Great Parks

Miami Whitewater Forest Trails

Park Location:9001 Mt. Hope Road
Harrison, OH 45030
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  • Badlands Trail

    As the trail sneaks through the woods, the streams put on a disappearing act. One minute you see the water, the next it dives underground only to surface again a short time later. These underwater streams and other odd depressions in the landscape indicate that that we are treading near underground caves and sinkholes.

    Large trees, such as white oaks, tower above the trail. The acorns of these trees provide valuable food and shelter for small animals like, squirrels and chipmunks, which can be seen scouring the ground for their next meal.

    Large, oval shaped holes in trees hold clues that pileated woodpeckers are nearby. Their loud drumming can be heard as they establish territories, but keep an eye for the large, black and white woodpecker as it just might streak across the forest.

    Trail Length: 1.70 miles
    Trail Type: Nature
    Trail Level: Moderate

  • Oakleaf Trail

    Listen for the distinct "kee-aah" call repeating as you embark though the territory of one of our woodland watchers, the red-shouldered hawk. Whether she cries out from a tree branch or while soaring above, that call means you have been spotted! You may even notice this bird following you around the trail to investigate your presence in her sanctum.

    How many different kinds of trees can you spot? Even an avid hiker will be impressed with variety of trees along this trail. From the smooth, soft bark of the beech tree to the distinctly blocky bark of the rarely seen persimmon, this forest hosts much more than the oak trees implied by its name.

    Does it taste like a papaya, banana, mango or pineapple? Though many might not agree on what it tastes like, we can all agree the pawpaw is delicious. The fruit of this native tree has been a staple in the diet of Buckeyes for hundreds of years. Good luck getting to them before the animals do!

    Trail Length: 0.80 miles
    Trail Type: Nature
    Trail Level: Moderate

  • Shaker Trace Inner Loop

    A large variety of native trees can be found, including:  white oak, pin oak, black walnut, red maple, sugar maple, Ohio buckeye, sycamore, dogwood and wild black cherry. These species are enticing to local wildlife!

    Part of the trail follows Dry Fork Creek, where you can observe kingfishers, crayfish, water snakes, darters and even fossilized remains of Ordovician-era creatures that lived in this area 450 million years ago.

    Enjoy small areas of restored prairie, full of colorful wildflowers and butterflies. The larger 7.8-mile Shaker Trace Trail winds through hundreds of acres of restored prairie and wetlands.

    Closer to dawn or dusk, you may catch a glimpse of some resident mammals such as white-tailed deer, coyote, mink and red fox.

    The trail features several exercise stations along its length to provide variety into your workout. 

    Trail Length: 1.40 miles
    Trail Type: Fitness
    Trail Level: Easy/Moderate

  • Shaker Trace Outer Loop

    The wildlife viewing shelter is a great place to stop off and take a peek at the Shaker Trace Wetlands. The wetland is a haven for migratory wildfowl, shorebirds, turtles, and amphibians.

    The 7.8-mile bike loop meanders your way through some of the most endangered habitats in Ohio: prairies and wetlands. These habitats are home to dozens of bird species and are one of the areas great birding sites.

    Butterfly crossing ahead! The prairie plants that blanket the open areas of the trail provide important food for butterflies of all colors and sizes. It’s not uncommon to see them whizzing by your head as you ride or walk by.

    Trail Length: 7.80 miles
    Trail Type: Shared-use
    Trail Level: Moderate

  • Tallgrass Prairie Trail

    When is a field not a field? When it’s a prairie! Prairies are distinguished by the unique plants that grow there. Most of Ohio’s prairies have been lost to development. Look for tall grasses like big bluestem and Indian grass offering food and cover to birds and insects as you meander through this rare habitat.

    Home is where the habitat is! Keep your eyes peeled for the changing habitats along this trail as you experience young woodlands, mature forest and tallgrass prairie. This diversity of habitats leads to an exciting array of wildlife by providing food, water, shelter and space to many different species.

    Which tree features mitten-shaped, ghost-shaped and oval-shaped leaves all on the same tree? It’s the sassafras! Rub one of the leaves between your fingers to release an aroma that may conjure up memories of a refreshing treat. This understory tree was used by early Americans to make root beer.

    Trail Length: 0.60 miles
    Trail Type: Nature
    Trail Level: Moderate

  • Timberlakes Trail

    Keep an eye out old posts sawed off close to the ground. This trail was originally the fitness trail, but now has been converted back to a forested nature trail.

    As you pass by the lower section of the trail, take a look down at the small lake. It’s a great spot for wildlife. Great blue herons can often be seen stalking their prey as well as turtles basking themselves on logs.

    Chiseled stumps are our clue that the beavers have been feeding in the area. In some cases, wire is wrapped around the larger trees in order to protect them from the beaver’s voracious appetite.

    Trail Length: 2.1 miles
    Trail Type: Nature
    Trail Level: Moderate

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