A little over a century after the first train pulled away from Xenia Station, miles of tracks were unceremoniously ripped out in the late 1970s from the former Little Miami Railroad in Xenia, Ohio. Xenia certainly wasn’t alone in their desertion of the rail system. By 1984, an estimated 4,000 to 8,000 miles were lost each year, signifying the end of a transportation era. A big question then followed:
What do we do with it now?
Bike advocacy groups around the country had an answer: repurposing the abandoned railroads into bike trails. And in 1986, the “rails to trails” movement came to Xenia in the form of a fully-funded grant from the Federal Highway Administration, thanks to the initiative of motivated cyclists and city planners. There would be a resurrection of the Little Miami Railroad — and it would live its new life as a bike trail.