One of my absolute favorite things about Oakwood is the shear abundance of parks and hiking trails. There are so many great places around town to get out, enjoy nature, and maybe even get a little exercise. Living on the west side of town, my family and our pup love getting out for a good walk most days of the week. Knowing how important these walks are to me, proximity to the parks was something I factored in to my home-buying decision. So, if you’re anything like me, or you just want to know what’s around, here are a few of my favorite places for a good hike!
Close To Home
This park is so aptly named as the terrain is quite hilly. Situated between Oakwood and Kettering, it’s a great (and quick) getaway any day of the week! The park is long and narrow (about 3 miles of trail), but with all the side trails, there are plenty of opportunities for variation. I love the solitude of the southern section at Old Barn Camp, while the hill up to Adirondack Camp kicks my behind every time! (Is any one else ever tempted to yell “Fore!” when passing golfers playing at the Dayton Country Club course, or is it just me?)
Link together the various parks through out Oakwood’s western side for a longer jaunt, especially when paired with Hills & Dales. You’ll want to check out Centennial Park at Houk Stream (this is hands (or paws) down my dog’s favorite park in Oakwood!) running between Ridgeway and Deep Hollow/Runnymede. There are some large flat stone ledges that are the perfect place to wet your feet on a hot day! Within Centennial Park, you’ll find Francine’s Garden, a special place donated and dedicated from one Oakwood resident to his beloved wife. From there wander through Elizabeth Gardens Park (between Ridgeway & Forrer) to the Loy Garden (my favorite hidden gem).
A Little Further Out
Germantown is a little further out, but a great option when I want to get in some miles. At 1,665 acres, this park has nearly 14 miles of beautiful trails that will really help you feel away from it all. I’ve hiked through in the summer under the shade of the tree canopies and in the winter crunching through those fallen leaves. No matter the time of year, it never disappoints!
Running along the Great Miami River, the views here are amazing and there’s always wildlife hanging around. I also love the little waterfalls. While there’s enough trail to get some double-digit miles in, I usually stick to the yellow and orange trails. There’s only about 7 miles of designated trail, but there are paths that extend beyond this.
I grew up coming to this park, and my favorite time was in the winter hiking through the snow. It is so pretty with the river frozen and a coating of snow hanging on the trees. Bonus, if it’s around Christmastime, Clifton Mill is nearby to see their amazing display of lights. You might also stop by the Glen Helen Nature Preserve nearby. No matter what time of year you come it’s always a beautiful and peaceful place to go for a walk.
This is just a small sampling of the trails around the area! For more options check out the Five Rivers Metroparks, the Centerville-Washington Park District, and Ohio state parks (Caesar Creek!). Dogs are allowed on leash at each of the parks called out above, but always double check.
Also, if you enjoy hiking with others, try Dayton Hikers! Most of what I’ve discovered, I’ve found while hiking with them. They are a great group of people who like just to have fun outdoors!
What did I forget? Where is your favorite place to hit the trails? Comment below!