Roads Rivers and Trails

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Tag Archives: Membership


Cincinnati Nature Center

What can we say about this place except that we are extremely lucky to have the Cincinnati Nature Center in our city! Over and over again the CNC leads not just our region, but the entire country, in standards for trails, kids programs, play areas, and events.

This has been our stomping ground for trail hikes, nature photography, and conditioning before taking our trips for years now. We LOVE the Cincinnati Nature Center! When inspired by such a place, we feel the calling to give back. Beyond our personal memberships, we have been corporate members of the CNC since 2011 and part of their membership perks program since it began in 2014. This program offers a 10% discount at participating sponsors including RRT when you buy a yearly membership. We are proud sponsors of Hoots and Hops since its inception in 2013, Back to Nature Fundraising donors and attendees since 2012, and Trail Building Volunteer organizers since 2013.

While being members and corporate members we assure that we are doing our part to help the nature center thrive, while ensuring that we have access to pristine trails and invites to super creative and fun events. Back to Nature is one of these events. This is the premier fundraising event for the CNC, which is why we both attend and often donate to the silent auction, offering anything from kayak expeditions to hiking gear packages. In the end, our pockets are not endless. In fact, they more often seem to be filled with holes. That is why some of our best contributions are with our time and resources.

Lending our time to make other CNC events special like the Hoots and Hops events is what makes RRT unique. This is an amazing event with local food and craft brews. What goes better with that combo than a lounge area amongst the trees? RRT brings hammocks and hanging lounge chairs to let guests just “hang out” in between activities. Claiming that hanging out with nature lovers and drinking beer with them is stewardship is kind of cutting it close though. We’ve started to organize Backpacking workshops along with group hikes in the nature center to raise awareness, membership, and education for the outdoors. The goal is to help make this great organization the best that it can be!

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RRT is most proud of their leadership in hosting trail building and maintenance volunteer events multiple times a year. We’ve helped cut honeysuckle, correct drainage patterns, fix trail erosion, and strengthen worn trails all while learning proper techniques from a naturalist. The work seems more like play, the people that come out are amazing, and everyone is filled with the satisfaction of volunteering for a cause. If you can make one of our trail building days, I strongly encourage it!

For more information on the Cincinnati Nature Center please visit the link below:

Cincinnati Nature Center

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Appalachian Trail Conservancy

If you’ve met us you probably already know: we are all AT obsessed! The AT is part of the origin story at RRT, but is also what continues to make us who we are. We have been fortunate to continually have a staff that shares our passion for the trail and have completed portions or the trail in entirely. This is the quintessential match made in heaven. RRT owners have supported the ATC with personal memberships since 2007. RRT has been a supporting partner as a retailer since opening in 2010, contributing through the sales of ATC merchandise.

Indirect to the ATC, our biggest contribution has been our assistance, education, and passion that we have passed on for others to both enjoy and appreciate the trail. Spreading the word and growing the trail community to both use the trail and give back to it has been a surrounding message. Every year, RRT is able to help people chase their dreams on the AT. Through presentations and events, we help grow the imagination and confidence of the next generation of AT hikers.

In 2015, RRT wanted to bring as many of those people together, so they hosted their first ATC fundraiser. With giveaways, games, a photo booth, and local favorite 50 West Brewery, RRT raised an additional $500 to contribute to the ATC. We hope to continue to grow the AT community, and although we are in Milford, Ohio, we will continue our work as AT trail angels from afar.

For more information on the ATC please visit the link below:

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

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Little Miami Conservancy

The Little Miami Conservancy is a not-for-profit dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Little Miami River. The conservancy helps settle easements, owns and protects riverfront nature preserves, and provides a balanced approach to economic development and land management.

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Our partnership with the Little Miami Conservancy started in the RRT early years. Since 2011, we have made an effort to use whatever resources we can to support and promote the LMC. We have worked together to share booth space at sport shows, we have donated to fundraising efforts, we have had presentations and exhibits in store to promote a clean and healthy river, and in 2014 we worked with the LMC and Loveland Canoe and Kayak to create and print river maps for the Little Miami River. In 2017 we worked with the conservancy to start a co-sponsored fundraising ad campaign on WVXU radio, increasing the donor base LMC has.

In 2012 and 2013 we worked in joining forces and adding to the conservancy clean river sweep efforts. By 2014, we were ready to host and organize our own efforts. Together with 50 West Canoe and Kayak, we have organized 3-4 events per year to remove trash and debris from the river, spearheaded and led by RRT owner Bryan. Although the river is very clean and healthy, because of its often flooding tributaries, this will always be a continuing effort and one that RRT is committed to. In the fall of 2016 we hosted the first in store fundraiser events for the Conservancy, raising an additional $500 toward their efforts, the event grew to raise over $2,000 in November of 2017. In both 2017 and again in 2018 we were happy to announce that we secured a grant for the LMC in the amount of $1,500 from Patagonia.

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Because of our partnership and efforts we have now been the guests of honor and given an “Award of Appreciation” at their yearly dinner in both 2015 and 2016. To further out initiatives; RRT Owner Emily was voted on to the executive board of the Conservancy in the Spring of 2017. One of her earliest projects has been the adoption of a members perks program providing discounts for your LMC membership to outdoor stores like RRT along with canoe and kayaks rental businesses along the Little Miami. If you live near or recreationally enjoy this river, we urge you to contribute to the cause anyway that you can, be it donation of time or money. Contact RRT for the next clean up date or visit the link below to find more information about the conservancy or to make a donation.

Little Miami Conservancy

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Pictures from past events

Outdoor Adventure Clubs

The Green Umbrella, The Ohio River Way, and Paddlefest

In 2011, RRT became corporate sponsors and donors for the Ohio River Way. At the time, the Ohio River Way was also the organizing group behind the Ohio River Paddlefest. Paddlefest is the premier paddling event in the Midwest and sees over 2,000 people paddle their way down the Ohio River. RRT remains a partner and financial sponsor for Paddlefest still today. The Ohio River Way was also the leadership behind the Tri-State Guide to the Outdoors, a yearly free publication that highlights the areas outdoor recreation.

Later, the Ohio River Way would be operated as part of the Green Umbrella, a not-for-profit that aims at making Cincinnati one of the 10 most sustainable metro areas by 2020. RRT continued their financial support for the Green Umbrella and their sponsorship of Paddlefest. In 2014 and 2015, RRT donated their efforts to help make the Guide to the Outdoors publication possible. RRT owner Emily became one of the largest content contributors and organizers for the magazine and would see it reach new heights. The Green Umbrella would also host the Great Outdoor Weekend across the tri-state providing over a 100 free opportunities to get outside and experience something new, look for this years details here. Since 2012, RRT has sponsored the event and often hosted a free event for participants.

Meanwhile another organization was getting started: the Outdoor Adventure Clubs were formed in 2013 with RRT being one of their very first cooperating partners. The OAC is directed at getting more underserved students into nature by providing free school-based outdoor recreation, education, and conservation opportunities for urban teens. RRT immediately started working with the group, showing up to schools to promote the new club and travelling to different schools to present to club members and get them excited and prepared for outdoor events. RRT has also helped to lead local hiking trips for the inner city youth in the club. Starting in 2017 we’ve began co-sponsoring WVXU radio spots with OAC to raise awareness and fundraising efforts.

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Working with Columbia we were able to secure a grant for the OAC in early 2017 totaling $5,000 of equipment and financing. In April of 2017 we hosted our first annual Fashion Show Fundraising event with Fifty West Brewery to benefit the OAC and raised almost $1,500 and our efforts were doubled in 2018 to raise $3,000!  Today, we continue to be financial sponsors, but also help with gear donations for the club’s events. If you have old outdoor equipment or clothing, please consider donating it to the club through RRT. Any donation is rewarded with a 10% discount on any same day purchases. Look for RRT to join with the OAC through out the year for some significant raffle donations as well; Support the OAC and test your luck with a different outdoor package every month including RRT packages worth hundreds of dollars!

The OAC also adopted Paddlefest for 2016 and looks to expand their outreach and programs. The OAC continues to improve the lives and outlook for hundreds of area youth. Please consider supporting their efforts anyway you can. For more information visit them at the link below.

Outdoor Adventure Clubs

Read “The Ohio River Way Paddlefest” Blog

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Historic Milford Association

There was no other place for RRT to start their story; Milford was to be our home without question. Owners Joe and Emily are Milford residents, Joe being born and raised here. Nature Outfitters, which was our predecessor, had a home here for about 20 years before us. The downtown area is special, hosting unique shops, unique restaurants, and a very unique position as a trail junction. We wanted to have a positive impact on the city and its economic development and also on its image and reputation across the tristate.

The Historic Milford Association is a not-for-profit that helps the small businesses in Historic Milford unite and to showcase themselves. The association fights to protect business owners’ interest with local government and allows for a stronger singular voice as a collective. HMA focuses on marketing the downtown, including several festivals and events every year like Hometown Holidays and the Longstone Street Festival.

Both Emily and Bryan have held several board positions since becoming members in 2010. Emily has taken on a larger role and expanded responsibilities, acting as the Longstone chair for both 2013 and 2014. Today, Emily helps push social media and website content while also being the treasurer for the organization. All of these responsibilities are of course done as an unpaid volunteer to benefit the city in which we operate. In 2016 RRT was officially recognized by the Milford Miami Chamber of Commerce with an award for outstanding achievement with-in the community in “Environment and Education”.

Together with HMA we hope to continue to build the historic area of Milford to be an ever growing and beautiful place to eat, shop, and play. For more information on the Historic Milford Association, please visit the HMA website below. For more information on the “Trail Junction” and Milford as a trail town please read the RRT blog by clicking the link below.

Historic Milford Association

Read “The Best Trail Town” Blog

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Valley View Foundation

Valley View is a hidden gem that should not be overlooked. “We had been in Milford for over a year and yet I had yet to venture back to the preserve. It was a group trail run that led me back into Valley View, and since then that path has been one of my most travelled.” Says RRT Owner Bryan. The best part was that the Foundation’s beautiful trails that cut though field and forest are less than a mile from the doors of RRT.

The property hosts wildlife, a community garden, a trail system, a hops field, river access, and a walk through history. Although their footprint is relatively smaller at about 150 acres, it is easy to find yourself exploring a new trail or stumbling upon an old barn or beautiful farmhouse on the property. Their message is simple: conserve land, preserve history, and share with the community.

This message resonates loudly with the crew at RRT. We understand the importance of accessibility to the outdoors for all. That is why we strive to be strong partners with the Valley View Foundation. We want to encourage all of our neighbors to visit and support the organization and to take advantage of this gem in our backyards. In 2018, RRT owner was elected on the the board for the Valley View Foundation so that he can have a greater impact with the organization in both fundraising and outdoor recreation. Bryan’s first task was to help organize the resurgence of “Run for the Bottoms” a 5k and 10k race through the grounds. With over 80 participants year one we had a great success in raising nearly $3,000 for the foundation. Keep a look out for next years event!

RRT has worked to financially support the foundation since 2015 when they held their first semi-annual fundraiser at RRT to raise additional funds for Valley View. That year we were able to write a check for an additional $500 to the Foundation, and in 2017 we raised an additional $650. We also sponsor and promote their “Taste to the View” fundraising event with premier raffle items. We are also scheduling volunteer events with the Foundation and promoting those that they already have established, like their spring litter clean-ups. Be sure to check on the RRT events tab for volunteer opportunities.

For more information on the Valley View Foundation please visit:

Valley View Foundation

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