Sharing my favorite hiking trails in Dayton in this Gem City Sunday post!
I’ve never considered myself an outdoorsy girl, and while that still holds true, living in Dayton has definitely helped me appreciate spending time in nature. Since our first week living in Dayton, Kyle and I have become hiking people, and we quickly fell in love with many of the different options for hiking trails in Dayton. We’ve gone hiking on sunny days, rainy days, and even in the snow. There are a couple hiking trails that I definitely won’t visit again, and there are also lots of trails in the area that I haven’t gotten to experience yet. Now that fall is here, I definitely want to do some more hiking in all of the beautiful fall foliage.
These are eight of my favorite hiking trails in Dayton:
GLEN HELEN NATURE PRESERVE
405 Corry Street
Yellow Springs, OH 45387
There’s a reason Glen Helen Nature Preserve is super popular, and that reason is it’s absolutely incredible. Kyle and I have been hiking in Glen Helen multiple times, and they’ve all been so memorable and beautiful. The first time we went was during our first week of living in Dayton, and we quickly fell in love. Glen Helen is huge, and we’ve only explored a little bit of it. In addition to several hiking trails, they also have a Raptor Center with several exotic birds that the preserve saved and a Trailside Museum that’s a must-visit, especially during the winter because they have hot beverages and a fire going.
CHARLESTON FALLS PRESERVE
2535 Ross Road
Tipp City, OH 45371
Charleston Falls Preserve will always have a special place in my heart because it’s the first hike we took Gunther on. We had had him for less than a month, and he was so adorable. We had no idea how he would do with other dogs, but he sniffed some butts, made some friends, and we all had a lovely time. When we took this hike in February, it was still super cold, but some of the ice was thawing. The main attraction at Charleston Falls Preserve is the waterfall, and it was half frozen and half flowing when we went. It looked so pretty.
COX ARBORETUM METROPARK
6733 N Springboro Pike
Dayton, OH 45449
The first hike we ever went on in Dayton was at Cox Arboretum MetroPark. I found out about the hike through an app called MeetUp. My goal was to meet some new people in the area, but everyone on the hike ended up being at least double our age. No lifelong friends were made, but we absolutely fell in love with Cox Arboretum Park. They have a free butterfly house that you can walk through, and there’s also a Tree Tower that you can climb and see beautiful views of the park.
CARRIAGE HILL METROPARK
7800 E Shull Road
Dayton, OH 45424
Kyle and I went to Carriage Hill MetroPark during the first month we lived in Dayton, and I’ll never forget how eventful our visit was. The reason we went for a hike was because I having a particularly awful day, and Kyle suggested that we get out of the house for a bit. He’s seriously the most incredible boyfriend, and during moments like those, I remember how lucky I am that he wants to hang out with me for the rest of his life. But I digress…
First of all, Carriage Hill has a lot going on. Something we try to do is get a physical map from the visitor center of all the hiking trails we go to. We like to highlight the trails we’ve taken and do our best to cover as much of the map as possible during our multiple hikes. Right across from the visitors center was a whole bunch of sheep and a goat. This definitely put me in a better mood – just seeing the sweet animals. Then toward the end of our hike, it started pouring down rain, and we had to sprint all the way to the car. It was seriously the most perfect thing for a little pick-me-up, and the park itself is really pretty.
HILLS & DALES METROPARK
2648 S. Patterson Boulevard
Kettering, OH 45409
I went to Hills & Dales MetroPark in May when I was doing my Municipality May challenge and trying to do something new in Dayton everyday during the month. Luckily, I had Gunther to keep me company. I grabbed a map at the start of the Adirondack Trail, and went on my way. I thought everything was so lovely and pretty, and everything was going great until it started to pour down rain on me. Just. My. Luck. It’s such a shame, because it was a really pretty hike. I fully plan on going again at least once with Kyle so we can experience it together.
SWEET ARROW RESERVE
789 Little Sugarcreek Road
Sugarcreek Township, OH 45440
On a pretty fall day, Kyle and I decided we had to get out of the house and see some fall foliage. Last fall was my first fall living in a place that actually has four seasons, and I quickly became obsessed with how pretty the trees looked during the fall. Sweet Arrow Reserve was exactly the kind of hike we were looking for. The leaves were all different colors and looking absolutely fabulous. We wandered along the trails, went over a couple bridges, and took some pretty fall photos. I loved this trail.
WEGERZYN GARDENS METROPARK
1301 E. Siebenthaler Avenue
Dayton, OH 45414
With a word like “gardens” in the name, Wegerzyn has a lot to live up to, and it delivers. There are so many beautiful plants and gardens, especially when you first enter the park. We went on this hike a few days after it rained, so we had to get creative with going around huge puddles and ended up wandering off the beaten path. Gunther got hella muddy, but he had so much fun, and we love seeing him have a good time. I would definitely recommend going when the weather hasn’t been too wet.
4095 Lower Valley Pike
Dayton, OH 45424
Huffman MetroPark is just your typical hiking trail, and they also have several biking trails as well. We opted to follow along the river that runs through the park, which led us to the dam. Honestly, there was nothing especially exciting about the hike, but if you’re looking for an awesome biking trail, I would definitely recommend Huffman.
Where’s your favorite place to go hiking?
Gem City Sunday is a series where I share blog posts about some of my favorite things in Dayton, Ohio. Why Dayton is called Gem City is unknown, but I do think this city is a little gem. My boyfriend, Kyle and I moved to Dayton during the summer of 2018, and the city found a way into our hearts. Check back on Sundays for new Gem City Sunday posts with topics ranging from my favorite restaurants, festivals to check out, things to do in Dayton, and lots more.