Dayton Area Trails
Dayton and the surrounding area have numerous opportunities for trail enthusiasts to explore everything nature and what the city has to offer.
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Weather in Dayton in May = getting outdoors on the trails!
The weather in May in the Dayton, Ohio area will include average temperatures with a high of 71 degrees and a low of 51 degrees. The chance of even light rain is less than 50 percent on average, and the probability of at least partly sunny skies on any given day is 62 percent. In southwest Ohio, May typically is considered one of the most appealing months for weather. In addition, because Dayton is on the western edge of the Eastern time zone, the sun will not set until after 8:30pm.
Proximity to Trails and Outdoor Recreation Opportunities
As the "Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest," the Dayton region has tremendous outdoor recreation opportunities, anchored by myriad trail systems. The State of Ohio allows for the creation of park districts for the preservation of open space and recreation, and so Five Rivers MetroParks (serving Montgomery County/Dayton), Greene County Parks and Trails, and the Miami County Park District overlay the municipal and county park systems to provide an abundance of natural open space in the region. Dayton's rivers and creeks, along with abandoned rail systems, provide the linear corridors that serve as the architecture for the open space and made many of the trails possible. From Dayton's paved trail network — the nation’s largest — to soft surface trails to water trails, Dayton and the surrounding area offers all tread surfaces and outdoor experiences for every taste within 15 minutes of downtown.
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NATURAL SURFACE TRAILS
- There are abundant natural surface hiking trails in the region through a variety of natural habitats — woods, prairies, or wetlands. Charleston Falls in the Miami County Park District offers a hike past a striking waterfall and natural caves. Trails at Taylorsville MetroPark wind through mature forests along the Great Miami River. Possum Creek MetroPark offers a trail through 100 acres of prairie, and MetroParks’ Great Miami Wetland Mitigation Bank provides trail through yet another habitat. Each of these trails is within 15 minutes of downtown Dayton. The trail at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve in Greene County is perhaps the most striking in the region. The deep gorge of dolomite limestone along the Little Miami River is a remarkable hiking experience and worth the 30 minute drive.
- MetroParks’ mountain bike trail, MoMBA, features nine miles of trail that offers a range of experiences for novice to expert riders. A beginner trail and skills park currently are under construction. MoMBA is 12 minutes from downtown. John Bryan State Park in Greene County provides an additional ten miles of tight, twisty turns and small climbs on mountain bike trails.
- Big Maples Farm in Oxford, Ohio, offers 68 miles of OHV trail, ranging from easy to difficult. The trails traverse woods, mud bogs and rocks. Lake Bailee Recreation Park offers multiple motocross tracks for a variety of skill levels in Hamilton, Ohio. Both sites offer primitive camping. Two private OHV trails are within 30 minutes of downtown: Thrashing Trails in Xenia and Hidden Spring Ranch in Enon offer an opportunity to work with private sector partners for the ITS. Additional OVH trails are available in Wayne National Forest and Brown County, Indiana, both within a 2 ½ hour drive. Dayton’s two motorized clubs, Dayton Dirt Riders and Dayton Motorcycle Club, will help us with volunteers and with connecting to these trails.
- Equestrian trails are available at Carriage Hill, Englewood, Possum Creek, Twin Creek, and Sugarcreek MetroParks, as well as at Sycamore State Park. Carriage Hill MetroPark also offers a riding center with trail and pony rides. Multi-use trails along the Little Miami River in the Greene County Park District are open to equestrians. A riding center in Yellow Springs offers another chance to collaborate with the private sector.
- Bike lanes and sharrows on streets adjacent to the Crowne Plaza and the DoubleTree Dayton Downtown (formerly the Dayton Grand Hotel) lead to the nation's largest paved trail network within five blocks. Downtown Dayton is a spoke in the hub of the paved trail network that gives cyclists, runners, walkers and roller bladers four trail options. For shorter trips, the Dayton Art Institute, the natural history museum Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, and Carillon Historical Park are within four miles. Longer trips are available to a variety of towns and parks in the region, all with a unique flavor. Trails leading out of downtown to the north and east are part of the North Country Trail and the Buckeye Trail. The local partners will provide maps of the regional paved trail network for all ITS participants as part of their welcome packet.
- Accessible trails are available close by as well. In addition to the accessible paved trail network, an accessible loop is available at Island MetroPark two miles north of downtown along the Great Miami River and at DeWeese Park another mile north along the Stillwater River. Cox Arboretum MetroPark offers an accessible trail loop through one of the region’s premier parks 15 minutes south of downtown.
Dayton is home to the nation's largest paved trail network, with 330 miles of trail to explore. Learn more at Miami Valley Trails.
- Three of Ohio’s water trails flow into downtown Dayton: the Great Miami, Mad, and Stillwater rivers. The best paddling experience close to downtown begins on the Mad River at Eastwood MetroPark, four miles from downtown, starting by paddling through the wooded corridor and over the Mad River Run, whitewater play spot that offers a recreational bypass. Heron, beaver and trout frequent this stretch of river. Eventually, the river winds and the whole of the downtown skyline comes into view. The trip can end at RiverScape MetroPark and RiverScape River Run, another whitewater play spot with a recreational bypass that is under construction right now. See a map of river access points in downtown Dayton...
- The Stillwater River in Miami County is a State Scenic River. Spring is the perfect season to paddle this lazy stream passing through farm fields and woodlands. The Great Miami River is also beautiful through Miami County. Canoes can be rented from liveries for both rivers.
- The Little Miami River, a National Scenic River in Greene and Clinton counties, is perhaps the most remarkable water trail in the region. Liveries along the river can provide canoes or kayaks to paddle through wooded, winding waterways through deep ravines and wide fields.
ADDITIONAL OUTDOOR RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
A great range of additional outdoor recreation opportunities are available to ITS attendees in the vicinity of downtown Dayton. If the family is along, the region offers plenty for the kids to do as well.
For more opportunies to explore the greater Dayton area, check out the ITS 2017 reading list.
- Experienced play boat kayakers will thrive in Dayton. Downtown offers two whitewater play spots on the Great Miami River, and a third can be found three miles upstream on the Mad River at Eastwood MetroPark. Springfield, Ohio, 30 minutes to the northeast, has a series of play spots on Buck Creek.
- Front country camping is provided at a variety of MetroParks throughout the region. Backcountry camping is available on the 22-mile Twin Valley Backpacking Trail in Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks, 30 minutes southwest of downtown.
- A remarkable array of birds can be found among the prairies and wetlands of MetroParks’ Great Miami Wetland Mitigation Bank. The lake at Englewood MetroPark has been home, or a stopover, to 183 species in the last few years, including three bald eagles that are currently frequenting the park nearly every day.
- Rock climbers won’t be left out. John Bryan State Park has a series of routes along its dolomite limestone cliffs. And for a remarkably convenient climbing experience, ITS attendees can walk to Urban Krag in the Oregon District and climb a variety of routes in an 1800s-era former church.
- A variety of disc golf courses are available for play in the area. Nine different courses, all receiving “A” or “B” ratings on the Disc Golf Scene website, are within 15 miles of downtown.
- The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a nationally recognized natural history museum just three miles north of downtown along the Stillwater River and the bike trail. Kids will find hours of fun in the planetarium, tree house, zoo and other attractions.
- Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, 15 minutes from downtown and near Aullwood Garden MetroPark and Englewood MetroPark, offers another great experience for the whole family. The farm is a model of sustainable agriculture, and the 1880s bank barn houses draft horses, cattle, sheep, goats, hogs and barn cats.
- Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark’s Children’s Discovery Garden, just four miles north on the Stillwater River, provides hours of fun for kids. Divided into three main areas, the garden provides opportunities to play among interesting and whimsical plant displays, learn about Ohio habitats, and learn to grow vegetables and other backyard plants.