Whether you are a serious hiker or just enjoy a casual stroll, it is nice to have resources that help you find trails and interesting features about them. Here are some good apps and ideas that are worth checking out for your next trip to the parks.
(Note: Great Parks does not endorse and is not receiving any compensation for these suggestions.)
- AllTrails – Search more than 100,000 trails from a community of 10 million registered hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners.
- Komoot – Used by 9 million people worldwide as a tool for exploring the great outdoors, wherever you choose to go.
- GAIA GPS – Access a deep catalog of topo maps, satellite imagery and other maps.
- Facebook Groups – You can find local groups where people share their experiences, locations and ideas for places to go hiking in the area. Ohio Backpacking/Hiking Group and Hiking Ohio are a couple worth checking out.
- Google – Always a good go-to with a simple search “trails near me” to find one that you may not have been to before.
Of course, if you want to stay local, your Great Parks offers nearly 80 miles of trails, with nearly 20 miles of nature trails for hiking. If you are an avid hiker, grab your backpack and hit the Badlands (1.7 miles), Timberlakes (1.4 miles) and Oakleaf (0.8 miles) trails at Miami Whitewater Forest. These trails all start at the same parking lot, so hike all three and make it a trifecta!
Beyond the 20+ miles of nature trails, there is also an 8-mile mountain bike trail at Mitchell Memorial Forest that has moderate to challenging terrain that makes for a great day hike. For those that are looking for easier hikes, be sure to visit the Gorge Trail (0.7 miles, one way) at Sharon Woods. There, you will enjoy beautiful waterfalls and deep ravines carved from the glaciers during the Ice Age. There is also the Pin Oak Trail (0.6 miles) at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve that offers a nice stroll through the woods and passes by a meadow and a pond.
No matter what your level of interest in hiking is, there are always new trails to explore, here and abroad, easy and challenging. One thing to remember is to always be prepared and take it all in.
Kimberly Whitton, Public Engagement Coordinator