Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment

Opticare Vision/Express Mobile Transport

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Devou - Not the First Urban Mountain Bike Trails in Cincinnati

I enjoy reading the weekly alternative media outlet in Cincinnati - Soapbox Media. It is a great weekly news source dedicated to providing positive coverage of development and business related news.

With that being said, I have to disagree with their headline from today's issue - "First urban mountain bike trails coming to Devou - March 28th". Has no one outside of Fort Thomas and devoted mountain bikers ever heard of Tower Park and the great world class trails that exist there? I am not sure what the definition of urban is but I believe Fort Thomas would qualify and is about the same distance from downtown as Devou.

Now this would seem like a petty argument to have but this article comes on the heels of another article from Soapbox last week regarding the Riverfront Commons development. For those of you not familiar with the vision of Riverfront Commons - it is a multi-use trail linking Northern Kentucky's river cities and offering connections to Cincinnati via the Purple People Bridge, to the proposed Licking River Greenway, and to the Boone County park system. This article focuses on Southbank's efforts to secure stimulus funding to complete the vision.

What I found astounding is that despite the fact that Fort Thomas is represented on the Southbank board (both with Mary Brown's representation as well as Roger Peterman's participation as head of the Riverfront Common's subcommittee) it is not represented in the plan. Fort Thomas is definitely a river city and outside of Devou has one of the crown jewel parks of any of the cities represented in the group. Yet somehow there is no plan to link Tower Park or Fort Thomas to the larger vision. Can anyone shed some light on how this is possible?


  1. Hi Darrin,
    FYI -- I wrote and produced the Riverfront Commons video to highlight the plan's key elements. That being said, please know that Fort Thomas is essential to our bold vision for Riverfront Commons. If you'd like to see the video for yourself, we are having the video will be uploaded to our website this ( Currently we have an older version of the video which I produced over 3 years ago but we are replacing this video with a newer version.

    Best wishes,

    Quinn McMurtry
    Marketing Communications Producer
    MAC Productions Inc.
    member of Southbank Partners Marketing/PR Committee

  2. Quinn, thanks for the update. I watched the video and it made 1 mention of Ft Thomas being in phase 2 - any details on how far down the riverbank the plans go and is it just paved trails or would there be other features and connectors to residential areas in Fort Thomas?

  3. Darrin,

    I concur with Quinn. I attended the presentation and, although a connection between Dayton and Fort Thomas was mentioned, details were a little too sketchy to merit a mention in the article.

    But rest assured, Fort Thomas is part of the plan.

    As for the trails, I am fairly unaware of the trails at Tower Park. I guess that Give Back High is as well, because they've been billing the Devou trails as the "first urban" trails since last year.

  4. Thanks for the mention of Soapbox, and for being a reader each week. I'll make sure the auhor of the story knows about Ft Thomas' trails. If anyone has story ideas that you think Soapbox should cover, feel free to send a quick email to

  5. Hi Darrin,

    I too concur with Kevin and Quinn on the Riverfront Commons project. I serve as a representative of one of the member cities (Bellevue) on the Southbank Riverfront Commons Committee. I can assure you that Southbank has every intention on connecting the Commons path to Ft. Thomas.

    The reason why details have been scarce so far is that the original area of study only consisted of Bellevue, Newport and Covington for the 1st phase. This study was done with US Army Corp of Engineers funding to assess and repair riverbank erosion along much of core riverfront (i.e Covington). Later phases of the pathway will study how best to connect the path that starts in the urban core to the parks and trails in Ft. Thomas.

    I assure you Ft. Thomas is well represented in the planning and discussion of the Riverfront Commons project and Southbank has the best interests of all the river cities in Northern Kentucky in creating the most vibrant riverfront in the region.


  6. Kevin, Quinn, & John - thanks for the comments. Judging by the progress and vision to date I have no doubt that there are good things to come. I do get concerned though when time and again, despite great representation there appears to be little vision for Fort Thomas, or even recognition (Tower Park). Even now no one has a clear idea about how to link the trail to Fort Thomas. I have many great thoughts and know others that do as well when the time comes.