My attempt to document 40 sunrises in Eastern Cincinnati. Spring 2011.

Sunrise 66: Alms Park & Lunken Trail (Foggy Trail, Armleder’s New Bike Trail Connector)

This morning’s sunrise was non-existent. The sky was blue to the west but a thick layer of fog sat a couple thousand feet above the earth to the east. The ambient light was dark and gloomy, which was peculiar because you could see the moon high above, sitting in the open dark blue sky.

Looking down at Lunken Airfield.

I stopped briefly at Alms Park to check out the situation down in the valley. There was a running group that had just finished up jogging around the Alms Park Loop. The dark foggy mornings up in Alms Park, combined with the high ceiling that the majestic Oak Trees provide, creates a kind of eerie atmosphere. I was hoping that I could use the delayed sunrise to give me enough time to get down to the Lunken Loop before the orange colors came out.

I hopped down Tusculum and rode through East End over to Lunken Airfield. The sky was no different, still gray and dark. I took the chance to ride around the 5 mile loop that surrounds the airfield. This picture taken from my favorite bench, enjoying my second cup of coffee for the day.

The trail was dark and misty. It is made up mostly of long stretches of trail that seemed to disappear into the fog. It was back on this trail, about 5 weeks ago, that I saw two young coyotes jogging in the late afternoon sun. Once they saw me they slipped down under the fence and strolled out onto the airfield. They didn’t seem aggressive in the least, but then again I’m not a young sheep.

An attempt to capture this beautiful young wild flower (Queen Anne’s Lace?). The lighting was dark and I couldn’t hold still long enough so this picture will have to do. (It isn’t particularly bad, but it isn’t as crisp as I’d like it to be)

At the back of the trail there is a small fork in the road. This gate prohibits access to what will soon become the connector that will allow runners and cyclists to access Armleder Park directly from the Lunken Loop! They’re making great progress and I hope they are able to wrap it up by the end of fall. You can tell that this was once something else – maybe an old bike trail from decades ago? Or maybe an access road? If you look at a satellite map you can tell that *something* used to run along this levee, under where Beechmont Avenue is now, and over to the Little Miami River access point in Armleder Park. I dont’ think there were any canal systems on this levee, but there are strange old “gates” that jut out to the right of where I’m standing in the picture. Old wooden and metal structures that you can see in the early spring and late fall when the leaves are gone from the trees. I was told that they, at one time, helped keep the river under control back before they routed the Little Miami River to its current location. I think it used to flow onto Lunken Airfield. A mystery I’m saving for another day.

Coming down off of the levee and into the prairie, I can see directly into Lunken Airfield’s Landing Strip. Off in the distance we can see some airport landing structure coming up through the fog.

Off in the distance (looking east now, towards sunrise), we see a small orange highlight. The sun is there, behind all that fog. I’m actually looking out at Reeve’s Golf Course, although you can’t see it behind the patch of prairie bushes in the foreground.

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7 responses

  1. Pingback: Sunrise 66: Ault Park (Beechmont Dragway?) « Ault Park Sunrise

  2. Tony

    There used to be a Old RR grade that went infront of Lunken Field it follows the Bike trail and crosses over the river … There is one stone trestle piling still left on the west side of the River.

    August 7, 2011 at 2:55 am

  3. Thanks Tony! I’ve heard about that track and in fact you can see, over in East End, where the track splits up. It used to go on to where you’re talking about but now it is just a stub.

    I haven’t gone back into the forest to check it out. I’m not sure if you’ll see this – but does it go over the Little Miami or the Ohio River? I know of some abandoned stone pilings up the Ohio River that you can see from the Alms Park lookout, but I never knew what they were from.

    I’m definitely going to check it out one of these days. Thanks for stopping by and re-piquing my interest! 🙂

    August 8, 2011 at 8:39 am

    • A note. I tried to find this stone piling. So far no luck… may have looked in the wrong spot.

      January 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm

  4. Pingback: Sunrise 132: Lunken Airfield Bike Trail (Christmas Eve Clear Skies, Unknown Lock Structures) « Ault Park Sunrise

  5. Dave

    from this 1932 aerial you can plainly see where the railroad crossed the LM. Looks like even at this point it was abandoned. I’ve never found much info about this, but from the pic it almost looks like part of a spur system going into Turkey Bottoms (Lunken.) This pic is pre-lunken of course, so the river takes a bit of a different course south of the crossing. If you follow downriver a bit you can see the old CG&P crossing just north of the old Kellogg Ave. bridge. In the 1970 pic you can see construction of the new bridge over the LM for Kellogg. OK, getting on a tangent…. easy to do.

    http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials.php?scale=4&lon=-84.41097365201062&lat=39.101733492959184&year=1932

    April 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    • Thanks Dave. There are a lot of old ruins of railroad in that area. I have tried tracing the old rail lines past where the bike trail is now, around Lunken, and even after hearing rumors about there being old rail structures down by the river I just haven’t been able to locate them (but I’ve only looked once). Excellent resource, by the way. I’m really digging historicaerials.com. There are all kinds of neat pockets of history on the Internet if you know where to look. Take care! -Blaine

      April 9, 2012 at 10:45 am

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