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Greene County Ohio Offers Nature and History

Located in the rolling hills east of Dayton, Greene County, Ohio offers something for everyone. Those who love the outdoors will enjoy the 2,600 acres of parks and nature reserves with an abundance of hiking, fishing, picnicking, canoeing and camping.

In Yellow Springs, John Bryan State Park, considered the most scenic state park in western Ohio, has 60 campsites, one of which is a teepee. It is home to hiking trails along the Little Miami River. In Clifton, the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve has scenic waterfalls and rapids to explore.

A popular area in Cedarville is the Indian Mound Reserve. It is the home of Cedar Cliff Falls, a scenic destination no matter what the season. Narrows Reserve in Beavercreek has meadows and ravines to explore with hiking trails. Beavercreek Wetlands Nature Reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Russ Nature Reserve has a 4,000 square foot ranch soon to be renovated as a nature education center. It has a bee apiary and a butterfly house.

The city of Fairborn has 714 acres of park land, with 20 parks including a nature reserve and numerous sport fields. Oakes Quarry Park is a former rock quarry with fossil beds and miles of hiking and horseback riding trails.

At Sugarcreek Reserve in Bellbrook you can see three 550-year-old oak trees known as “The Three Sisters.” Sara Lee Arnovitz Nature Preserve in Xenia has a boardwalk path through the marsh area. Caesar Ford Park provides natural surface trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.

Greene County has three locations for canoe rentals. The Little Miami National and State Scenic River flows through the Jacoby Road Canoe Launch near Xenia. RiversEdge Canoe Livery and Outfitters, between Bellbrook and Waynesville, also follows the Little Miami River and has canoes and kayaks to rent. In Bellbrook, Bellbrook Canoe Rental offers the gentle current of the Little Miami with canoes, kayaks and tubes.

Biking is plentiful in Greene County. Over 600 miles of county and township roads allow riders to experience the serene rural landscape. John Bryan State Park offers 7 miles of trails open to bicycles. The MoMBA Mountain Biking Area in Huffman MetroPark has over 8 miles of dedicated mountain biking trails. Rails-to-Trails Bike Paths start in Xenia and extend in every direction with trail-side lodging, restaurants, parking and services available.

For the history buff, Cedarville is the location of Indian Mound Reserve, home of two American Indian structures that have been around for hundreds of years. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park follows the path of two brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, creators of the first practical airplane. The Wright Brothers Memorial is situated near Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the site of that first flight. At the National Museum of the United States Air Force and the National Aviation Hall of Fame you can see thousands of historical aviation items.

History enthusiasts will appreciate that there are six covered bridges still standing in Greene County. Dating back as far as 1883, some are still accessible to road traffic. Considered to be one of the loveliest covered bridges in Ohio, the Ballard Road Bridge is a beautiful photographic opportunity.

Looking for more of a thrill? Low and slow flying in an open cockpit biplane will allow you to step back in time and enjoy the pleasure of pure flying. Let the wind blow through your hair and let the smell of the countryside give you the magical feeling of the early barnstorming years that many will never get to experience. Check out Goodfolk & O’Tymes Biplane Rides to take your family on an open-air flight reminiscent of days gone by. Every member of the family can take flight, but children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent.

Experience skydiving at Ohio’s oldest skydiving school, Skydive Greene County. They offer tandem skydiving under the direct supervision of a licensed instructor. From a jump altitude of 11,500 feet, you’ll freefall for a period and then parachute back to earth. There are several area golf courses for those who prefer more down-to-earth excitement.

Stop by the Historic Clifton Mill for a bite to eat and a look at one of the largest water-powered grist mills still in existence. The Historic Clifton Mill was built in this location to take advantage of the natural power of the concentrated water funneled from the Little Miami River into the Clifton Gorge. Today, you can still see the mill operate, converting natural water power into energy. Tour the facility to see early machinery and how stones are used to grind grain into flour. A visit to Historic Clifton Mill is truly an educational experience that you and your family will long remember.

Young’s Dairy in Yellow Springs offers homemade ice cream. But some of the best ice cream in Ohio is only the beginning at this family-owned farm. Miniature golf, two restaurants, a heated driving range, batting cages, a petting zoo, two gift shops, and a seasonal corn maze will keep your family busy.

Complete your visit to Greene County with some spectacular one-of-a-kind shopping. In Xenia, visit the historic downtown area where you can explore antique stores and specialty clothing shops. The village of Yellow Springs shops offer everything from poetry and pottery to sandals and stained glass.

Want to spend a night or two? Greene County offers numerous hotel accommodations, as well as 15 bed and breakfast locations ranging from Victorian homes to private cottages.

For more information about Greene County and to request a free Visitors Guide contact Greene County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1221 Meadow Bridge Dr., Suite A, Beavercreek, OH 45434 or phone 937-429-9100. You can also find specific information about sites in Greene County, Ohio on their website www.greenecountyohio.org

Greene County Ohio Offers Nature and History

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