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5 Places for Outdoor Adventure in Dayton, OH

Get outside and explore at these destinations in the Dayton area.

By Patsy B. Weiler on August 22, 2022

RiverScape Metro Park, Dayton, OH
Jeff Adkins

If you want to stretch your legs and get some good exercise, you’ve come to the right place. The Dayton region gives outdoors lovers plenty to love, with an abundance of spacious adventure opportunities. Here are five “get moving” suggestions:

Great Miami Riverway

Home to Ohio’s only national water trail, the Great Miami Riverway features 99 miles of river that connect to 19 communities throughout southwest Ohio. Paddlers are encouraged to stop along the way and experience interesting community sites, including a visit to the Dayton Art Institute, have a cocktail at Century Bar, a meal at The Spot restaurant and much more. For more information, visit greatmiamiriverway.com.

Miami Valley Bike Trails

As the nation’s largest paved trail network, more than 350 miles of paved recreational biking trails link together with schools, parks, historic landmarks and area attractions throughout the Miami Valley. An online map (miamivalleytrails.org/trail-map) provides several suggestions of good trails for bicyclists as well as walkers and runners.

Founded in 2015, Link Dayton Bike Share now has 37 hub locations in the Dayton area for users to borrow from a fleet of bicycles and then return and lock them to bike racks when done. Daily rates vary, and a free app is available to download. Since Link launched, more than 18,500 users have taken nearly 140,000 trips, and additional hubs are being added to the University of Dayton campus. More information is at linkdayton.org.

Carousel at Carillon Historical Park
Jeff Adkins
Carousel at Carillon Historical Park

Carillon Historical Park

This 65-acre museum and park is open for anyone to walk its beautiful grounds during operating hours from 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. on Sunday. Walkers can view several historic outdoor highlights of Carillon, including a 151-foot-tall art-moderne tower and an 1890s pioneer schoolhouse. Check out daytonhistory.org.

Riverscape River Run

Canoe and kayak enthusiasts will be in their paddling glory when accessing these 7 miles along the Great Miami River. RiverScape has several launch points in downtown Dayton as well as from Carillon Historical Park, Eastwood MetroPark and the University of Dayton area. Visit metroparks.org/river-run.

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