Dayton hikers tell us their favorite spots to enjoy autumn leaves

Vibrant oranges, reds and yellows are already dotting the Miami Valley landscape but it’s just the beginning as the area will soon be immersed in the splendor of seasonal color.

“We are entering prime viewing season as autumn’s spectacular colors come into focus,” said Ohio Department of Natural Resources fall color forester Jamie Regula.

As a result of seasonal temperatures and an average amount of rainfall, Regula said to anticipate a traditional fall color season in Ohio with colors peaking in mid to late October with southern Ohio being close to the end of the month.

But with 125 different species of trees statewide, color changes vary greatly. Among the first to light up the landscape are black walnut, ash and buckeye trees.

Want to find a scenic spot to hike or bike this fall? Members of the Dayton Hikers weigh in on some of their favorite places to enjoy the fall color.



“My favorite place for the best fall colors is Grant Park in Centerville. The trails are easy. For the best viewing look for areas where there is a change in habitat or terrain. For example, visit one of the meadows that border a forest and observe the trees from a meadow where your view is unobstructed. Hike along Holes Creek or one of the ponds with a view of the woods. Hike to a hilly area and enjoy the fall colors from an overlook or hillside. Sunny days are best but overcast days offer good fall color viewing, too. Consider leaf viewing early in the morning or later in the afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. When the sun is lower it illuminates trees and leaves from a side angle which makes the colors more vibrant.” — Andy “Captain Blue” Niekamp

“Bill Yeck Park in Centerville, they did so many great renovations recently. The yellow trail is the best, but the new wooden pathway on the brown trail is definitely one to go see. I always see toads and fungus and always find a lucky buckeye in the fall. It’s a beautiful place to hike.” — Corrinne Hellmund

“And just across Wilmington Pike from Bill Yeck Park, Sugarcreek MetroPark is also a good place for a quick walk through the woods to see the autumn colors. And don’t forget to look down as well as up.” — Jamie Obermeyer

“Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, the ‘old’ section has the best color. A large variety of trees is what makes this place so spectacular.” — Tom Maher

“High View trailhead at Twin Creek MetroPark is always a great view, and will get even better as the leaves change.” — Tim Ryan

For even more options, the Five Rivers MetroParks mobile app, through OuterSpatial, includes a Best Trails: Leaf Peeping section which highlights local parks and specific trails selected by staff members as ideal for experiencing the fall colors.

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