Outdoor Hiking Guide for Southwest Ohio

If you are a day hiker looking to add variety to your weekend, three Miami Valley area parks offer hiking trails that range from easy to difficult. Each of the parks also have at least one amenity that is family-oriented.

Hueston Woods

Overlapping the Butler and Preble County line, this 3,000-acre Ohio State park has 12 hiking trails in addition to a 12-mile mountain bike path and 18-mile horse riding trail. Since all the hiking trails are easy to moderate, this park is a great fit for someone just starting out. The trails are relatively short too — ranging from .7 miles to 2.2 miles.

Other park amenities include:

  • Boating, swimming or fishing in 625-acre lake. Dogs are permitted (park also has a small dog park area)
  • Archery Range
  • Golf and Disc Golf
  • Canoeing
  • Seasonal hunting with permit
  • Wide range of camping options from non-electric to lodge (you can even rent a yurt)
  • Paintball
  • Plenty of parking — best place to park is near lake

Also, unique to the Southwest Ohio region, you can hunt fossils in this state park.

Germantown MetroPark

If you want a more intense hiking experience head over to the Germantown MetroPark located on the outskirts of Germantown. This park includes some of the oldest forest in the region.

The trails in this park are a loop — reducing the possibility of getting lost — but also making it easier to park a vehicle near the ingress/egress of your chosen trail. The trails range from easy to difficult and are .5 miles to 6.8 miles long.

Some of the trails do cross creeks or go near the banks of Twin Creek, so in the spring or after heavy rains, those areas can be very muddy. Depending on the time of day you hike, you should see a wide array of birds or other wildlife.

Other park amenities include:

  • Fishing (areas for both licensed and non-licensed fishing)
  • Nature Center — which has an excellent bird-watching area
  • Camping
  • Picnic areas
  • Twin Valley Backpacking Trail passes through the park
  • Old-growth forest

After a day of hiking, drop by the village of Germantown to take in an inexpensive movie or to enjoy an steak dinner at the Florentine Restaurant.

Whitewater Memorial State Park

For a hiking experience midway in difficulty between Hueston Woods and Germantown MetroPark head over to Liberty, Indiana, to the Whitewater Memorial State Park. The park was created in the late 1940’s as a tribute to the men and women who served in WWII. Its strongest feature is the man-made 200-acre Whitewater Lake.

Hiking trails at the park, in one fashion or another, circle the lake. The moderately difficult trails are .5 miles to 2.7 miles long, traversing through old and new forest and meadow areas. If you want a stunning view of nearby Brookville Lake, hike the 2-mile Veterans Vista Loop.

Other park amenities include:

  • Boating — including row boat and paddle boat rentals
  • Fishing
  • Horseback riding
  • Camping
  • Golf
  • Swimming and beach area

This park does charge an admission of $5 per carload for Indiana residents and $7 per carload for non-state residents — or you can purchase a season pass.

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