Once farmland and woodlots, more than 50 years of natural succession have created rich areas of forests, thickets, meadows and prairies to explore at Carriage Hill. Farm life in the 1880s comes alive at the historical farm, complete with period farm animals. There are also acres of peaceful beauty to enjoy on foot or horseback. The park has been a favorite place for families to spend quality time together for generations. Come and join us for a spell.
Carriage Hill Historical Farm recreates the life of a typical conservative farm family of the 1880s. Period farming and domestic activities are demonstrated throughout the year by both staff and volunteers. The farm features a blacksmith shop, woodshop, historic house and barn. From heirloom vegetables to period breeds of animals, the late 19th century is brought to life.
Horseback riding enthusiasts can enjoy activities at the Carriage Hill MetroPark Riding Center. Programs include weekend trail rides, pony rides for younger riders, summer horse camps, and spring and fall riding lessons. Please check the program calendar on the Riding Center’s website for upcoming program dates and information.
The Carriage Hill Visitor’s Center provides orientation to the historical site through exhibits and a 7-minute video featuring the history of the farm.
Carriage Hill’s ADA-accessible boardwalk and fishing pier at Cedar Lake is located adjacent to ample parking, an ADA restroom and potable water. Of special note, several crappies weighing more than 1.5 lbs. each have been caught in Cedar Lake and sunfish in the 6-inch to 9-inch range are also abundant.
Wetlands play a critical role in supporting Ohio’s native habitats. They are home to unique and beautiful communities of plants that are found nowhere else. They are breeding places and nurseries for many species of birds and animals, and they filter our water. The Orange Trail at Carriage Hill provides two opportunities to view wetlands. Park near either Cedar Lake entrance and hike the entire 3.4-mile trail or just a segment.
You may be familiar with Carriage Hill because of its popular historical farm, but there’s so much more to see and explore at one of the first-ever MetroPark facilities! Drive past the visitor center parking lot to get to the Red Wing or Cedar Lake shelter parking lots and hike the Yellow Trail. This easy trail will take you past some of Carriage Hill MetroPark’s best natural features.
Discover the special plants of a tall grass prairie. These deep-rooted, sun-loving flowers and grasses range in height up to 10 feet and reach their flowering peak in mid- to late summer. This planted prairie whispers of an earlier time, before Ohio was settled, when more than 300 natural prairie openings existed and bison roamed the land.
Click to Explore
There is ADA-accessible parking at the visitor’s center and lake parking lots. Both the farm and visitor’s center public restrooms have an accessible stall. Current drinking fountains are of the older style and work well for some, but not all wheelchair users. An accessible fishing pier is also provided. The visitor center contains an elevator.
Carriage Hill’s ADA-accessible boardwalk and fishing pier at Cedar Lake is located adjacent to ample parking, an ADA restroom and potable water.
Water fountains are available year-round at the visitor’s center.Water fountains are available seasonally near the Historical Farm restrooms and Redwing shelter and at Cedar Lake near the restrooms. A drinking water fountain equipped with a bottle filler is available at the Historical Farm.
Stop at the visitor’s center for exhibits highlighting life in the 1880s and a children’s interactive classroom.
RTA Bus Routes 18 or 19
Take Route 18 North on Main Street or Route 19 east on Third Street through downtown to the intersection of 201 and East Shull Road in Huber Heights. The entrance to Carriage Hill MetroPark is across the street and north a short distance.
Horses can be rented for pony and trail rides at the Carriage Hill Riding Center. Weekend trail rides are offered Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM, June to November. Pony rides are also available for youngsters on Saturdays, noon to 3 PM. Check the program calendar for upcoming horse camps and horseback riding lessons.
There are restrooms at the farm and visitor’s center.There is a vault restroom at Cedar Lake and a portable toilet at the horse trailer parking lot and Riding Center. All restrooms are ADA-accessible.
The Historical Farm acts as a teaching center for a wide variety of educational activities. Programs, events and workshops about our agricultural heritage and homemaking as well as natural history are held year-round. View the programs and events finder for upcoming programs.
Stop by the visitor’s center on your way into the park for maps, directions and restrooms as well as an interpretive exhibit on the Arnold family, who once lived and worked on the farm.
The natural areas of Carriage Hill consist mainly of former farmland and woodlots. The park includes two tracts of mature forest, large areas of young forest and old fields recently planted with native hardwoods as part of MetroPark’s reforestation initiative. The conservation staff works to protect the existing mature woodlands and remove invasive species in designated areas.
Other old fields in the park are undergoing natural succession to generate new forests. In these areas, staff members have reintroduced native mast species to augment succession and ensure a diverse future forest.
Drive by a field full of baby trees wrapped in white tubes at the corner of Shull and Bellefontaine roads.
Staff also monitors and manages the park’s ponds thickets, meadows and planted prairies to ensure biodiversity and support wildlife.
Visitors to the park in spring may see black smoke rising from the prairie. Controlled prairie burning is an important tool for managing prairie and early successional habitat. It releases nutrients and stimulates the growth of certain plant species.
Carriage Hill hosts a variety of waterfowl at Cedar Lake and North Woods Pond, such as green herons, wood ducks and ring-neck ducks. During your visit look for the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) that flies in to feast on fish and insects. Or listen for the green frog (Lithobates clamitans melanota), an amphibian that is 2-3 inches long and sounds like the plucking of a bass string on a banjo.
Along the Orange Trail, you’ll find two opportunities to view a marsh. This type of wetland is covered in water and does not contain trees or shrubs. Among the plants found in marshes are cattails and rushes, which are grass-like plants with round hollow stems.Marshes provide aquatic habitat and food for many duck species, such as mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), blue-winged teals (Anus discors) and lesser scaups (Aythyaaffinis). During your visit, look for turtles that may be feeding on aquatic insects.
Fishing is available at the following locations without an Ohio fishing license:
Cedar Lake: An ADA-accessible boardwalk and fishing pier is located adjacent to ample parking, an ADA restroom and potable water. Several crappies weighing 1.5 lbs. eachhave been caught, and sunfish in the 6-inch to 9-inch range are also abundant.Bass must be released.
North Woods Pond: All fish are catch and release.
Fishing is not permitted at the Joseph Arnold Pond, Leitner Pond or Red Bud Pond.
Carriage MetroPark has several geocaches that showcase unique and large trees in the park and bring you to a good fishing hole. Grab your pole and make an afternoon of it. Visit geocaching.com to get coordinates for all geocaches hidden in Five Rivers MetroParks.
Daily farm activities occur year-round on our historical farm. Take part and learn about anything from daily farm chores to baking bread or quilting. Period-dressed volunteers help make your experience even more enjoyable while they teach you all about farm life in the 1880s.
The Carriage Hill Visitor’s Center provides orientation to the historical site, through exhibits and a 7-minute video featuring the history of the farm.
Carriage Hill MetroPark was the first park established by the new park district back in April 1965, then called Dry Lick Run. The land was targeted for its proximity to Huber Heights, the most rapidly growing section of the metropolitan area and the most in need of open space preservation.
Enjoy more than 5 miles of easy walking trails through scenic meadows, prairies and woodlands. Most trails are color-coded and marked.
The 3.4-mile Orange trail takes hikers by the picturesque Cedar Lake, through prairies and woodlands to the hidden North Woods Pond. Add on mileage by hiking through the historical farm. All of the Carriage Hill trails are flat and provide easy walking.
Other loops are possible using the park’s Red, Green and Yellow trails.
Horseback riding enthusiasts can enjoy more than 7 miles of bridle trails. Horses should be loaded and unloaded at the trailer parking lot.
Weekend trail rides are offered Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 2 PM, June through October, at the park’s Riding Center. Pony rides are also available for youngsters on Saturdays, noon to 3 PM, during trail riding season. Check the programs & events finder for upcoming horse camps and horseback riding lessons.
For information and reservations call (937) 275-PARK (7275).
The natural areas of Carriage Hill MetroPark consist mainly of former farmland and woodlots.Large, open grasslands, diverse successional areas, created ponds and wetlands, a 14-acre lake and two forest tracts make for a very diverse experience.
The tall grass prairie and young forest provide food and cover for many birds and small mammals.
Shelters that haven’t been reserved are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Picnic table sites also are available.
Those with a passion for history and architecture will find ample opportunities to shoot photos at Carriage Hill. From farmhouse interiors to barn animals and four seasons of natural beauty, there is subject matter for every photo bug. Commercial photographers are required to get a permit. Also, while photographing in the farm area, please do not move items, equipment or animals.Also, please be mindful of the farm staff while they are performing their various tasks or presenting programs.
The century-old techniques of farm life at the historical farm may seem antiquated in today’s fast-paced and technology-filled world, but at their heart, they are sustainable concepts that can be adapted to modern times — from weaving, quilting and sewing your own textiles to woodworking, soap-making, cooking and food preservation.
Carriage Hill MetroPark offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. Volunteers help to bring the past to life by demonstrating 1880s farm or household chores and assisting with weekend activities. In addition, volunteers are needed at the visitor’s center.
New volunteers are always welcome! For more information, call (937) 275-PARK (7275) or visit our volunteer page.
Cross-country skiing is permitted on the hiking trails and through the picnic areas.
Hiking trails are open all winter long in most MetroParks, including Carriage Hill.
Ice fishing is permitted, but ice conditions are not monitored. Fish without a license and free-of-charge from the banks of both Cedar Lake and North Woods Pond.
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
Covering more than 900 acres, Carriage Hill offers scenic woodlands, prairies, a lake and pond. The park’s facilities interpret both the natural and cultural history of the Miami Valley.