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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Can Fort Thomas Tree Trails Do for You?

Two UC researchers recently published a paper on how living near nature trails can have a significant positive impact on home values.  According to the research study homebuyers are willing to pay a $9,000 premium to be 1,000 feet closer to the Little Miami trail. (In other words, home prices went up $9 for every foot closer to the trail’s entrance.)  The story continues with a couple of interesting quotes about the value of nature trails:

“For the ‘New Urbanist’, multipurpose trails provide the potential for bicycle commuting; help alleviate noise, pollution and congestion, and expand the means for green transportation and a community’s walkability,” the report says.  It’s an interesting proposition. Americans increasingly don’t have the money to take big vacations, so living near a park or nature trail gives them a cheap and highly enjoyable means of relaxation.

This brings up an interesting question about Fort Thomas' tree trails that are currently confined to Tower Park.  I have always contended that these are some of the most under-utilized assets the city has.  It took me living in Fort Thomas for five years until I discovered how amazing they are.  With little or almost non-existent signage and no promotion of these trails they have become a truly hidden gem.

What if you could extend these trails beyond Tower Park and connect with many of the side streets that splinter off from Fort Thomas Ave and wind their way north into Dayton.  The hillsides of Fort Thomas are completely under-utilized unless you own a massive home overlooking the river.  I don't know who owns this land but if it is city owned how cool would it be to walk to the end of your street and hook up with a nature trail that extends miles along the hillside overlooking the Ohio River.

Planning for such an amazing additional amenity now could support linking up with the proposed River cities trail, known as Riverfront Commons, being promoted by the Southbank Partners.  While this development has encountered some road blocks recently it hasn't stopped county and city leaders across Northern Kentucky from pushing forward.

The key question in my mind is where does it link up with Fort Thomas when the city is so disconnected from the riverfront by the hillside.  A path along the hillside would provide a great connection point for the city as well as supporting housing prices in the city.  Lets hope we have some forward thinking or visionary city leaders who can find the funding and access to make something like that happen.


  1. We too just discovered these trails. They are quite a treasure! We moved here from the country, and it is nice to know we can still take a hike and our kids learn about nature (and be back home within 10 minutes of the walk!)

  2. Love the tree trail and love that idea! Isn't there a nature conservancy group in Ft T? Maybe they could run with it...