Thursday, August 16, 2012

Five Rivers MetroParks of Dayton

The people of Dayton certainly have a treasure in their parks.  It is an expansive park system that offers nearly 16,000 acres of green space in more than 24 parks.  While John and I have been in Dayton there have been some pretty warm days, and it is wonderful to leave the hot streets of the city and stroll along a quietly flowing river or to walk down a shady forest path.  We probably will only see about six of the parks before we leave Dayton tomorrow.  In this posting I will write about a couple of the parks which we have visited in the past two days.  On Tuesday we drove to Taylorsville MetroPark.   In this park we hiked in to see the site of a massive rock fall (1984) when 375 tons of overhanging stone tumbled down. 
To see the some of the park we got our bikes out and rode on the Great Miami River Recreation Trail.  That trail took us into what was once the town of Tadmoor.  In the 1800s this was a bustling river town.  It stood at the intersection of the Miami-Erie Canal, the National Road, Dayton-Michigan Railroad and the Great Miami River.  The location of that town, actually remnants of the canal, is pictured below.
A succession of floods on the Great Miami River resulted in the construction of a series of flood control dams, one of which is located in the park.  The National Road was routed across the Taylorville Dam and the town was abandoned.  Also while in the park we saw what was left of the Miami-Erie Canal, which now is nothing more than a big ditch.  It was completed in 1845 and took 20 years to build.
The above picture was taken at the Aullwood Garden Metro Park.  This is an estate garden give to the park system by Marie Aull in 1977.  Here there are woodland gardens along the Wiles Creek, in those shady areas we saw magic lilies blooming amid ostrich ferns.  There are also rose and lilac bushes blooming at this time of the year.  Also on Wednesday we toured Carriage Hill MetroPark.  This is a working 1880s farm with reconstructed or restored farm house, summer kitchen, wash house, blacksmith and barns.  It consists of farmland and woodlots and a 14-acre lake, as well as ponds and wetlands.  Every one of the parks we have seen so far have been quite beautiful; set in among rolling river hills of  prairies and forests.

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