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Ohio’s Miami River Valley, with 340 miles of off-road trails, is home to one of the nation’s largest paved trail networks. Heading northwest from Dayton, the Wolf Creek Trail is one piece of this important transportation system. The well-maintained asphalt route is currently open in two disconnected segments. The longest section of the trail begins in Verona at the county line and heads southeast to Trotwood; the shorter segment of the trail follows a northwest course from Dayton’s Sunrise MetroPark to Little Richmond Road.
The northern segment follows the former corridor of the Dayton and Greenville Railroad. The railway was built in 1852 and went through many mergers over the years before finally ending service in the 1980s. Starting at the western end, near Sweet Potato Ridge Road, the trail’s first 5 miles pass through spacious expanses of farm fields. At US 40, you’ll reach a trailhead; the busy crossing is unmarked for motorists, so take care. Shortly thereafter, an underpass for I-70 provides safe passage from heavy traffic. On the other side, enter Brookville, a sleepy town of 5,800. A real gem here is Golden Gate Park, which features a kids’ playground that resembles a scaled-down castle and even hosts local theater productions. Also find restrooms, water fountains, and picnic shelters.
At Snyder Road, you will come upon an entrance to Sycamore State Park, which has miles of hiking and bridle trails under canopies of giant sycamore trees. Farther on, the Olde Town Depot in Trotwood, with historical exhibits, an information kiosk, and restored railroad cabooses, is an ideal spot for a break. A bus stop in front of this old railroad station provides a convenience for bike and bus commuters. The trail continues less than a mile from here, crossing Wolf Creek before the first segment ends.
After a short gap, the shorter section of the trail begins farther east and follows Wolf Creek for most of its journey toward downtown Dayton. While it is possible to bridge the 3.5-mile gap on-road, the route is very busy and not recommended. Pick up the trail at Little Richmond Road and James H. McGee Boulevard, and travel about 3 miles to end in Sunrise MetroPark, where the Wolf Creek Trail meets the Great Miami River. In the park, the path connects with the Great Miami River Trail, which stretches more than 80 miles between Piqua and Fairfield.
To reach the Verona trailhead on the northwestern end: From I-70 W, take Exit 24 toward OH 49. Continue north on OH 49, and go 1.3 miles to Wengerlawn Road. Turn left onto Wengerlawn and look for the trailhead just past Number 9 Road, after 4.5 miles. From I-70 E, take Exit 14, and head north on OH 503. In 1.3 miles, turn right onto US 40, and go 2.9 miles. Turn left onto Preble County Line Road, and in 0.9 mile turn right onto Wengerlawn Road. Go 1 mile to the trailhead.
The Olde Town Depot trailhead in Trotwood is located at the intersection of Wolf Creek Pike/Main St. and Broadway. From I-70 W, take Exit 26, and head south on Hole road. Go 0.3 mile and turn left onto OH 49. Follow the directions below from OH 49. From I-70 E, take Exit 26, and head southeast on OH 49. In 3.5 miles, turn right to remain on OH 49, and continue 1.6 miles. Turn right onto E. Main St. toward Trotwood and look for the depot after 1.6 miles.
To access the shorter trail segment on Dayton’s west end, park in Wesleyan MetroPark (2222 N. James H. McGee Blvd.). From I-75, take Exit 52 for US 35 W. Head 0.1 mile west on US 35 and take the exit for James H. McGee Blvd. Take a right onto the boulevard and follow it north 2.1 miles to the park; the parking lot will appear on your right.
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