Part of the Twin Valley Conservation Corridor, Germantown MetroPark is your gateway to a wilderness adventure. Discover the largest areas of old-growth forest within Montgomery County, creating some of the best habitats for wildlife. From tall trees to water-carved ravines, colorful prairies and meadows to the scenic Twin Creek corridor, this park traverses some of the region’s most beautiful landscape. Only 20 minutes from Dayton, the park feels a world away.
Opening in late 2016, the Welcome Center will provide a gateway to the Twin Valley, an area of rich natural habitats comprising Twin Creek and Germantown MetroParks, as well as the Upper Twin Conservation Area. The Twin Valley encompasses more than 7,000 acres of protected land, much of it forested. The center will provide orientation to the area, as well as interpretive displays about the spectacular flora and fauna in the valley. Guests will find restrooms, bird viewing and a hiking center for hikers to meet up, get water, use facilities and take shelter from inclement weather. Hiking is extremely popular in the Twin Valley, home to nearly 50 miles of hiking trails, including the Twin Valley Trail.
The park has more than 15 miles of wooded trails, many with some of the most challenging terrain in the region and spectacular scenery. Loop trails are color-coded, with intersections marked by a number. A favorite of many hikers is the 7.5-mile orange trail, which begins at the Twin Valley Welcome Center.It offers rolling hills and travels along the Twin Creek, through mature and old-growth woodlands where you can spot orchids, wildflowers and wild turkeys.
Looking for a backcountry backpacking experience that traverses many different natural habitats with rich biodiversity and wildlife? Welcome to the Twin Valley Trail. Set in the rolling hills of the Twin Valley, it provides a backpacking experience reminiscent of backcountry wilderness trails with beautiful hills, babbling brooks, abundant wildlife, history and small-town charm. Total mileage for the trail is more than 22 miles, including three areas for overnight camping.
The Twin Creek is a 47-mile stream that drains 316 square miles of rolling farmland west of Dayton. It is beloved by the people who live along its banks and praised by biologists who have studied it. The Twin Creek bisects Germantown MetroPark at the Bob Siebenthaler Natural Area. This beautiful woodland offers a rich display of spring wildflowers and scenic hiking year-round. The area honors the many contributions that former MetroParks Commissioner Bob Siebenthaler made to land stewardship and conservation in the Miami Valley.
A grant from the Clean Ohio Fund, along with money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other local funds, paid for purchase of a 147-acre tract of farmland adjacent to Germantown MetroPark on Boomershine Road across the road from the park’s sled hill entrance. The land will become a planted prairie designed to give a lift to the 2,000-mile annual flight of the Monarch butterfly across North America.
Starting in 2016, volunteers and workers will begin planting a long list of native grasses, plants and flowers such as milkweed that are favorites of the Monarch butterfly and other pollinators, including honeybees.They will plant about 2,000 pounds of seeds in all. It will take two years before the field, which has been planted in soybeans, returns to an appearance similar to a native Ohio prairie of the type that was common here hundreds of years ago.
One of the most exciting features of this park is the mature and old-growth woodland preserved here. It is the largest tract of old woods in Montgomery County. This magnificent forested area is filled with large, old trees hinting at what Ohio’s forests were like before European settlement. Due to its size, it provides crucial habitat for species not found in other areas. A variety of small orchids have been found, and wildflowers carpet the Old Forest in the spring. Wild turkeys have also been spotted. Breeding bird surveys indicate brown creepers and summer tanagers nest here. Both are rare occurrences for Montgomery County.
For a spectacular view, especially during the peak of fall color, stop at the Valley Overlook. This site provides year-round scenic views into and across Twin Creek Valley. Park at the restroom parking lot and follow the path to the wooden overlook platform.
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There are two ADA accessible parking sites at the Twin Valley Welcome Center parking lot and at Morning Glory, Cottonwood and Sunfish shelters. Both restrooms adjacent to shelters are accessible. ADA drinking fountains are at Cottonwood, Morning Glory shelters and the Valley Overlook parking area.
Drinking fountains are available at all five shelters. Two additional drinking fountains are available in the Main Park. Water will be available at the Twin Valley Welcome Center in 2017.
ADA accessible portable toilets are available at the sled hill, Twin Creek access and dam overlook, and Twin Valley Welcome Center parking lots. Ten vault toilets are available throughout Germantown, including at all trailheads, shelters and campsites.
In 2009, MetroParks opened its first backpacking trail stretching from Germantown to Twin Creek MetroPark. The Twin Valley Backpacking Trail combines the existing network of trails in Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks.These trails connect to create a longer, more integrated trail system totaling more than 25 miles throughout 2,600 acres and boast secluded backcountry camping that allows everyone to experience the wilds of the Twin Valley.
Groups, families or individuals can reserve a frontcountry campsite in a number of MetroParks. Sites are primitive (vault toilet, fire ring, picnic table) and some are designed for large groups. Bring gear, food and water. Due to the threat of the emerald ash borer, do not bring firewood to any MetroPark facility. A limited supply of firewood is provided. Permits are required to camp at any of the available sites and must be obtained at least four days in advance.
Remote, backcountry camping is also available along the Twin Valley Trail. These sites are hike-in sites and also require a permit. Reservations for backcountry sites can be made same day using our online reservation system or by calling (937) 275-PARK (7275).
Germantown MetroPark is the most diverse and significant natural area managed by MetroParks. The size, quality and age of the woodlands are exceptional. Steep topography and varied moisture gradients make for a variety of forest types and microhabitats. Many species of plants and animals here are found nowhere else in Montgomery County. The park also contains open grasslands, cedar glades, natural hillside xeric prairies, all stages of natural succession, several ponds and an exceptional high-quality stream, the Twin Creek. The park also benefits from the fact that it is still surrounded by agricultural land and the wooded Twin Creek Corridor.
The staff at MetroParks works to preserve the high-quality mature woodlands and fosters natural succession in designated areas to maximize forest size and minimize edge effects.
The other diverse habitats are also monitored and managed to ensure biodiversity.
MetroParks established the Ohio Prairie Seed Nursery in the park in 1992 through a partnership with the Ohio Department of Transportation to grow native plants to decorate the state’s highways. This initiative spurred wildflower ‘farming’ and restoration across all the MetroParks that originally had native prairies.It acts as a source for native seeds and as a refuge for butterflies.
MetroParks works with local landowners and partnering conservation agencies to protect the Twin Creek and its watershed, including 1711 acres of surrounding private land that is in permanent conservation easement.These easements were purchased from the current owners and require that the land be kept in its current conservation or agricultural condition.These easements have been completed in partnership with the Three Valley Conservation Trust (TVCT), a land trust based in Oxford, OH.
Fishing is available at the following locations without a state fishing license, but all fish must be released:
Sunfish Pond: Sunfish Pond offers excellent catch and release bass fishing in a scenic setting. This pond contains numerous bass in the 1- to 2-lb. weight range and the occasional 3-lb. bass.
An Ohio fishing license is required for the following location, where state limits also apply:
Twin Creek: This park offers ample access to the Twin Creek, one of Ohio’s cleanest waterways. The Twin Creek is an excellent smallmouth bass stream. Fish commonly in the twin also include crappie and bluegill.
Fishing is not permitted in any other location within the park.
The rugged Twin Valley includes uplands forested with virgin timber including tulip, oak, hickory and ash as well as midslopes and ravines featuring butternut, beech, elm, dogwood, sugar maple and black walnut. The flood-prone bottomlands are home to silver maple, sycamore, box elder and cottonwood. It also includes a beautiful stand of eastern red cedars, some especially large. This variety of habitats makes the region an excellent home for a diverse mix of native plant materials and wildlife.
Germantown is designated as an Important Bird Area by National Audubon Society and a Watchable Wildlife viewing site by Ohio Department of Natural Resources. It is an excellent spot for spring warbler migration.
Cliff swallow and kingfisher cavity nest on the side of the hill at Germantown Dam.
Along the silver trail, you’ll find a marsh. This type of wetland is covered in water and does not contain trees or shrubs. Among the plants found in marshes are cattails and rushes, which are grass-like plants with round hollow stems.Marshes provide aquatic habitat and food for many duck species, such as mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), blue-winged teals (Anus discors) and lesser scaups (Aythyaaffinis). During your visit, look for turtles that may be feeding on aquatic insects.
Several small, dry hillside prairies can be found in Germantown along the pink trail and near the Cedar Ridge Camp sites on the Twin Valley Trail. These sites contain grasses like little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and unusual shrubs like shrubby St. John’s wort (Hypericum prolificum) and fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica). Flowering plants such as rose pink (Sabatia angularis) add splashes of color during the late summer and fall.
Beautiful examples of upland forest can be found at Germantown MetroPark heading west on the orange trail from the trailhead on Conservancy Road. Upland forest is characterized by well-drained soil, flat or hilly terrain and trees that form a nearly complete canopy overhead.
Spend the day finding more than 15 geocaches hidden throughout Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks. Pack a picnic and head out for a fun adventure that will take you through cedar tree stands to historic Carlisle Fort at Twin Creek. Visit geocaching.com to get coordinates for all geocaches hidden in Five Rivers MetroParks.
Germantown was opened to the public on April 1, 1967. The land, part of the Twin Creek flood control system created in 1922 by the Miami Conservancy District, was leased to MetroParks in 1966 to provide nature exploration and recreation while maintaining flood control.
Germantown Dam was constructed in 1920 and is one of the five dams built following the flood of 1913 to protect the local areas. It consists of 865,000 cubic yards of earth, is 100 feet high, is 1,210 feet wide and regulates the flow of Twin Creek into the Great Miami River.
The park has more than 15 miles of wooded trails, many with spectacular scenery and some with the most challenging terrain in the region. Loop trails are color-coded, with intersections marked by a number. Follow the same color to arrive back at your starting point. A favorite of many hikers is the 7.5-mile orange trail, which begins at the Twin Valley Welcome Center.It offers rolling hills and travels along the Twin Creek, through mature and old-growth woodlands where you can spot orchids, wildflowers and wild turkeys.
For a longer hike, check out the Twin Valley Trail. The TVT combines the existing network of trails in Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks with a connection to create a longer, more integrated trail system totaling more than 25 miles throughout 2,600 acres
The trails also include more than 500 feet of elevated boardwalk to view the scenic ravines and tree canopy that can be easily accessed from the Twin Valley Welcome Center.
Germantown MetroPark is the most diverse and significant natural area managed by MetroParks.The size, quality and age of the woodlands are exceptional.Steep topography and varied moisture gradients make for a variety of forest types and microhabitats. Many species of plants and animals here are found nowhere else in Montgomery County. The park also contains large open grasslands, cedar glades, dry hillside prairies, all stages of natural succession, several ponds and an exceptionally high-quality stream, Twin Creek. The park also benefits from the fact that it is still surrounded largely by agricultural land and the wooded Twin Creek corridor.
Search for Ordovician fossils south of the Germantown Dam. Collecting fossils is permitted only in the marked area. Follow the rules posted at the site.
Twin Creek is a popular canoeing and kayaking location, although water conditions vary considerably. All watercraft should be launched from the river access site downstream of the dam using the 7981 Creek Road entrance. An access site to pull out is 7 miles to Carmody Park in Warren County. This scenic section of the one of the cleanest rivers/creeks in Ohio takes you through hills, forests and picturesque Germantown.
Unreserved shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Picnic table sites also are available.
The park has more than 15 miles of wooded trails for winter hiking and cross-country skiing. Cross-country skiers are welcome to use the park, but caution should be used on trails due to rugged terrain.
Kids will love the sledding hill! The hill is located at 6206 Boomershine Road, just north of Manning Road. This big hill is well worth the drive for sledders, tubers and beginning snowboarders alike. The hill is available for winter sledding with snow.
Hiking trails are open all winter long in most MetroParks, including Germantown.
Birding is a great way to learn about nature and get outside in your parks. From the young to the young at heart, people of all ages can enjoy this activity year-round. Winter in Ohio offers many opportunities to explore the woods for songbirds.
Park Amenities & Activities
The 1,665-acre MetroPark is filled with spectacular ravines, towering trees, wildflowers, meadows, prairies and excellent opportunities to observe wildlife.