Provisions and restrooms are available at Morgan's Canoe Livery near Fort Ancient, and at Morgan's Riverside Campground, in season.
This trail is in rough shape and not well maintained in some places. Watch for mud, flooded sections, mole hills, fallen trees, thorns, and obscured trail.
This is the 3-mile Boy-Scout-rehabbed portion of a trail that once ran 14 miles between Fort Ancient and Lebanon, OH. It now runs between the Fort Ancient river access off Rt. 350 (next to Morgan's Canoe Livery) and Morgan's Riverside Campground. This trail is blazed in white. Keep an eye out for the blazes, because this is not a well-traveled trail and becomes obscured.
From the river access parking lot, turn south onto Rt. 350 and cross the bridge over the Little Miami River. Stay as close to the railing as you can, since the curve of the bridge makes it difficult for drivers to see you. At the bottom of the bridge, hang a left through the gate and follow along the perimeter of either side of the open field. This section is an easy run, although sometimes it becomes flooded. As you are cruising along, look for the reconstructed stone serpent Kern Effigies (one on each side of the field.)
At the far end of the field, you'll enter the woods and follow along the riverbank. Portions of this trail are littered with debris from river flooding, so watch your step. Soon after crossing a rocky creek bed, you'll make a steep climb up a hill with railroad-tie steps. You'll not climb to the top of the hill, so watch for the turnoff to your left.
After the climb, you'll be on a fairly flat stretch of trail which is often wet and muddy, made worse by mole activity. Several large trees have fallen across the trail, so you'll need to either climb over or around them. You'll continue along this section for about a half mile when the trail begins to widen, rise, and curve to the right. At this point, watch closely for the white blaze to your left. You'll make a quick left and head down the slope to the valley floor. At the bottom, follow the blazes to a rocky roadbed. Climb the roadbed to the top of the hill and go left at the blaze.
Keep a close eye on the blazes through this section, since the trail becomes obscured. You'll drop in and out of several gullies before finally making your way back downhill over another old roadbed. Once you reach the bottom, you'll cross a creek and find yourself in the Morgan’s campground. I usually make this an out-and-back, turning around at this creek. The other option is to continue through the campground, turn left onto Gilmour Rd., left again onto Strout Rd. and across the bridge to the Little Miami Scenic Trail: Corwin to Morrow
and follow the scenic trail 2.25 miles north back to the river access.
Deer, blue herons.