By Melanie Yingst
MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County children racked up dozens of miles on the Miami County bike path this week as part of Eco-splorers’ annual Bike Trail Discovery week which concluded Friday.
Children of all ages hopped on their bikes to see nature from two wheels along the bike path from Eldean Bridge all the way down to Five Rivers Metro Parks Englewood dam on Friday.
Bike riders were also schools on bike path etiquette and basic safety prior to their trails blazing tours.
Spencer Yates, 10, a student at Bethel Elementary, said it was her first year to participate in the Eco-splorers bike trail camp.
“My favorite thing was when we stopped and looked around in all the natural areas,” Yates said. Yates said she enjoyed the trails in and around Troy near the Miami Shores Golf Course the most.
“I liked how we got to go to two different parks in one day,” she said.
Sierra Gudim, 11, a student at Van Cleve Sixth Grade in Troy, said she enjoyed meeting new friends at the camp.
“It was really fun,” she said. “I met new friends from different schools and we got to bike all over the place.”
Gudim said despite being a Troy resident, she never knew that the bike trails connected along the Great Miami River along the levee.
“I didn’t know it went right through my own town,” she said. “That was pretty cool.”
Miami County Parks District naturalists led the bikers through the woods, stopping to name plants, flowers and spot animals like a baby fawn and turtles in and around the bike trail.
Brandon Allen, 11, a student at Van Cleve Sixth Grade, said he is a veteran of the bike trail camps and enjoys coming back to different parts of the trails each year.
“I learned about different kinds of plans I didn’t know about,” Allen said. “My favorite part of the trail was going to Duke and Community Parks on Wednesday.”
Jordan Adkins, 11, of Tipp City, said he enjoyed checking out the wildlife in and around pond areas around the bike path.
Adkins said he learned a lot about bike path etiquette during bike week.
“I learned all the hand signals,” Adkins said. “They are important so you don’t get hurt.”
“Juniper” Jenna Sherman was the group’s naturalist for the week. The recent high school graduate said she enjoyed showing the children the parks’ on two wheels.
“I just like how we get to bike and look at nature along the way,” Sherman said. “We stopped whenever they wanted to investigate something that caught their eye. Yesterday, they spotted six turtles so we talked about that eco-system.”
Sherman said she enjoyed sharing the trails with the Eco-splorers and promoting nature and exercise in a fun way.
“During Bike Week, it’s all about getting them out, moving, getting exercise and enjoying nature in a new, unique way that’s fun for their age,” Sherman said.
Next week, Eco-splorers “Celebrate Summer Around the World Week” at Lost Creek Reserve.
For more information about Miami County Parks, visit www.miamicounyparks.com.
Melanie Yingst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, (937) 552-2204 or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews