BIKING THE BORO Springboro, Ohio

Biking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: September 16, 2023

The 2023 Bike the Boro and BoroFest began and ended at North Park. Registration was free and we biked the longest of the three rides, 17 miles. The route took us throughout the city and through many housing subdivision streets and on a few city bike paths. My breathing improved from the previous Sunday, but my arms and legs were so weak today. There were so many hills and inclines through the subdivisions that wore me out. Poor Rosie had to slow down or wait for me many times.

Afterwards, we visited the many tents at the Expo and picked up lots of freebies from the Police & Fire Departments, Springboro Bike Committee, bike shops and Warren County SWAT. Rosie didn’t get a big enough workout, so I dropped her off at the GMVRT in Miamisburg and she was going to bike an additional 13 miles and end at our house. It was a well-planned and fun bike ride.


Biking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: Sunday, September 10, 2023

This fun bike tour began downtown at the Urbana Depot, a former Pennsylvania Train Station. We biked south on this rails-to-trails bike path that gave some shade but mainly had trees on one side and wildflowers on the other. The Simon Kenton Trail was an enjoyable flat path and we averaged 10 to 12 mph. I was taking an antibiotic and thought I might only be able to bike 3 or 4 miles, but my breathing settled down and I ended up biking 18 miles. We were both signed up to bike the 31-mile route, so I rested back at the depot and Rosie continued biking and finished at 30.5 miles. I enjoyed a hot veggie bowl with potatoes from a food truck while waiting for her. Nearby was a 1913 wooded box car used as a caboose during WWII.

Along the trail was a state historical marker signifying that President Abe Lincoln’s Funeral Train carrying his body back to Illinois stopped at that location in Urbana back in 1865. We met a family that had a bicycle built not for two but for five! Dad, mom and the three children all pedaled.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: Sunday, September 10, 2023

We hiked a 1.1-mile boardwalk trail (which must have cost a fortune to build) through this nature preserve that has several wetlands, a cedar forest and savanna. A mucky, dense bog and a fen appeared along the trail area while the west branch and east branch of Cedar Run flowed by. Along the trail were wildflowers, rare orchids, carnivorous plants, dangerous poison sumac trees, and signs warning us to beware eastern massasauga rattlesnakes. Most of the time I felt like I was in a boggy but pretty cedar swamp. The Cedar Bog Nature Preserve is 446 acres and owned by the Ohio Historical Connection and is designated a National Natural Landmark.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Elizabeth Kelly

Date: June 12, 2023

In the 1820’s during a hike from Urbana to Cincinnati, John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman planted a grove of apples trees just west of Dorf Drive in German Village.

On September 23, 2010, honoring the 236th birthday of John Chapman, the City of Moraine rededicated a plaque and planted four second generation apple trees, descendants of the original apple trees planted by Johnny Appleseed. I planned and organized the event and hired Hank Fincken, living history performer who portrayed Johhny Appleseed and spoke at an assembly at the nearby elementary school and at the tree dedication ceremony. He joined school kids and Moraine officials planting the trees. Photos of the event are under the “Moraine Historical Markers and Moraine History” section of my website.

Down in a small gorge, the main .6-mile yellow trail winds through the thick trees and ascends north from the dedication site to Pinnacle Park.  A blue spur trail ascends to the Pinnacle Park Tot Lot and a red spur trail leads northeast. Most of the yellow trail meanders parallel to a creek where I found rocks with many fossils and small newts. I often see deer, squirrels and there have been rare coyote sightings. I held trail cleanups annually through the Moraine Volunteer Program and added trailhead signs and footbridges across three creek crossings.

My family have hiked this trail at least thirty times over the past 25 years but on June 12th our two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter hiked the trail for the first time. She was so excited to discover and announce whenever she saw the yellow or blue trail markings on the trees. I found a large deer skull just off the blue trail that day. Recently, three deer came walking out of the north trailhead area.


Running Team: Rosie Miller, Dave Miller, Jacque Miller, Matt Miller, Holly Miller, Shane Miller

Date: 1978-2020

The four-mile section of the GMRT that runs through Moraine has been well used by the Miller family for biking and running for four decades. The bike path runs parallel to the Great Miami River and one section had a “tunnel of trees” which made temperatures cooler on hot summer days. The Moraine section was a short drive from our house and was always the starting point for recreational jogs while pushing two kids in the double stroller, one child in the single stroller while Jacque would bike. Jacque would count groundhogs and we saw deer, beaver, snakes, and other critters along the bike path. As a tradition after running, we would stop at the large pond along East River Road and feed the ducks and geese.

The Moraine section was also the launching pad for serious training runs. I would run a 2-mile section back and forth several times when training for a half marathon. Rosie and I would also begin here or just south of here and bike north or south on 14-to-25-mile bicycle treks. My running days seem to be over due to cancer, but we still enjoy the scenery biking along this section of the bike trail as well of the memories when the kids were with us.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Nick Kelly, Jacque Kelly, Elizabeth Kelly

Date: August 22, 2023

Driving the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, we entered a scenic covered bridge. Stopping at the backside of the Dune Climb, we hiked a short trail that showed the summit of the large dune and the 1.5 additional miles of dunes and hills needed for hikers to reach the lake. Later at the Lake Michigan Overlook, a park worker sat under an umbrella with the sign saying $3,000 to rescue you if you descend the mammoth sand dune and need help or rescue coming back up.  I wanted to descend to Lake Michigan and then climb back up this 450-foot dune, but we had granddaughter Elizabeth with us. The climb would take at least two hours. I did see at least five Amish people, both male and female, in full pants and long sleeve shirts, or dresses completing the last leg of their ascent on this hot day. Very impressive.

After hiking and touring the Boat Rescue Museum, we had a great dinner at Cherry Republic where I inhaled delicious chowder soup, fish tacos, a cherry beer and fresh chocolate covered cherries. We stopped by a fishing village that had a unique weathervane shaped like a northern pike. That night another outstanding sunset which Nick & Jacque enjoyed in a paddleboat.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Nick Kelly, Jacque Kelly, Elizabeth Kelly

Date: August 21, 2023

Within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, we ascended this 1.7-mile wooded, hilly trail that occasionally had mushrooms just off the trail in the beech and maple tree forest. Nick carried Elizabeth at times and sometimes she walked. Near the summit it opened into a bright, sunny sky with periodic boardwalks along the bluff to an incredible overlook. Lake Michigan was 400 feet below. Looking north, we could see Pyramid Point, the sandy lakeshore, and South Bar Lake in the distance. Lots of beachgrass mixed with the sand along the bluff to thwart erosion.

After hiking we drove to Suttons Bay Ciders and bought a tasting flight of eight different ciders. All had different tastes especially the Spanish style cider Sidra-Lapeno that had quite the kick. That night another outstanding sunset over Lake Michigan. The water looked like it was ablaze.

KAYAKING LAKE MICHIGAN Lake Leelanau, Michigan

Kayak Team: Dave Miller, Jacque Kelly, Nick Kelly

Date: August 22, 2023

The surf was a little choppy, but we kayaked north about a mile down and back observing occasional beach houses among the trees. The Lake Michigan lakeshore had either sand or thousands of smooth rocks. Looking over the side of the kayak, the water was often very clear, and I could see rocks, seaweed, or occasional small fish about ten feet down. The water was somewhat cold, and I was not wearing my wetsuit, but it was an enjoyable kayak trip. After kayaking we enjoyed making smores over the firepit.


Hiking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Nick Kelly, Jacque Kelly, Elizabeth Kelly

Date: August 22, 2023

Within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, this 2.4-mile trail began in the open grassland with beautiful wildflowers on each side. The trail became wooded and shady and ascended over a hundred feet until opening upon a beautiful bluff overlook. A sign warned hikers not to risk injury and rescue fees going down or the two hours to climb back up the several hundred-foot sandy cliffs. Still a few hikers disobeyed and headed down to the cool Lake Michigan waters far below. From the bluff overlook we had the best view of North & South Manitou Islands plus the lighthouse and lighted buoy in the middle channel.

I walked by myself a quarter mile south from Pyramid Point along Empire Bluff. The sandy trail was tight with tall grass, ferns and other green growth touching me on both sides.  One slip and I would fall 50 to 70 feet down. Great views of the lake shore. 

Outstanding sunset that night at the Jolli Lodge where we were staying.


Biking Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller

Date: August 27, 2023

It was a beautiful day as we jumped onto the bike trail at Yellow Springs across from HaHa Pizza and bicycled north to Springfield. The first five or six miles the trail was shady thanks to the growth of trees on both sides and overhead. We passed corn fields and cow pastures while dodging many chipmunks that darted across the path. As we approached town, Rosie posed by a beautiful mural of the bike path heading into Springfield. Downtown we biked past Clark State University, old churches, historic buildings, and a large mural of the Gish Sisters who performed there back in the 1930’s. We turned around at 10 miles.  On the way back south, I stopped at Beatty Station Park and sat in a small replica railroad. Biking through Yellow Springs the streets were crowded with a few food trucks, vendors selling tie die t-shirts, and other local hippie clothing. Overall, we bicycled about 22 miles and had a fun day.