Four of the Best Fall Color Hikes Along The Riverway

Saying goodbye to summer is never easy, but the best part about fall along the Great Miami Riverway is the opportunity to enjoy cooler temperatures, add cozy layers back into your wardrobe, and to enjoy some leisurely walks and hikes where you can soak in the beautiful colors of the season. 

There’s no better place than along the Riverway to take in the beautiful sites of nature and watch the changing leaves and vistas. The spots to take in stunning, picturesque sites are endless, but we’ve gathered four of our favorites that will have you saying “So long, Summer” and “It’s Fall, Y’all!” in no time. 

Here are four of the places (from the list of 99 things to do along the Great Miami Riverway) we recommend to watch the colors of nature paint themselves into your hearts, just in time for fall.

#1 Watch the sunset at Deed's Point MetroPark.

This small MetroPark provides a giant unobstructed and picturesque view of the downtown skyline, embraced by the beauty of nature. Located at the junction of the Mad River and the Great Miami River with wonderful views of urban life. A variety of migratory and resident birds can be seen there. The Great Miami River Recreation Trail runs through the park. The park features a popular bronze statue of Wilbur and Orville Wright and an aviation history timeline exhibit. The park also has a monument for the Dayton Peace Accord which symbolizes the historic agreement for peace struck between Bosnia and Herzegovina on Nov. 21, 1995.

#18 Hike the trails at Shawnee Lookout to take in the amazing scenic vistas of the Great Miami River valley.

Shawnee Lookout, located in Hamilton County, is a great place to take in nature any time of year. The park is well known for its historical Springhouse School and Log Cabin as well as its Native American archaeological earthworks. The park's nature trails, including the 1.3-mile Blue Jacket, 2.0-mile Little Turtle and the 1.4-mile Miami Fort trail, offer spectacular views of the Ohio River and Great Miami River valleys. The 4.3 miles of former golf cart paths are also open for biking, hiking, rolling or strolling. The park also features picnic areas, a playground and boat access to the Great Miami River. The new Riverway poster features the view from Shawnee Lookout. 

#46 Grab your hiking shoes and climb to the top of the Miamisburg Mound - one of two tallest adena mounds in the US

Miamisburg Mound offers an easy 30-minute visit and the opportunity to see one of the two largest conical mounds in eastern North America. The mound is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is 65 feet tall and 800 feet in circumference, containing 54,000 cubic yards of earth. The mound is visible from several miles away because it stands atop a 100-foot high ridge above the Great Miami River. Steps have been built to the top observation platform, where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the area. 

Photo by TripAdvisor/Sibylle B

#72 Hike Charleston Falls Nature Preserve to see beautiful waterfalls and wildflowers.

Any time of year is a good time to visit Charleston Falls. As summer fades into fall, watch the lush green forest explode with color. The Falls at Charleston Falls can rightly be called a “Miniature Niagara” because its rock strata is the same as Niagara Falls. Charleston Falls Preserve is the most visited Park District property in Miami County with more than 216 acres of prairie and forests. This picturesque park is the perfect place to hike and view wildlife or seek out uncommon plants such as wild columbine, walking fern, purple cliff break and rock honeysuckle grace the limestone faces of the surrounding gorge.

These places are great stops along the Riverway no matter what season you’re in, and with all the options, there are countless more places to explore. Need for more ideas? Make sure to check out our full list of 99 things to do along the Great Miami Riverway, here.