Here in the cornfields of Cedarville, Ohio, what could we possibly offer in the form of entertainment? If you’ve thought this, this blog post may surprise you, but speaking from experience, there are way more outdoor activities and hiking spots than you may think.
Many of the spots go unnoticed and are not talked about a whole lot. Some of the best hiking spots in Ohio can be found anywhere between walking distance or within a 15-minute drive from campus!
The first places that come to my mind for hiking are John Bryan State Park, Clifton Gorge State Park, and Indian Mound Reserve. For some other fun outdoor activities, Young’s Dairy Farm and Peifer Orchards are both great options to fulfill some of those bucket list items you have been wanting to check off!
Indian Mound Reserve
Indian Mound Reserve is only a 4-minute drive from campus and offers a very easy and gorgeous environment for hiking and hammocking! There are eight trails to choose from, many of which connect into each other and turn into one big loop, with some going off in different directions. These trails offer varied sights; one point begins at the Cedar Cliff Falls, which is a beautiful man-made waterfall. After crossing the bridge close to the falls, turn left and down the Rim Trail, then cross over into the Gorge Trail, which will guide you to the Mound Trail. The Mound Trail will take you to the Indian Mound itself, which is thought to have been either a lookout at one point in history or even a burial site for the Native American Indians living in the area a long time ago.
Clifton Gorge State Park
Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve is only about an 8-minute drive from campus and also connects with John Bryan State Park, giving you options for longer hikes as well as shorter ones. Clifton Gorge itself only offers 3 miles of hiking trails, but is filled with bridges, cliffs, and beautiful spots for stopping and soaking in nature. If you are looking for a nice little active break between classes this is a perfect place to go, or even for a short evening hike.
John Bryan State Park
John Bryan State Park is about an 11-minute drive from campus and offers many different outdoor activities besides just hiking. They have 10 hiking trails to choose from, all of different levels of skill. After obtaining a camping permit, you can reserve some camping sites for free, others for a meager $5.
If you are into disc golf, John Bryan has a nine-hole course located across from their camp store that you can play for free, as long as you have your own equipment. Mountain biking is also allowed on multiple trails, such as the Arboretum Trail (Observatory Trail) (1.2 miles), Abracadabra Trail (2.25 miles), Frankenlite Loop Trail (2.72 miles), Great Scott Loop and Exit Trail (3.0 miles), Great Scott Lower Trail (2.17 miles), and the Power Line Loop (2.25 miles). On the North Rim Trail they have repelling and rock climbing available, providing that you bring your own equipment to use that is safety conscious!
Biking Trails in Greene County
Whether you are a serious biker or only a short distance, pleasure kind of biker, there are so many amazing trails around our campus that are beautiful to ride on, especially in the fall when all the leaves are changing and the temperature is just about perfect. There are multiple starting points, but one of them begins right in downtown Cedarville across from the Hearthstone Inn and goes all the way to Cincinnati, if you are feeling adventurous!
My favorite is the one that also goes through Yellow Springs and is located just outside of town across from the Riding Centre. It takes you under the covered bridge along Hyde Road and is paved so it makes for very easy navigation.
I encourage you to take advantage of the great outdoors before things get too cold!
Young’s Dairy Farm
Young’s is a classic stop for most Cedarville college students, especially when you first arrive on campus. Only a 16 minute drive from campus, Youngs offers you a wide variety of ice cream selections and other scrumptious dairy products. They also have a dine in a restaurant located next door. If you are looking for something to do before or after you grab food, you can head over to their mini golf course, which is a lot of fun, especially if you bring along your Discipleship Group or your Bro-Sis! They also have a petting zoo where you can go and see the cows and goats on the farm. Overall, a very nostalgic and cozy place to go year round. Also…they have really good pumpkin and sweet potato bread!
Peifer Orchards is located about 14 minutes away from campus in Yellow Springs. Not only is it located in one of the cutest little towns around here, but it is a beautiful place to go to, especially in the fall season. Open from June to December, they offer a lot of farm grown products such as fresh tomatoes, veggies, and fruits. They also have a lot of freshly baked goods in their farmers market, along with various types of coffee, maple syrup, candles, and seasoning mixes!
Of course, apple picking and pumpkin patch visits are a must in the fall, and definitely something you need to take advantage of while around the area! For a very small price, you can pick and bring the apples back to campus with you, and maybe even make a delicious apple crisp (by far one of my favorite things to make).
They offer a wide selection of all different sizes and shapes of pumpkins that you can carve, decorate, and paint to your heart’s content. My personal favorite item from Peifer’s is definitely their apple cider slushies, which I had never tried before coming here. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Overall, you cannot go wrong with the opportunities around Cedarville, Ohio to enjoy the great outdoors during all of the seasons here. Although it does get pretty cold in the wintry months, this is all the more reason to take advantage of the beautiful weather while we have it! So go outside and enjoy going hiking, hammocking, some apple picking, ice cream at Young’s, and watch a sunset or sunrise over Cedar Cliff Falls. Adventure is out there, you just have to go find it.
Majoring in International Studies, class of 2022
Where I’m From: Easton, Maryland
Favorite Class: Cross Cultural Ministry/World Religions
Go-To Rinnova Order: Iced Boston with a shot of vanilla