Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mitchell Memorial Forest / Miami Whitewater (Day 6)

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Nine Parks in Seven Days
Consecutively Visiting Nine Hamilton County Parks Equates to a Week Vacation
William D. SIEMER II

Miami Whitewater Bike Trail

Mitchell Memorial Forest. -wdsiemer ii

Miami Whitewater Forest. -wdsiemer ii

Mitchell Memorial

Distance Jogged: 4.9 miles
Trails: 3.9 mile mountain bike trail (no pets/hiking permitted), Wood Duck Nature Trail Approx. 1 mile

The beginning of the 3.9 mile bike trail--just my legs today. -wdsiemer ii
Mitchell Memorial Forest map (Hamilton County Parks)
If you have a mountain bike and really want to unleash its potential, bring it to Mitchell Memorial Forest. They have a wooded 3.9 mile course designed by a professional mountain bike association. The trail goes deep into the woods. You mainly ride along a dirt trail, but will come across areas with stone and grass. There are many twist and turns, and ups and downs. It doesn’t seem for the light of heart. It appears it could be challenging.

I made the mistake of jogging this bike route when it was wet and muddy. It took a great toll on my ankles (lifting my legs out of the mud and all the direction changes.) It would be a really nice course to walk since hiking is permitted.

I saw several large trees lifted from their roots. You start by going through the woods, then along the banks of a creek, across the main road into a prairie field, and back into the woods before finishing.

It was a really nice weather day.

A lot of people were walking their dogs along the Duck Creek nature trail. It’s a shorter walk with a large gravel width that loops around, passing by Duck Creek. I didn’t happen to see many ducks, but the pond also seemed flooded.

The main section of the park has a lake with a walking trail around it. I saw maybe 6 people fishing on this particular day. The hill going up from the lake seemed like a nice place to lie in the sun and enjoy a picnic. Behind the hill, kids were playing on the playground. Behind the playground, people were camping in their tents.

Miami Whitewater

Distance Walked: Approx. 1 mile
Trails: Badlands Trail, Oakleaf Trail, Tallgrass Prairie Trail, 8+ mile multi-use trail (great for taking bike rides)

Pros: So much to do!

Miami Whitewater Forest Map (Hamilton County Parks)
I thought I was a lot closer to Miami Whitewater than I actually was. It took about 25 minutes to get there from Mitchell Memorial. This is probably my second most visited park. The place is huge! If you enter from Harrison Road, you’ll be driving past woods, shelters, and ball fields for a good 10 minutes before you reach the main part of the park.

Miami Whitewater does have a few nature trails offset from the main section a bit. On this particular day, I didn’t have a chance to walk any of them. Instead, I walked the loop around the lake and the Parcours fitness trail. My ankle was a bit sore from Mitchell Memorial. There were many people here this evening.

Miami Whitewater has paddle boats, a handicapped-friendly ParCours trail, fishing, golf course, nature center, concessions, a wet and dry play area, an 8 mile paved bike trail through corn fields, and much more.

You can easily spend an entire day here, and still come back the next day.

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