Discover Troy’s Treasure Island Park

Photo: The Troy Treasure Island Boathouse, built by E.A. Hobart in 1949

By Lisa Bennett

What do the Rocky, Assereniet, and La Rushes Rivers all have in common? They are all the same river, also known as the Great Miami River. At 160 miles long, the Great Miami is an impressive waterfront that is quickly becoming a reputable tourist attraction. Prior to European settlement, the Great Miami was home to the Miami, a proud, Algonquian-speaking people. The Miami were systematically murdered and eventually forced to flee the area. Over time, the riverbanks were developed and eventually became the site of a wealth of industrial firms as both a means of disposal for industrial waste as well as a water source for the industries.  Fortunately, the river has undergone a number of changes over the past 100 years, thanks in part to an understanding of the importance of environmental conservation and proper waste management. Today, the Great Miami River is not only cleaned up and safe for wildlife, it is also host to a plethora of recreational activities including fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, rafting, and wildlife observation.

A real gem along the riverbanks is Troy Treasure Island Park. The park first opened in 1909 as the Hobart Recreational Park, and though the name has changed, the park itself has been a mainstay for public enjoyment ever since. Over the years, it has undergone numerous changes including the addition of a boathouse, built by E.A. Hobart in 1949. The boathouse was originally built for family, friends, and employees of the Hobart family, but was donated to the city of Troy in 1970 after interest in water sports began to wane. The park itself, which was once a humble riverbed, has become a thriving recreational hub with the boathouse, restaurant, amphitheater, and a host of other amenities, all accessible to the public.

The Troy Treasure Island Park unveiled its $1.686 million, three-phase renovation last June. Another  $959,274 was set aside to renovate the boathouse, which is now home to Smith’s Boathouse Restaurant, owned by brothers Ron and Larry Smith as well as Adventures on the Great Miami, a local business that offers canoe and kayak rentals along with other types of boating, like tubes and rafts.

“We wanted to revitalize the park and bring it back to life,” says Assistant Director of Recreation Carrie Slater.

With meandering paths, playgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms, new bike racks, boating access, kayak and canoe rentals, ample parking, and a number of trails that also access the park, the park seems to have been revived, with opportunities for the entire family. In fact, if all goes well, there is even the possibility of a butterfly preserve being created in a portion of the park.

Among those fun opportunities is a lineup of events lasting through fall:

July 29: The Great Miami River Scavenger Hunt

Aug. 5: Concert: TUSK—The Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Tribute

Aug. 8: Movies at the Amphitheater presented by the Troy-Miami County Public Library

Aug. 13: Troy Civic Band Concert

Aug. 26: Be the Match run/walk/bike

Aug. 27: Air Force Band of Flight

Sept. 4: Troy Civic Band Concert

Troy Treasure Island serves as an asset to the city of Troy and to the Miami Valley. With a growing number of struggling families in the region, the park offers a way for folks to get out and have some fun without breaking the bank—and in most cases, they don’t have to touch the bank at all.

“We want it to be a destination area,” Slater says. “We want people to make a trip here and see what we have to offer.”

In order to encourage that, the park is offering the concerts free of charge. Guests are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs and relax, plus enjoy the food vendors.

Whether you want to take a stroll through the park with Grandma, play frisbee with the kids, catch a concert, or go fishing with some friends, Troy Treasure Island is a great place for everyone to enjoy all season long.

Treasure Island Park is located at 409 N. Elm St. in Troy. For wheelchair-accessible parking, enter the parking lot at 439 N. Elm St. For the full event lineup or more information, please call 937.335.1725 or visit TroyOhio.gov/587/Treasure-Island-Park.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Lisa Bennett at LisaBennett@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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