What if I told you that Milford was the epicenter for hiking trails in the nation? We are smack dab in the middle of the largest trail junction, totaling over 22,000 miles of long distance trails! Milford, OH has been recognized by Outside Magazine, christened the first “Trail Town” on the Buckeye Trail, and has the city’s oldest cycle shop. Need more convincing? Check out our “Trail Town” blog here. With all of this history and opportunity we wanted to pull some resources together for you. Take a look and get outside!
Long Distance Trails
Managed by the Buckeye Trail Association, this is the longest single state trail. At 1,444 miles the trail loops around the great state of Ohio, making stops in some of its oldest and most scenic towns, farmlands, and Ohio Parks. You can follow the Blue Blazes through Hocking Hills, through the Cuyahoga Valley, and along Lake Erie. You can finds maps for the Buckeye Trail here at RRT.
North Country Trail
The North Country Trail is the longest National Scenic Trail, stretching 4,600 miles over eight states from North Dakota to Vermont. The Trail traverses a National Grassland; 10 National Forests; more than 150 federal, state, and local public lands; near three of the Great Lakes; past countless farmlands; through large cityscapes; over many rivers; and over the famed Adirondacks.
American Discovery Trail
The American Discovery Trail (ADT) is a new breed of national trail — part city, part small town, part forest, part mountains, part desert — all in one trail. Its 6,800+ miles of continuous, multi-use trail stretches from Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware, to Pt. Reyes National Seashore, California. It reaches across America, linking community to community in the first coast-to-coast, non-motorized trail.
Sea to Sea Route
The Sea-to-Sea Route (C2C) uses the PNT, CDT, NCT, AT, and IAT to create a transcontinental passage from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. A combination of 7,700 miles through the joint use of these trails.
Underground Railroad Cycling Route
The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR) memorializes the Underground Railroad, a network of clandestine routes by which African-American freedom seekers attempted to escape slavery before and during the Civil War. The UGRR is a 2,006.5-mile Underground Railroad Bicycle Route from Mobile, Alabama to Owen Sound, Ontario.
Ohio to Erie Trail
A primarily off-street recreational trail from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, the Ohio to Erie Trail spans the state of Ohio from Cincinnati to Cleveland, for the most part following lands formerly occupied by railroads and canals. The collection of regional trails connects four of Ohio’s metropolitan cities, a dozen large towns, and numerous small villages. The length in 2017 was 326 miles. Maps for the entire trail can be found at RRT.
Little Miami Scenic Trail
The Little Miami State Park, a trail corridor park, is approximately 50 miles long and 66 feet wide. It starts at Avoca Park, just south of Milford, a suburb of Cincinnati, and meanders northeast along the banks of the Little Miami River to Hedges Road, just south of Xenia, Ohio. The park is the right-of-way of the old Little Miami Railroad and the paved trail is where its steel tracks once ran.
Local Hiking Trails
Cincinnati Nature Center (2 locations)
The CNC main headquarters is at Rowe Woods. Rowe Woods is just east of Cincinnati. It spans 1,016 acres (including 65 acres of old growth forest) and offers more than 14 miles of hiking trails!
At their second location, Long Branch Farms, you’ll find five miles of hiking trails winding through 767 acres of deciduous forest, fields, streams, and ponds.
The CNC is a membership driven nature center with pristine trails. You can also find incredible programming, educational events, and an award-winning Nature Playscape for kids. You can find RRT hosting hikes here once a month.
Valley View is a grassroots, nonprofit organization with a simple mission- Conserving Land, Preserving History and Sharing it with the Community. Valley View has 190 acres of beautiful open land along the East Fork River and a rich history dating back 12,000 years. This land includes rivers, streams, wooded hillsides, prairie, streamside, and isolated wetlands on a compact, easily-walkable site in the heart of Milford.
The organization also boats a plant rescue program, a community garden, and programs that engage their community. Best of all, you’re invited to enjoy the land for free! You can find RRT hosting hikes here once a month.
State/County Park Trails:
Great Parks, 78 miles of trails in the Hamilton County park district.
Ohio State Parks, 1,000 miles of hiking trails at any of the 60 state parks. You can also explore BackpackOhio.com, an awesome collection of day hiking and backpacking destinations complete with links toward each individual site. Local favorites include East Fork and Zaleski.
Clermont County Parks, Get outside in your own backyard!
Explore Regional Trails:
All Trails is a site for finding hiking destinations and info across the nation. While the site requires a subscription for most information, you are able to search trails and view basic information for free. For example, you could find the trails at favorite locales like Tar Hollow, Brookville, or Shawnee.
Red River Gorge
A destination for local hikers and worldwide climbers. The RRG boasts magnificent landscapes and geological wonders. Already familiar? Here are “10 things you didn’t know about the RRG”. RRT keeps inventory of multiple guides and maps for the Daniel Boone National Recreation Area.
Dayton Metro Parks
The metro parks have an impressive trail system, including Germantown and the Twin Valley Trails.
Arc of Appalachia
The majority of the Arc of Appalachia’s preserves lie between the Scioto and the Ohio River on the Ohio-Kentucky border. The Arc preserves Eastern ecosystems such as wetlands and native prairies, as well as ancient American Indian earthworks.
Wayne National Forest
There are approximately 300 miles of trails open to hiking and backpacking in the Wayne National Forest. One of the more popular areas of Wayne is the Hocking Hills area with beautiful caves and waterfalls.
Need a friend to lead the way? Hiking groups are a great way to meet new friends, have a trail guide, and safely enjoy new spaces. Here area few active area groups:
Sheltowee Trace Hiker Challenge
Tri-State Hiking Events Group (IN*KY*OH) on Facebook
Premiere Local Organized Trip Companies
Summit Trek and Travel : Nancy and the Summit team are dedicated to developing Outdoor Adventurers who love the planet and who are able to explore and enjoy our natural world competently, comfortably, and with confidence.
Aclipse Camper Van Rentals :For a luxury getaway, consider our friends at Aclipse Campervans. Aclipse has multiple vans, all decked out with the best gear (we should know). Check them out and start your road trip.
There is always more to know! Understanding more about Leave No Trace, Wilderness First Aid, and wilderness navigation are great ways to improve your backcountry experience. RRT occasionally hosts or sponsors these courses and can be found on our events page.
For more basic information you can attend any of RRT’s regular programs, like Backpacking Basics 1 or 2, Cold Weather Preparation, or many other educational and free programs; events page. You can also join our local Sierra Club chapter for their next series of backpacking workshops. For quick tips, check out RRT’s blog “21 Things I wish I Knew for My First Backpacking Trip”