10 More Secluded Hiking Trails
Story & Photos By Matt Bayman
Click HERE for the first 10
1. The Roger Presley Trail in Tipp City
This brand-new trail is amazing! It was completely hand-cut by one man over three years—a Mr. Roger Presley. It starts near City Park (at the bottom of the hill behind Trophy Nut on Second Street) and follows the Great Miami River to State Route 571. The views of the river are second-to-none in these parts. It’s also connected to Freeman Prairie, offering access to even more trails. Presley said he plans to keep trailblazing further. During the coming days and weeks, the marsh marigolds along the river will brighten up the trail even more.
2. The Avenue of Flags to Duke Park in Troy
Park your vehicle next to the Troy Senior Center and enjoy a 3-mile hike along the Great Miami River and at Duke Park. The walk will pass the Avenue of Flags along the levee (pictured below left), then past Treasure Island Park (pictured below) on the other side of the river, and finally loop around Duke Park (pictured bottom right) and back to the Senior Center.
3. Eldean Covered Bridge to Farrington Falls
Park at the Eldean Covered Bridge and then take a walk north on the Great Miami Recreational Trail to Farrington Reserve where a waterfall is located next to the trail at Peterson Road. From the bridge to the waterfall and back is about 4 miles. Other highlights on this route include the Twin Arches bridge (one of only two structures of its kind left in Ohio from the canal era), blossoming marsh marigold on both sides of the trail and the Robert J. Shook Bikeway Bridge, among others.
4. Historic Bear’s Mill
6450 Arcanum Bears Mill Rd., Greenville
Although the Mill is closed to the public, there is a short trail system behind it that has a veterans memorial, the Veterans Memorial covered walking bridge (pictured below left) and a scenic spillway (below right) on Greenville Creek. Nearby is the Tecumseh Trail, referred to on Google maps as the Ohio Bicycle Rte. 36 trail. It is another peaceful walk in the countryside.
5. River’s Edge Wildlife Preserve in West Milton
Located on Calumet Road, at State Route 48 north of West Milton, River’s Edge Wildlife Preserve is a second property of Brukner Nature Center. The Cascades Loop trail at the preserve follows the crest of a deep ravine and includes limestone cliffs and a waterfall (bottom left), plus views of the Stillwater River.
6. River’s Edge Nature Preserve in West Milton
3505 Calumet Rd.
This nature preserve is located at the Transfiguration Center for Spiritual Renewal and is the former estate of Kathryn Lange. In her last will and testament, Lange asked that her estate be used to provide housing for retired priests of the Catholic Church (which it does), and that the more than 160 acres of prairies and woods on her property be preserved in their natural state. She also asked that her home be used as a retreat center that “people might enjoy the beauty and peace of this place.” The River Ridge Nature Preserve (pictured below in the fall) certainly lives up to this wish. The preserve is about 150 acres of wooded trails and prairies located along the Stillwater River. Hikers first pass through woods before reaching the huge prairie and river. A wooden observation deck provides amazing views of the prairie and riparian corridor. (NOTE: Upon entering the facility, take the first left to park for the trails).
7. The River’s Edge Trail in Piqua
Connected to the Great Miami Recreational Trail, this loop trail starts in downtown Piqua and follows the Great Miami River north to Swift Run Lake. It then returns south along the Swift Run canal to Echo Lake, passing the blooming trees and labyrinth at Forest Hill Cemetery (as well as the veteran flags pictured below right), and Fountain Park before eventually returning to downtown Piqua. It’s a great trail because the scenery is always changing. It's also very stroller-friendly. Click HERE to view a map of the trail system in Piqua.
8. Miami Memorial Park in Covington
7875 N. Cresent Rd.
This cemetery has a number of beautiful statues, as well as wide open spaces and beautiful spring foliage.
9. Maple Ridge Reserve in Covington
10430 Rt. 185
Located near two other Miami County Parks, Maple Ridge Reserve has a large trail system that passes through three distinct areas in the park – by the Stillwater River (and the maple sugaring house pictured below), through the woods and a large prairie. Watch for lots of wildflowers and mushrooms along the trails, as well as a fishing pond that attracts people and birds. (The other two parks, all located within a mile or so of each other, are Stillwater Prairie Reserve and Goode Prairie Preserve.
10. Cedar Bog Nature Preserve in Urbana
980 Woodburn Rd
Although the nature center is closed, the trail is open for visitors. Just drop $5 in the outside payment box and explore one of the most unique 450 acres in Ohio. The area is considered a fen. It was left behind by retreating glaciers some 12,000 years ago. The preserve is known for its amazing wildflower displays and its unique wildlife. Plan your visit HERE.