Glimpse the birds of early spring with Glen Helen director Nick Boutis. $5, members free. Trailside.
Winter blues? Nah! Winter fun!
Hey Guys! Remember me? Found Dayton, left Dayton, came back to Dayton, got married in Dayton now working, living and loving being back in the city, back home. There’s a little more to it than that and whole journey that brought me home but long story short I’m back writing for DaytonMostMetro only this time instead of dating adventures, I’m covering outdoor adventures and all that our great city has to offer for us nature enthusiasts.
If you’re like most of us in Ohio, the dreary months of Winter tend to bring you down, either from the gray skies or your Vitamin D deficiency you find yourself lacking enthusiasm to get up and move more than you have to. What I’ve learned over the years is that getting up and moving, despite how you feel – solves the problem.
Way before the season of New Year resolutions (December) – I made the decision that I had to make movement a regular thing in the Winter, even it made me miserable. In the Spring, Summer & Fall I absolutely love hiking and my woodland strolls, I would trade the gym and treadmill for a walk amongst the trees any day but in the Winter, well you know – you live here – it’s flipping painful to breathe some days but I realized that without the serenity that comes from my nature walks I wouldn’t make it through the long Winter months. For me, the outdoors and playing in nature is a must – year round. Luckily for me, Dayton and the surrounding region offers some of the most beautiful trails and winter landscapes.
So for those of you like me willing to brave the cold, here’s a list of my favorites places to walk the paths of Winter!
Wegerzyn Gardens – The Marie Aull Nature Trail
Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall Wegerzyn Gardens is one of my favorite places to find calm and serenity! It’s gardens are something out of a fairytale and landscape brings instant zen. The Marie Aull Nature Trail might be one of Dayton’s best kept secrets because I’m usually one of a few people walking it. If you’re looking for quiet serene place to get your daily cardio on a low traffic trail Marie Aull is your spot. Get ready to do some bird watching too!
Possum Creek has over 5 miles of trails that are perfect for walking and hiking. For the nature enthusiast it’s trails are home to many furry little creatures. I love downtown, but when I am looking to get away from the city – quiet places like Possum Creek bring back the calm. The Barn and farm animals are always fun too!
What a view! Last year I was on a mission to visit all of our Metro Parks in Dayton. Huffman was early on my stops being so close to home. It was absolutely freezing the day I went and yet I walked the trails for over an hour. The winter sky is incredible from the top of dam and for all you Instagram junkies looking for the perfect shot – you may want to visit. Huffman is also one of my favorites for birdwatching and other wildlife.
Admittedly, I just discovered Sugarcreek this past Spring and it quickly became one of my favorite hikes in Dayton. The old oak trees and songbirds make my own heart sing. The wooded trails are some of the prettiest in Dayton and the prairie offers bird watching like nowhere else locally I have found. The Spring is really beautiful here, but the snow capped hills and branches are something you want to see.
Metroparks.org describes Twin Creek as nature’s best and they’re not far off. The backcountry trail, babbling brook and wildlife quickly makes you forget that busy week you’re so desperately looking to get away from. This is one of the most peaceful nature walks that Dayton has to offer and the prettiest scenery at dusk. While you may not see many other hikers, you’re likely to run into four legged visitors on the Twin Valley Backpacking Trail.
There are so many amazing trails and miles upon miles of wooded wildlife in Dayton to experience, these are just five of my favorites. To learn more about what Five Rivers Metro Parks has to offer for the nature lover in you visit their site. In the meantime, put on a hat, scarf and some mittens and cross these five off of your list!
Tell us about your favorite hikes and trails in Dayton on Facebook! I try to unplug on my nature walks but the Instagram junkie in me always has my phone handy. If you bring yours along make sure to capture your photos and share them with us! Tag @mostmetro.
Stayed tuned for more adventures, interviews and more!