep in Ohio if our staff make-up is any evidence. It seems we never have less than 3 people -- either working here or serving on our board -- with a strong connection to the state. According to the website MiamiValleyTrails.org, one of the more famous Ohio residents, Horace M. Huffman, Jr. and his company, the Huffy Corporation, influenced the popularity of cycling there. The impact was strong in Dayton and the surrounding Greene County/Miami Valley region. This continues to hold true today with 330 miles of bicycle trails in the area alone.

Once the answer to a New York Times crossword puzzle clue — Ohio town called the Bicycle Capital of the Midwest — Xenia, Ohio, had long since made its mark on the world of hiking and bicycling trails when we included it on our Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR) in 2007. We wrote about their achievements in the UGRR Section 4 map Field Notes:

At Xenia, named a 'Trail Town USA' by the American Hiking Society, you'll come to the Xenia Station Bike Hub, a replicated train depot occupying the site of the town's original depot. The station sits at the junction of the Little Miami Scenic Trail, which goes both north and south, and three other bikeways, including the Xenia-Jamestown Connector and the Creekside Trail heading west toward Dayton.

In talking with long time Adventure Cycling member (since 1976) and Dayton resident, Phil Hinrichs, I learned, "Well before your Underground Railroad route, we had people coming here from all over to bicycle. I regularly take advantage of the trails myself and a friend of mine has logged 16,000 miles on the trail network in the last year."

The town of 25,000 is a suburb of Dayton with two bike shops, a community library, multiple restaurants and camping at the fairgrounds. It would make a great stop for a layover day or two to soak up the UGRR history and pedal some miles in the surrounding countryside.

Photo by Phil Hinrichs. Welcome to Xenia mural is located one block north of Xenia Station.

GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the  Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the  online Map Correction Form.


Anonymous December 28, 2012, 3:33 AM

Last summer, I met two Presbyterian ministers, both in the 70s, who were doing the whole route, from Mobile to Owen Sound!

John Zambenini December 27, 2012, 6:15 PM

My family, and the communities of Xenia, Beavercreek and Yellow Springs taught me to ride. It's not a trip home to Greene County without a bicycle.

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