The snow finally melted, the sun is out and the temperatures are starting to feel like spring … but it’s still technically winter until mid-March. After what feels like the longest winter ever, you may be going a bit stir-crazy right now.
What’s there to do at the end of a dreary winter? Put the phone down, close the laptop and decompress by completely immersing yourself in nature for an afternoon. Great Parks is here for you to take time out and recharge. So put on your most comfortable pair of walking shoes and take a time out on these trails.
Little Turtle Trail | Shawnee Lookout
At 2 miles, the Little Turtle Trail is one of the longer nature trails at Great Parks. But don’t let that discourage you! Hikers of all levels can enjoy the sights along this trail. The Little Turtle Trail travels parallel to the Ohio River, where you can see views of the water below throughout your hike. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles, as they typically scout for nests along waterways during late winter to early spring. On your journey, you can also take a peek into the past; visible along the Little Turtle Trail is a prehistoric burial mound from the Woodland period, dating between approximately 1000 BC and 1000 AD.
Great Parks asks all guests be respectful of earthworks and burial mounds while visiting Shawnee Lookout.
Shaker Trace Trail | Miami Whitewater Forest
Miami Whitewater Forest has the most trail mileage of any Great Park, making it easy to find a spot where you can connect with nature. The Shaker Trace Trail has a paved 7.8-mile outer loop and paved 1.4-mile inner loop. Not only can you take in the views of a variety of native habitats like wetlands and prairies, but the Shaker Trace Loop has plenty of trees where you can slackline or kick back in a camp hammock.
Wetland Loop Trail | Glenwood Gardens
When you walk the 1.7-mile unpaved Wetland Loop Trail, you’ll enjoy the natural sights of prairies, wetlands and forests. But perhaps the most relaxing area is the Lotus Pond. While the lotus flowers don’t bloom until summer, the sights and sounds here will remind you why it’s important to reconnect with the outdoors after being cooped up all winter. In spring, keep your eyes peeled for elusive salamanders that make their homes in vernal ponds located along the trail.
Bikes, skates and scooters are not permitted on the Wetland Loop Trail.
Trout Lily Trail | Withrow Nature Preserve
If you enjoy the great outdoors but need a bit more shade during your nature time out, Trout Lily Trail is the place for you. The 1.7-mile unpaved loop takes you through a mature hardwood forest where you may see eastern bluebirds and American woodcocks. Because of Withrow Nature Preserve’s hilltop location, you can also enjoy views of the Ohio River from the picturesque overlook.
Thank you to our Trail Champion of the Trout Lily Trail, BiS.
Looking for another trail where you can take a time out? Check out all 78 miles of Great Parks’ trails. Don’t forget to be kind outside! Practice trail etiquette, wear a face mask when physical distancing isn’t possible and pack out anything you bring with you in to a park.
Before you head out, be sure to check park alerts and closures for the most up-to-date park information.
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