Published January 12, 2017
Hit the trails to discover local wildlife
Nature is around every turn of Five Rivers MetroParks’ hiking, water and paved trails. This season’s bare and budding trees provide onlookers ample opportunity to view local wildlife in action. Visit the following MetroParks to see what you can spot:
- Adventure along the Great Miami River paved trail near Island MetroPark to view black-crowned night herons, greater and lesser black-backed and glaucous gulls, sandpipers, and great egrets.
- Stroll across the boardwalk at Hills & Dales MetroPark to see if you can spot golden-winged, blue-winged, Canada and black-throated blue warblers. Also, keep an eye out for red-breasted grosbeaks, thrushes and cuckoos. Numerous dragon flies, damselflies and ruby-throated hummingbirds can be seen as well.
- Take the short Woodman Fen loop to view spring migrants, such as gray-cheeked thrush, Connecticut and mourning warblers, and Philadelphia vireos. Deer, nesting Cooper’s hawks and great horned owls also may be in sight.
- Visit Englewood MetroPark’s green trail between the parking lot and river to catch a glimpse of water thrush and spring warblers. Three young mink were observed last spring as well.
- Take the short loop around the wildlife pond in the northern part of Englewood MetroPark to see if you can spot yellow warblers, blue grosbeak, orchard orioles and various waterfowl. This is also a great location to see purple martins in the spring.
- Twin Creek MetroParks’ orange trail at highview down to the creek is a home to grasshopper sparrows, meadowlarks, blue grosbeaks, bobolinks, tanagers and prairie warblers. There was even a reported bear sighting within the last few years.
- The Taylorsville MetroPark dam parking area is the perfect spot to look for red-tailed hawks. You may even see their courtship displays!
- View great blue heron and great white egrets wading in the river along the Great Miami River paved trail at Deeds Point MetroPark. This is also a great spot to see bald eagles perched in trees along the Great Miami and Mad rivers and soaring over the water. Trail travelers may also see osprey at RiverScape and Deeds Point MetroParks, in addition to the peregrine falcons that nest on the downtown buildings and perch on the fountain towers.
- Hike along the Medlar Conservation Area’s Great Little paved trail for your chance to see red foxes, blue birds, red-tailed hawks and pileated woodpeckers. Ospreys have been spotted along the nearby Great Miami River Trail. Also, wood ducks, blue-winged teal and leopard frogs can be seen near the wetlands close to the crossing of Medlar Road.
- All the water trails provide opportunities to see ducks, such as mallards and wood ducks.
- Germantown MetroPark is a must for those interested in birding. The silver trail allows hikers to experience a variety of habitats, such as old growth forest, large grasslands, edge thickets, cedar glades, ponds and wetlands. Several types of woodpeckers can be seen, including pileated, red-bellied, downy and yellow-bellied sapsuckers. Numerous warblers, wood thrush, vireos, red-shouldered hawks, Cooper’s hawks and northern harriers can be seen over the prairies in the winter months. The trail is ideal for those looking to spot migrating warblers and beautiful wildflowers.
- Hike the Twin Valley Trail from Old Mill Road to Cedar Ridge campsite for beautiful views and woodland bird-watching opportunities.
- Take the trail from Paddy’s Falls to Martindale Falls in Englewood MetroPark to view woodland birds and picturesque waterfalls.
- Travel the Taylorsville MetroPark orange trail to the CCC picnic shelter and past the rock fall to view open woodlands, deer, forest birds and remnant stone work of Roosevelt-era citizen employment efforts.
- See how many spotted salamanders you can find during springtime along the trails and waterways at Sugarcreek MetroPark.