Miami Whitewater Forest (Harrison, Oh)


Number of Trails:

3 nature trails, 2 parcours fitness trails and an equestrian trail.


9001 Mt. Hope Rd

Harrison, OH 45030

39°15’36.37″N 84°44’44.69″W

Observed Wildlife:

Whitetail deer, Grey and Fox squirrels, chipmunks, frogs, turtles, woodpeckers and various songbirds.


If you go to one park in Ohio,  for a day trip or weekend, make it this one. The park features several trails from paved bike paths that pass by park’s 130 acre wetland area and viewing shelter, to more rugged terrain, like the Badlands Trail. With an 18 hole golf course, 46 site campground, picnic shelters, frisbee golf course and wet playground there are plenty of family activities, enough for an entire weekend. An 85 acre lake and boathouse provide fishing, from the bank or boat, as well as boat rental. The visitor center has nature displays on two levels, as well as a gift shop, where you can sign up for the Hiking Staff Program. The ecology of the park is quite diverse, both botanically and zoologically, with an understory that is overgrown in some places and near bare in others. Old growth and new growth of both deciduous and pine forests, lakes, streams, ponds and wetlands, even a miniature prairie can all be found within the park boundaries along it’s excellent hiking trails.

Shaker Trace Trail:

This moderate paved trail has a 7.8 mile main loop, with access to the wetlands viewing area, and a 1.2 mile inner loop, with a parcours element, for the less adventurous. All manner of people, some on bikes or rollerblades, some walking, some running, can be found most days on this busy trail.

Parcours Trail:

A 1.4 mile long wooded parcours trail with several exercise stations. Hikers and athletes share this moderate trail.

Oak Leaf Trail:

Although quite short, at 0.8 miles, there’s a lot to see. A small pond and a slightly larger lake, off a spur with a bench, as well as some stream crossings provide ample opportunity to observe the parks wetland species such as ducks, geese, frogs, dragonflies and fish, which often swim near the surface. The moderate trek should be taken slowly to enjoy this little gem buried in the heart of the park.

Badlands Trail:

Sharing the trailhead with Oak Leaf, just across the road, lies the rugged terrain of the Badlands Trail. A 1.7 mile trek with a 0.9 mile cutoff, this trail is a spectacular display of Ohio valley geology. Lots of walking over the rugged ups and downs at speed can tire some, but ventured more slowly there is plenty to see. Some of the older and larger trees in the park are here along with a lot of diverse plant life, wildlife and geological features to study.

Tallgrass Prairie Trail:

Don’t dismiss this 0.6 mile moderate trail, nor underestimate its ability to astound. Near the park’s wildflower management area this wooded trail breaks into a small prairie area with grasses, wildflowers, butterflies, birds and insects, such as the pictured walking stick. Take your time here. At the entrance back into the woods, on the right, is a beehive in a tree knot. This one passes by a lake as well.


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