September 17 2020

Best trails roundup for those of different interests, abilities and more

Best trails roundup for those of different interests, abilities and more

Your Five Rivers MetroParks are home 160 miles of paved and natural surface trails for hiking, cycling, mountain biking and more. The greater Dayton region is home to more than 340 miles of recreation trails – the nation’s largest paved trail network – and 270 miles of river corridor. Whether you want to take a casual stroll to soak in your natural surroundings or have little ones who want to join in on your adventures, MetroParks has trails to help you find your adventure.

The MetroParks mobile app, powered by OuterSpatial, can help you plan your adventure and navigate the trails. You can find these trail recommendations listed as “outings” in the MetroParks mobile app so you can take this information to the parks with you. Download the free app at metroparks.org/mobile.

BEST TRAILS: NATURE APPRECIATION

Nature Appreciation Trails

  • Aullwood Garden MetroPark: Stroll the mile-long garden path to view wildflowers, woods and a prairie on this property cultivated by conservation pioneers John and Marie Aull.
  • Carriage Hill MetroPark: Hike the 3.4-mile orange trail to see two wetlands.
  • Cox Arboretum MetroPark: ADA-accessible paved paths wind through a variety of scenic features. Visit a bird blind on the 0.6-mile red trail.
  • Englewood MetroPark: Hike the 3.8-mile green trail to view the Martindale, Patty and Oaks waterfalls, as well as the pumpkin ash and swamp forest.
  • Huffman MetroPark: Hike the short path around Huffman Lake, which was created by the construction of Huffman Dam.
  • Possum Creek MetroPark: Hike the 3.5-mile orange trail to view prairies, Argonne Lake and ponds.
  • Sugarcreek MetroPark: Take the orange trail 1.3 miles to the Osage Orange Tunnel, arching trees planted in rows in the late 1800s to serve as farm fence, and hike 0.7 miles to the Three Sisters, 550-year-old white oak trees. For those with mobility challenges, Sugarcreek has a level, paved path that makes a quarter-mile loop through a prairie.
  • Taylorsville MetroPark: From the trailhead at 2101 U.S. 40, view a rock outcrop a short way in on the 3.2-mile orange loop trail and a scenic overlook of the Great Miami River a short way in on the 1.2-mile yellow loop trail.
  • Twin Creek MetroPark: View Dogwood Pond on the 2.9-mile yellow trail and a scenic overlook from the trailhead.
  • Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark: Stroll the ADA-accessible paths to discover a variety of formal gardens.

Navigate this outing using MetroParks mobile app.

BEST TRAILS: DISCOVERING HISTORY

History Trails

  • Deeds Point MetroPark: Visit a statue of Orville and Wilbur Wright at Legacy Plaza, an aviation heritage site.
  • Huffman Prairie State Natural Landmark: Learn about the importance of native prairies to the environment and wildlife while hiking this 0.2-mile trail, then visit the adjacent Wright Flying Field.
  • Huffman MetroPark: Hike the short trail around Huffman Lake, which was created by the construction of Huffman Dam, one of five dams built after the Great Flood of 1913.
  • Possum Creek MetroPark: The 1.4-mile violet trail takes you through the remnants of what was once Argonne Forest Amusement Park, a 1920s destination for swimming, sports and more.
  • RiverScape MetroPark: Walk 0.2 miles along Monument Avenue and Patterson Boulevard to experience the Dayton Inventors Riverwalk. Take the self-guided tour of the Riverwalk in MetroParks’ new mobile app, powered by Outerspatial.
  • Taylorsville MetroPark: Follow the Great Miami Bikeway for one mile to see remnants of the village of Tadmore, an early 1800s site at what once was considered the Crossroads of America.

Navigate this outing using MetroParks mobile app.

BEST TRAILS: THOSE WITH MOBILITY CHALLENGES

Mobility-friendly Trails

  • Cox Arboretum MetroPark: ADA-accessible paved paths wind through a variety of scenic features and gardens.
  • Island MetroPark: Paved trails loop around the northern section of the park, providing beautiful views of the river, landscaped beds and more. The park also features ADA-accessible bathrooms and shelters.
  • Medlar Conservation Area: The paved 2.25-mile Great-Little Trail allows visitors to experience different habitats, including old growth forests and wetlands. It does include a steep hill as it nears the connection with the paved Great Miami Trail.
  • RiverScape MetroPark: Relax while overlooking the Great Miami River and take in seasonal activities at this wheelchair-accessible park. RiverScape MetroPark is also the nexus of 340 miles of paved recreation trails — the nation’s largest paved trail network.
  • Sugarcreek MetroPark: The 0.2-mile paved prairie loop allows visitors to experience this habitat up close.
  • Woodman Fen Conservation Area: The 1,800-foot, ADA-accessible boardwalk includes three observation decks and opportunities to learn about plant and animal species that only can be viewed there.

Navigate this outing using MetroParks mobile app. Download here.

BEST TRAILS: WALKING YOUR DOG

Dog Trails

 

  • Englewood MetroPark: The South Park trail loop allows you to customize your outing. Take a 1-mile hike or a longer 2.5-mile adventure on the natural surface trails.
  • Taylorsville MetroPark: Treat your pet to sweeping views of the forest and Great Miami River on the 1.2-mile yellow trail.
  • Possum Creek MetroPark: Prairie pups will love the 1.3-mile yellow trail, which loops the Tall Grass and Jean V. Woodhull prairies.
  • Sugarcreek MetroPark: The 1.3-mile orange trail is a treat for you and your friend, with various points of interest along the way. Extend your hike by checking out the 0.7-mile planted prairie trail.

Navigate this outing using MetroParks mobile app.

BEST TRAILS: LEAF PEEPING

best trails for fall color

  • Huffman MetroPark: The 2.6-mile section of the Creekside Trail that runs through MoMBA allows you to enjoy beautiful views while you get your heart pumping.
  • Eastwood MetroPark: Paddle and color peep at the Eastwood Lagoon or take a 4-mile paddle down the Mad River to RiverScape MetroPark – both of which offer beautiful fall views.
  • Possum Creek MetroPark: The 3.5-mile orange trail loops around Possum Creek MetroPark’s forests, prairies and ponds, allowing you to see fall views in a variety of habitats.
  • Hills & Dales MetroPark: Just short of 1.5 miles, the Adirondack Trail is filled with warm fall colors that complement the Adirondack structures in the park.
  • Carriage Hill MetroPark: The 1.8-mile yellow trail takes you around Cedar Lake, which boasts beautiful fall-colored tree lines.

Navigate this outing using MetroParks mobile app.

BEST TRAILS: LEAF PEEPING BY BIKE

  • Medlar Conservation Area (The Great-Little Trail): Runs from Crain’s Run Park in the west to Waterbury Ridge Lane in the east.
  • Taylorsville MetroPark (The Great Miami River Trail): Ride four to five miles in Taylorsville MetroPark, and continue if you like.
  • Eastwood MetroPark (The Mad River Trail): Start your ride at RiverScape MetroPark and end in Huffman MetroPark to experience the city and the changing leaves.
  • Dull Woods Conservation Area (The Wolf Creek Trail): Dull Woods Conservation Area is located in the northern section of the trail. Ride from Trotwood to the Village of Verona.
  • MoMBA at Huffman MetroPark (Creekside Trail): This trail is rated blue (intermediate). View the beautiful rock bottom creek and tackle two large bridges, five creek crossings and more. For those who don’t have mountain bikes, rentals are available select Tuesday and Saturdays this fall. Learn more.

BEST TRAILS: GROWN UPS WITH SMALL CHILDREN

Kid-friendly trails

  • Hills & Dales MetroPark: The Adirondack Trail loop is less than a mile and starts at Dogwood Pond. To make your walk longer, start at the Paw Paw shelter and cross the wetlands boardwalk.
  • Possum Creek MetroPark: Take the 1-mile blue trail around Argonne Lake for beautiful views of tree lines and the possibility to spot wildlife.
  • Englewood MetroPark: The 0.5-mile blue trail takes you along the boardwalk. Next, head to the nature play area for bonus fun!
  • Carriage Hill MetroPark: The 0.5-mile red trail loops around Cedar Lake. The orange trail is 1.3 miles and has options for shorter routes.

Five Rivers MetroParks visitors should always follow the CDC’s recommendations, particularly for social distancing and wearing face coverings, while spending time outdoors. For the most current information on MetroParks’ COVID-19 response and related closures, visit metroparks.org/covid-19 and follow Five Rivers MetroParks on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Share this post: