Come together at the river

Island

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Just a few miles north of RiverScape, where the Stillwater River flows into the Great Miami, is an urban oasis with a long Dayton history.

Its roots as a park were planted in the 19th century. Now the park is beautifully restored, and people from all over the area gather for community events, picnics or an afternoon of spotting fish, beavers and soft-shell turtles from the riverbanks, all under the shade of stately sycamore and maple trees. One of the reasons Dayton is a great place for people is because, beginning more than a century ago, conservationists left room to make it a great place for plants and animals, too. Island MetroPark is one of those places.

Main Park Entrance
101 E. Helena St., Dayton, OH 45404

 

Rowing Dock and Boathouse Entrance
124 E. Helena St., Dayton, OH 45404

 

Park Hours 
Apr. – Oct., 10 AM – 10 PM
Nov. – Mar. 31, 10 AM – 8 PM
Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day

 

Spray Ground
Memorial Day through Aug. 14:
Mon. – Sat. 11 AM – 7:50 PM,
Sun. 1 – 7:50 PM
Aug. 15 through Labor Day:
Mon. – Fri. 4 – 7:50 PM, Sat. 11 AM – 7:50 PM, Sun. 1 – 7:50 PM

Parking
Free parking is available. Overflow lot is located next to the Main Park.

 

Pet Policy
Dogs are welcome, but, for the safety and comfort of all patrons, they must be leashed and under control at all times.

Park Features

Buckeye & North Country Trails

The Buckeye and North Country Trails pass through Island MetroPark. This section of the Buckeye Trail is part of a 1,440-mile continuous loop that completely encircles Ohio. The North Country National Scenic Trail stretches across seven states and will be 4,600 miles long when completed. These trails link and make historic and scenic features accessible and provide long-distance hiking.

Learn more about the BT/NCT.

River Access

The Great Miami River at Island MetroPark offers a long stretch of smooth flat water that is ideal for rowing. You can park in the main parking lot and carry your boat over to the canoe and kayak access ramp or you can contact the Greater Dayton Rowing Association for equipment, facility use, and membership.

For paddlers, the park serves as a takeout for the Taylorsville section of the Great Miami or a chance to paddle in the pool above the low dam and next to the Dayton Canoe Club. Beware of the low dam just downstream of the rowing dock.

Learn more about the Great Miami River Water Trail.

Paved Trails

The Great Miami River Trail passes through Island MetroPark, where you can enjoy beautiful landscaped beds, myriad picnic shelters and fishing opportunities and a children’s sprayground and playground. Across the suspension bridge, you’ll find the intersection of the Great Miami River and Stillwater River trails. Visit Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark by riding straight through Triangle Park and along DeWeese Parkway, home to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Or, take a right at the intersection to follow the Great Miami River Trail through north Dayton toward Taylorsville MetroPark.

Learn more about the paved trail network.

Ashzilla

Did you know that a mature, leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year? Trees also filter the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. Check out one of the biggest trees in MetroParks: “Ashzilla,” a white ash tree close to the parking lot at Island MetroPark, just east of the small brown building.

Playground and Water Play

The playground features traditional equipment with slides and climbing apparatus as well as an interactive water play system. The playground is open year-round during park hours. The sprayground opens each year on Memorial Day and has daily operation until Labor Day.  Hours through Aug. 14: 11 AM-7:50 PM Mon.-Sat.; 1-7:50 PM on Sun.; Aug. 15 through Labor Day hours are Mon.-Fri. 4-7:50 PM, Sat. 11 AM -7:50 PM, and Sun. 1-7:50 PM.

Gayle B. Price Jr. Bridge

The Gayle B. Price Jr. Bridge is an iconic pedestrian and bicycle bridge spanning the Great Miami River. The abutments and piers are reinforced concrete while the decks and pylons are steel. This bright red bridge connects Island MetroPark with Triangle Park linking the paved Great Miami River Trail with the Stillwater River Trail. The bridge was named for Mr. Price, a long-time civic champion for Dayton and valued board member of the Miami Conservancy District.

Click to Explore

The restrooms, picnic shelters, playground area and band shell are ADA accessible. There are two parking spots for people with disabilities in the parking lot. Two of the public restrooms have an accessible stall. There is one drinking fountain that works well for accessibility and two others that have dog watering capabilities.

There are two drinking fountains within the park. The first is near the restrooms at the park entrance, next to the playground and waterplay area. The other fountain is located off of the walking path west of the band shell. It is dog-friendly.

RTA Bus Route 16

Take route 16 north on Main Street through downtown to Riverside Drive and Helena Street. Cross Helena Street at the light and then travel over the bridge to the park.

The park is accessible by foot or bicycle on the Great Miami River Trail and the Stillwater River Trail.

Learn more about the paved trail network.

There are two sets of public restrooms in the park. One set is located near the entrance next to the playground and water play area. There is also another set located in the rear of the park, behind the band shell.

Additional facilities are located in the basement of the band shell — accessible by permit only.

The Great Miami River at Island MetroPark offers a long stretch of smooth flat water that is ideal for rowing. You can park in the main parking lot and carry your boat over to the canoe and kayak access ramp or you can contact the Greater Dayton Rowing Association for equipment, facility use and membership.

The Great Miami River Trail passes through Island MetroPark, where you can enjoy beautiful landscaped beds, myriad picnic shelters and fishing opportunities and a children’s sprayground and playground. Across the suspension bridge, you’ll find the intersection of the Great Miami River and Stillwater River trails. Visit Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark by riding straight through Triangle Park and along DeWeese Parkway, home to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Or take a right at the intersection to follow the Great Miami River Trail through north Dayton toward Taylorsville MetroPark.

Learn more about the paved trail network. 

In 1995, Five Rivers MetroParks started a rehabilitation of the park to protect the character set forth by the park’s original landscape architects, the Olmsted brothers. The brothers were world-renowned in the early 20th century for enhancing the natural beauty of urban sites with their designs. Island MetroPark now offers amenities for today’s active and healthy lifestyles while maintaining the character the Olmstead brothers intended.

The Great Miami River touches Island’s boundaries on the north and south ends; the Stillwater River merges into the Great Miami River on the northwest border of the Island. These rivers are routinely monitored for fish populations.

A recent conservation project is the planting of more than 600 native shrubs to the southern part of Island behind the Rowing Dock and Boathouse. A habitat for the black-crowned night-heron, a state-listed threatened species, is being installed here. Once a regularly occurring species in marshes and swamps throughout Ohio, it has been making a return to the Great Miami River corridor.

Fishing is available along the Stillwater and Great Miami rivers for smallmouth and largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, carp and other local game fish, which are plentiful.

The Great Miami River Trail makes its way through Island and crosses the Gayle Price Jr. bridge before heading north to Taylorsville MetroPark. To the south, trailer users can connect to RiverScape just 1.4 miles away.

Make a stop at Deeds Point along the way for the best view of the Dayton skyline. This path is paved and easy to maneuver for walking, running or biking. The park also includes a nearly 1-mile looped path, great for short walks in nature.

Island MetroPark contains outstanding specimen trees of floodplain forests such as sycamore, cottonwood, burr, oak, American elm and many others. Many large ash, sycamore, maple and willow trees are spread throughout the park.

Many migratory birds and animals such as beavers and softshell turtles are commonly seen here.

Geocaching is an activity combining technology and nature, using Global Positioning System (GPS) devices to search for and find “caches” hidden throughout the world. Visit www.geocaching.com and search by location to get started.  Then head out on an adventure to find the geocaches hidden in this park.

In the late 19th century Island MetroPark was known as the White City Amusement Park. The park had a dance pavilion, amusement rides, canoe lockers, a refreshment stand and other recreation features. In 1910, Dayton started leasing the park land for $3,000 a year, and in 1911, a recommendation to buy the land was proposed in the report submitted by the Olmsted brothers. There were enhancements to the park after the Great Flood in 1913. On July 13, 1913, the Dayton Canoe Club held is first regatta. On June 20, 1914, the park formally opened as Island Park. The park became an ideal location in the coming years for programming that included sunbathing, picnicking, canoeing, boating, dancing, ice skating, water carnivals, evening band concerts and general recreation. In 1940, a band shell was erected and opened under the name of the Leslie L. Diehl Band Shell, where in 1943 programmed concert attendance totaled 80,000.

View park history. 

The Buckeye and North Country Trails pass through Island MetroPark. This section of the Buckeye Trail is part of a 1,440-mile continuous loop that encircles Ohio. The North Country National Scenic Trail stretches across seven states and will be 4,600 miles long when completed. These trails link and make historic and scenic features accessible and provide long-distance hiking.

Learn more about the BT/NCT.

Island MetroPark has many large ash, sycamore, maple and willow trees spread throughout, creating a welcomed natural cathedral of shade during the hot days of summer. Large grassy areas adjacent to all picnic shelters invite spontaneous play and nature study.

Beautifully manicured areas — landscape beds, border walkways, the playground area and the band shell — provide an urban oasis. The willow trees that border the lagoon area make for a serene passage down a small waterway.

The playground features traditional equipment with slides and climbing apparatus as well as an interactive water play system. The playground is open year round during park hours. The sprayground opens each year on Memorial Day and has daily operation until Labor Day. Hours through Aug. 14: 11 AM-7:50 PM Mon.-Sat.; 1-7:50 PM on Sun.; Aug. 15 through Labor Day hours are Mon.-Fri. 4-7:50 PM, Sat. 11 AM -7:50 PM, and Sun. 1-7:50 PM.

Carry your boat to or from the parking lot at Island MetroPark to access the Great Miami River. The lot serves as a takeout for the Taylorsville section of the Great Miami or a chance to put in to paddle in the pool above the low dam and next to the Dayton Canoe Club. Beware of the low dam just downstream of the rowing dock.

Learn more about the Great Miami River Water Trail

Reserve shelters in the park for your exclusive use using our online reservation system.

Unreserved shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Picnic table sites also are available.

Cross-country ski the picnic areas and paved trails. Trails are open all winter long in most MetroParks, but are not plowed.

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

Latitude: 39.778519

Longitude: -84.196624

The 33-acre Island MetroPark is an urban oasis conveniently located in downtown Dayton and filled with picturesque landscape and mature tree growth, a rich cultural heritage, many recreation amenities and opportunities and a waterway that borders both sides of the park.

Park Amenities
Park Activities

Upcoming Events & Programs at Island

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