Little Miami River–Elstun Road

Little Miami River
Elstun Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45230

Also, see Little Miami River Important Bird Area

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Hamilton County

Little Miami River–Elstun Rd.
Coordinates: 39.0972952, -84.4104495
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About the Little Miami Scenic River
From its headwaters in Clark County, the Little Miami flows southwesterly for more than 100 miles, traversing five counties before arriving at its confluence with the Ohio River. The Little Miami River was the first Ohio stream to also be designated as a National Scenic River.

Noted for breathtaking vistas and scenery, the Little Miami River supports rich and abundant aquatic life. More than 87 species of fish, 36 species of mussels (including five state endangered species), and numerous species of breeding birds reside within the river valley.

Public access to the river is readily available through facilities such as Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, John Bryan State Park, and county park district site along the river.

The Little Miami flows through several natural areas which highlight the wide diversity of Ohio’s ecology. For instance, at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, the high dolomite cliffs of the narrow gorge provide an exceptional display of plants most common in climates much farther north.

Boreal relicts such as Hemlocks and Junipers provide an interesting view into Ohio’s glacial past. Additionally, more than 340 species of wildflowers are found in the preserve. Their flowers can best be observed during the spring and summer.

The Little Miami is an excellent example of a scenic river. In its northern reaches above Clifton Gorge, the river is a small meandering stream. Near Clifton, the river changes character suddenly where it cuts through dolomite bedrock, creating sheer walls of breathtaking beauty.

Moving south, the river grows in size and the valley widens again until reaching Caesar Creek where bluffs as high as 300 feet line the river. Nearing Hamilton and Clermont counties, the flood plain widens to two or three miles in places.

The Little Miami Scenic River Valley is rich with relics of Ohio’s past. Countless Indian villages flourished along its banks. Fort Ancient, a world famous mound builders site, is located on high bluffs overlooking the river. Tecumseh, the renowned Shawnee Chief, was born in the valley, and Daniel Boone spent time along the river, both exploring and as a prisoner of the Shawnee.

The Little Miami watershed is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. This area is one of the fastest growing parts of Ohio and development is rapidly changing the landscape from agricultural to residential/urban.

As development continues to grow it will become increasingly important to ensure that riparian corridors along the Little Miami and its tributaries are protected, for it is the forested river banks that remain the lifeline and basic ingredient necessary to protect this valuable state water resource. The rich living resources of the valley are counting on us for their protection.

No restroom facilities.