Mariemont South 80 Trails

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Mariemont South 80 Trails
Coordinates: 39.1378331, -84.381963
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About Mariemont South 80 Trails
The South 80 is a community asset that increases the quality of life to residents and visitors of Mariemont. The acreage, located along the National and State Scenic Little Miami River, provides health benefits to park users and village residents by offering green space for solace seekers, nature lovers, gardeners, dog walkers, and recreational users. The landscape of the South 80 is of extreme importance. The Little Miami River was the first National and State Scenic River in the United States. It is recognized as a priority ecosystem by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

The South 80 landscape is a mosaic of cropland, riparian forest, and community gardens. The width of the riparian zone provides a buffer strip along the river, overflow channels, and tributaries. However, the riparian forest community is highly degraded from an ecological perspective. The canopy is dominated by mature native species such as cottonwood, sycamore, and sugar maple. The sub-canopy layer is dominated box elder, young maple, and green ash. The shrub layer is dominated by Amur “bush” honeysuckle. The herbaceous layer is dominated by non-native invasive species such as wintercreeper, lesser celandine, poison hemlock, and garlic mustard. Other native tree species include silver maple, hackberry, and pignut hickory. Little native tree, shrub, and herbaceous regeneration is occurring due to the presence of non-native invasive species. Despite the condition of the riparian zone, it still provides benefits as forested green space along the river. Opportunities to implement forest restoration and preservation do exist; including funding sources for planning and implementation. The cropland is managed well with good access.

The trails provide access to the riparian zone and to the river and traverse the agricultural fields. They are made of two trails surfaces – natural and crushed blacktop. The natural surfaces are dominated by sandy-loam soils, therefore, are soft and dry out well. Only a few spots are holding standing water. The side slopes along the riparian trail are well designed to promote water runoff. The crushed blacktop provides a multi-use surface that keeps users out of the mud.

The South 80 also provides habitat to a variety of wildlife including, but not limited to: mammals such as White-tail deer, coyote, red and grey fox, beaver, woodchuck, rabbit, meadow vole, red and grey squirrels, and mink; migratory birds such as Sandhill Cranes, Canada geese, and a host of warbler species; raptors such as red-tailed hawks, cooper hawks, red-shouldered hawks, and barred owls; non-venomous snakes, toads, frogs, and salamanders; butterflies … just to name a few.
From Mariemont South 80 Trails (Facebook) webpage