Fall is arguably the prettiest time of year, with the leaves changing into an array of gorgeous colors. As we enter the final week of October, the fall foliage color extravaganza is reaching its peak–there’s still time to get out and enjoy the fall colors! We’re taking this opportunity to highlight nine locations around Dayton and Montgomery County where you can take in some breathtaking fall colors. So … take a hike! … go check out the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer.
1. Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm
Located in the northwestern part of Montgomery County, Aullwood consists of two major locations, Aullwood Nature Center and Aullwood Farm, along with eight miles of walking trails running through its 200-acre nature sanctuary. Be sure to take time to explore the trolls of artist Thomas Dambo at Aullwood Farm. Go to Aullwood’s website for information about hours and admission prices.
While you’re at the Aullwood Nature Center, you’ll also want to pay a visit to the Aullwood Garden MetroPark.
2-4. Five Rivers MetroParks: Englewood MetroPark; Hills & Dales MetroPark; Cox Arboretum MetroPark
We’re cheating a little bit by giving three spots on our list to Five Rivers MetroParks … but, in all honesty, it could easily fill the entire list! The park system offers a wealth of natural riches throughout Montgomery County. The 18 parks have a plethora to offer; we’ve selected parks representing the northern, central and southern parts of the county.
Englewood MetroPark: Situated just off U.S. 40 and Route 48, Englewood MetroPark offers roadways, trails and bike paths. The view of the waterfalls as leaves start to change color and drop is highly recommended, and be sure to also explore the Pumpkin Ash and Swamp Forest boardwalk.
Hills & Dales MetroPark: Since it’s spooky season, we of course had to include Hills & Dales, home to the famous Lookout Tower (aka Frankenstein’s Castle, the Witch Tower, etc.). But the 1.5-mile Adirondack Trail is filled with warm fall colors that complement the Adirondack structures in the park.
Cox Arboretum MetroPark: This southern Montgomery County gem offers a stunning view, via the 65-foot-tall Tree Tower. Climb the 81 steps to the top for sweeping views of the Miami Valley’s fall color.
You can check out more about fall colors in the MetroParks at their website.
5. Kettering Parks
The City of Kettering boasts a park system made up of 21 parks spread throughout the city, offering many opportunities to see the fall colors. Check out their website for more about celebrating fall in Kettering, as well as downloadable maps of the city’s many walking trails.
6. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
The grounds of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force feature some wonderful fall colors right now, as seen in this recent Facebook post by the museum. As an added bonus, the NMUSAF is easily one of the best free museums in the entire country – right here in Dayton! Make a day of it, wandering the outdoor grounds and exploring the museum's vast collections.
7. Dayton’s Historic Neighborhoods
Don’t overlook the historic neighborhoods of Dayton for fall colors! In particular, the St. Anne’s Hill and Huffman Historic Districts along Fifth Street in east Dayton not only serve up beautiful fall foliage but also an impressive display of Victorian-era homes.
8. Carillon Historical Park
Carillon Historical Park is another gem among Dayton’s museums, a 65-acre open-air history museum showcasing a vast range of Dayton’s heritage. The grounds also offer beautiful foliage this time of year. Be sure to check out the History on the Hill Interpretive Center and Moraine Trails, with its breathtaking bird’s eye view of the park and the city of Dayton. Go to the Dayton History website for hours and admissions information.
9. Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum
Many consider the views of downtown Dayton from Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum to be some of the best in Dayton. Immerse yourself in the spectacular fall majesty of this location’s 3,000+ trees, spread out over 200 acres of rolling hills! The hills will give you the added bonus of a workout!
These are just a few of the many places around the Dayton area to see spectacular fall foliage. This Dayton.com Guide to Fall Hiking includes additional locations in the area, and the Great Miami Riverway also has some suggestions. If you’re traveling outside the local area, this Ohio.org blog post highlights suggestions from around the state.
Spot some truly beautiful fall colors? Snap a pic, share it on social media, and tag us (@daytoncvb on Facebook & Instagram) – we might share photo on our accounts!
For more information on things to do in Dayton, contact the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau at 937-226-8211 (Monday-Friday) or download the free Visit Dayton App from Google Play or the Apple Store. Be in the Know on All Things Dayton!