De-Stress in Nature
Self-guided Mindfulness Walks are an easy way to improve your mental health outdoors.
Five Rivers MetroParks offers four short, easy Mindfulness Walks where visitors will find signage in the park inviting them to stop and engage in a variety of simple breathing and meditation activities. These mindfulness activities — developed with input from Dayton Children’s and Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services — are designed to help people learn how reduce stress and improve their mental health outdoors.
Research shows just 20 minutes a day immersed in nature significantly lowers stress hormone levels, and benefits also include:
Enhanced mood and feelings of relaxation
Lower depression and anxiety
Enhanced cognitive abilities, such as memory, creativity and problem solving
Improved self-esteem and relationships
Strengthened immunity and a reduction in chronic illnesses, such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes
“Mindfulness means putting all of your attention on one thing. It means taking the time to really notice what you are doing in that moment. You are focused in a very relaxed way. Spending time in nature gives us a great chance to be mindful of all our senses and focus on our surroundings. Practicing mindfulness can help us pay better attention in our daily lives.”
These trails are just the start. Download our mindfulness guides in English or Spanish to destress wherever you want. Take our Mindfulness Walks survey after you visit a Mindfulness Walk. Completing a survey enters you in a monthly giveaway drawing for $25 which can be used anywhere at the 2nd Street Market.
- Walk on the natural surface trail along the perimeter of the lagoon.
- Near the Springfield Street entrance, take the stone bridges to the islands in the lagoon.
- While you’re at the park, you can also walk the brown trail through the prairie and the blue trail along the Mad River — which is a portion of the Buckeye Trail and North Country National Scenic Trail — as well as the paved Mad River Trail.
1385 Harshman Rd. (park entrance) or 4349 Springfield St.
- Park near the shelter and take the short natural surface trail toward Huffman Dam.
- Continue across the dam for scenic views and a connection with the paved Mad River Trail.
- If Huffman Lake isn’t flooded, you can hike natural surface trails along the lake and Mad River.
4439 Lower Valley Pike
Possum Creek MetroPark
- Park in the Argonne Forest lot, the first right-hand turn after you enter Possum Creek.
- Hike the 1.5-mile pink trail and/or the 1-mile blue trail, both of which can be accessed from the parking lot.
- Possum Creek is home to a robust network of natural surface trails, fishing ponds, horseback riding trails, a small farm, a nature play area and other amenities that allow you to explore the outdoors.
- Note: The walk along the blue trail is also available as an outing in MetroParks’ mobile app, powered by OuterSpatial.
4790 Frytown Rd.
- This linear park, located along the west bank of the Great Miami River, offers great views of the downtown skyline.
- Look for the Mindfulness Walk signage near the park benches and along the steps leading down to the river.
- Continue your walk along the paved Great Miami River and Wolf Creek trails.
50 N. Edwin C. Moses Blvd.