Heart Healthy Trails
New initiative helps improve physical and mental health outdoors
If you’re looking for a fun way to get in shape, take your workout outdoors. In fact, exercising outdoors provides benefits the traditional gym workout does not — and just 30 to 40 minutes of exercise a few times a week will improve your heart health.
To make it easy for you to exercise outdoors, Five Rivers MetroParks has launched a Heart Healthy Trails initiative. These trails are:
- Easy to moderate
- 1 to 2.5 miles long
- Walkable at a brisk pace
- Marked every quarter mile to help you track your pace
These are easy, entry-level trails on paved or flat surfaces without a lot of elevation change. The American Heart Association recommends walking at a brisk pace of 24 minutes per mile and work toward walking at least 2.5 miles per hour. Signage located every quarter mile on the Heart Healthy Trails allows you to calculate your pace.
Possum Creek Yellow Trail
This 1.3-mile loop follows the yellow trail, taking you on a flat, natural-surface trail through a tall grass prairie that provides rare native habitat for birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles and other small wildlife. This prairie was named in honor of Jean V. Woodhull for her outstanding contributions to Five Rivers MetroParks.
This 1.7 mile loop trail is a combination of paved and natural surface trails, combining a section of the paved Mad River Trail with the Prairie Meadow Trail. This flat, easy to walk trail winds through wooded forest and grassland prairies, offering opportunities for spotting wildflowers, songbirds and butterflies.
Englewood MetroPark Red Trail
This 1.2 mile loop trail is easy to walk, following the paved path and then joining the red trail. To achieve the recommended 30 minutes, you may need to walk the loop two or more times.
Carriage Hill MetroPark Yellow Trail Loop
This easy to walk trail is a 1.8 mile loop including pavement, natural surface and a boardwalk. Follow the yellow trail counter-clockwise as it travels through a variety of habitats as you hike around Cedar Lake, through native tall-grass prairies, beautiful woodlands and the serene North Woods Pond. The trail is marked every ¼ mile to help you track your pace. Before starting any exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor.
Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark Marie Aull Trail Loop
This natural surface trail is an easy hike on flat ground. This trail is a 1-mile loop and allows walkers to discover a variety of native trees and many opportunities to spot wildlife. Park in the main lot and access the trails by walking through the formal gardens towards the Swamp Forest boardwalk.
Island MetroPark Paved Loop
This trail is a paved half-mile loop around the perimeter of the park. Enjoy walking by beautifully landscaped beds while taking in views of the Stillwater River. You can also check out “Ashzilla,” one of the biggest trees in MetroParks, a large white ash tree close to the parking lot. You may need to walk the loop two or three times to get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise.
Wolf Creek Trail
This trail starts in Trotwood at the Olde Town Depot, located at the intersection of Wolf Creek Pike/Main Street and Broadway. This paved recreation trail is marked every quarter mile, so you know when to turn around to get the distance you desire. If you continue along the trail, it will take you to Sycamore State Park.
Germantown MetroPark Wetlands Loop
This Heart Healthy Trail is on new natural surface trails at the park that take you by wetlands and into a pollinator prairie, dubbed the Monarch Project. This heart healthy loop is 1.7 miles and connects to Germantown’s extensive trail system for additional hiking opportunities. The trail begins at the new Wetland Parking Lot Trailhead on the west side of Boomershine Road. Look for Heart Healthy Trail markings to get started.