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Explore the 75-plus miles of hiking trails found in your 18 clean, safe Five Rivers MetroParks.
The best place to experience fall foliage is from your own two feet, exploring the 75-plus miles of hiking trails found in your 18 clean, safe Five Rivers MetroParks.
You can even plan your hike from home: Google has incorporated 360-degree virtual imagery of more than 600 miles of Dayton-area trails and park destinations into its Google Maps. Captured areas include:
The cooler temperatures mean there aren’t as many biting insects, and the falling leaves make it easier to spot wildlife. Explore extraordinary leaf-peeping opportunities along trails with varying terrain and distances suitable for all fitness levels and everyone who would like to experience the outdoors. For those who are able to hike up stairs, the Tree Tower at Cox Arboretum MetroPark is a great place for panoramic fall views.
Five Rivers MetroParks’ well-marked trails are color coded and most are loops. Suggested hikes include:
You don’t need a lot of equipment to get out and hike, but here are a few tips to make your adventure safe and enjoyable:
Maps of all Five Rivers MetroParks trails are available at metroparks.org and at trailhead kiosks.
For the more adventurous hiker, fall is also a great time for backpacking. Five Rivers MetroParks’ conservation efforts in the Twin Valley not only help protect the wildest natural area in Montgomery County — they provide an excellent outdoor recreation opportunity as well. The 22-mile Twin Valley Backpacking Trail (TVT) is set in the rolling hills of this area, connecting Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks — and located less than 30 minutes from downtown Dayton.
Providing a backpacking experience reminiscent of other wilderness trails, the TVT winds through a variety of habitats, including old-growth forests, prairies, grasslands, wetlands and ponds. The land is home to native plants and wildlife, the Twin Creek is one of the cleanest rivers in Ohio, and 2,000-year-old earthworks constructed by the Hopewell culture can be seen.
The TVT includes three primitive camping areas, each with three campsites large enough for two backpacking tents. Each location includes a vault toilet and common area. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling 937-275-PARK. The TVT camping areas are:
For more on hiking and backpacking in your MetroParks, as well as links to other local resources, visit metroparks.org/hiking.
Kristen Wicker is the marketing manager for Five Rivers MetroParks and a Dayton native.