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Time to Get Out & Hike

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Time to Get Out & Hike

Time to Get Out & Hike
Kristen Wicker
Thursday, October 04, 2018

Explore the 75-plus miles of hiking trails found in your 18 clean, safe Five Rivers MetroParks.

Time to Get Out & Hike

Five Rivers MetroParks: Get Out & Hike

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.

Hiking in Germantown MetroparkYou 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:

  • Carriage Hill MetroPark: Visit North Woods Pond, accessible from the orange and yellow trails.
  • Englewood MetroPark: Hike the green trail to visit the park’s waterfalls.
  • Germantown & Twin Creek MetroParks: Home to the 22-mile Twin Valley Backpacking Trail and miles of other trails, crossing a variety of terrain and habitats and offering scenic views to take in fall’s color pop.
  • Hills & Dales MetroPark: Hike the 1.4-mile Adirondack Trail, including a loop around beautiful Dogwood Pond and a boardwalk through a forested wetland.
  • Possum Creek MetroPark: Follow the purple trail through the Argonne Forest and discover beautiful woodlands — as well as the remnants of a 1930s- and 1940s-era amusement park known as the Argonne Forest Park.?
  • Sugarcreek MetroPark: Hike the green or orange trails to visit the Osage Orange Tunnel and Three Sisters at this park with a variety of trails, including a paved wheelchair-accessible loop. ?
  • Taylorsville MetroPark: The trails in East Park offer spectacular views of the Great Miami River, a rock outcrop and more.

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: 

  • Since it’s getting dark sooner, head out early and bring a flashlight. Make sure it has plenty of battery power.
  • Dress in layers and bring a rain jacket: Temperatures can vary wildly.
  • Wear tennis shoes, hiking boots or footwear with ankle support.
  • Always bring water and a snack.
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen: It’s still possible this time of year to get sunburnt.
  • Hike with someone or tell someone where you’re going.
  • Always bring a trail map.

Maps of all Five Rivers MetroParks trails are available at metroparks.org and at trailhead kiosks.

Backpacking the Twin Valley Trail

Backpacking the TVTFor 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.

TVT Camping Areas

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:

  • Oak Ridge: Located in the northern section of the TVT in Germantown MetroPark, this rural location near large native prairies makes Oak Ridge the perfect place for nighttime star gazing.
  • Cedar Ridge: Located in the middle section of the TVT, halfway between Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks, the three wooded campsites nestled into gentle hills provide a great resting stop.
  • Pine Ridge: Located in the southern section of the TVT in Twin Creek MetroPark, the campsites are tucked in the pines of the old Camp Hook and provide the opportunity to see and hear a number of owl species.

For more on hiking and backpacking in your MetroParks, as well as links to other local resources, visit metroparks.org/hiking

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About Kristen Wicker

Kristen Wicker

Kristen Wicker is the marketing manager for Five Rivers MetroParks and a Dayton native.

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