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Ohio State Parks

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USA Parks
Southwest Ohio Region
Little Miami State Forest Preserve
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Xenia, Ohio   45385
(lat:39.7612 lon:-83.9069) map location
The Little Miami State Forest Preserve, located in Ohio, is a picturesque natural area that encompasses nearly 5,000 acres of lush forests, meandering rivers, and diverse wildlife. This stunning preserve offers visitors the opportunity to explore its vast network of hiking trails, bike paths, and horseback riding trails, allowing for a close connection with nature. With its scenic views, abundant wildlife, and serene atmosphere, the Little Miami State Forest Preserve is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
History of the Area
Little Miami State Forest Preserve, located in southwest Ohio, has a rich history that spans centuries. The area was inhabited by indigenous Native American tribes, such as the Miami, Shawnee, and Delaware, for thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers.

In the late 1700s, European settlers began to establish communities along the Little Miami River, which runs through the forest preserve. The river served as a vital source of water, transportation, and power for mills. It also played a crucial role during the Underground Railroad era, as many enslaved individuals sought freedom by traveling along its banks.

The forest preserve itself has a significant historical connection to the African American community. In the early 1900s, the area was home to Campbyte, an African American resort and retreat. Campbyte offered recreational opportunities to African American families who were often excluded from other public spaces due to racial segregation.

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established several camps within Little Miami State Forest Preserve. The CCC was a New Deal program aimed at providing employment for young men during the Great Depression while also promoting conservation efforts. The CCC crews in the forest preserve undertook various conservation projects, including the construction of trails, roads, picnic shelters, and bridges that are still in use today.

The state of Ohio acquired additional land along the Little Miami River, expanding the preserve's size and protecting its natural beauty. In 2017, Little Miami State Forest Preserve was officially designated as a state forest, ensuring its preservation for future generations.

The forest preserve offers a variety of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy hiking, cycling, horseback riding, fishing, birdwatching, and camping. The preserve is known for its diverse ecosystems, scenic beauty, and historical significance, making it an important destination for both nature lovers and history buffs.
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1. Little Miami Scenic Trail: This is a 50-mile long trail that runs along the former Pennsylvania Railroad corridor, offering beautiful views of the river and surrounding forest.

2. John Bryan State Park Trails: Located within close proximity to Little Miami Forest Preserve, these trails offer hikers various routes through diverse landscapes including limestone gorges and towering sycamores.

3. Yellow Springs Loop Trail: A moderate difficulty level hike with an elevation gain of about 400 feet over its length; it offers scenic vistas overlooking valleys filled with wildflowers in springtime.

4. Clifton Gorge Nature Preserve Trails: These are rugged hiking paths leading you into deep woods where one can enjoy bird watching or simply immerse themselves in nature's tranquility.

5. Caesar Creek Perimeter Loop Trail: It's a challenging but rewarding loop around Caesar Creek Lake featuring waterfalls, swinging bridges and wildlife sightings.

6. Peters Cartridge Factory Ghost Town Exploration Hike: An easy-to-moderate trek exploring remnants from Ohio's industrial past amidst lush greenery.

7. Loveland Bike/Hiking Path: Part of Loveland city park system which connects directly to little miami state preserve providing miles:long paved path for both bikers & walkers alike.

8. Sugarcreek Reserve Orange/Red/Green/Yellow Loops: Multiple interconnected loops provide options for short strolls or longer hikes across varied terrains such as meadows, forests etc.

9. Fort Ancient Earthworks And Nature Preserve Blue Jacket/Bone Lick/Little Turtle/Mound Builder Loops: Offers unique opportunity to explore ancient native american earthwork sites while enjoying serene natural beauty.

10. Morgan's Canoe Livery Riverside Walk: Easy riverside walk suitable even for families with young children ; also provides opportunities canoeing/kayaking on little miami river.

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Hidden Cave Cabin - Rockbridge, OH
Cottages and Cabins
Hidden Cave Cabin is an authentic log cabin with 2 bedrooms in a private wooded setting. It is located on one of the most scenic drives in Hocking Hills and just 3.6 miles to Rock House and less than 10 miles to Conkle's Hollow and Old Man's Cave.
71.9 miles from park*
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Cottages and Cabins
Trickle Creek offers luxury cabins in Hocking Hills. The cabins are situated on nearly 236 acres of secluded cabin rentals in the deep wooded ravines in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Hocking County, Ohio.
74.7 miles from park*

1. Start by heading southeast on the I-71 S from Columbus.
2. Continue on the I-71 S for approximately 43 miles.
3. Take exit 45 toward US-68.
4. Keep left at the fork, following the signs for Wilmington/US-68 S.
5. Merge onto US-68 S and continue for about 15 miles.
6. Turn right onto Branch Hill Guinea Pike.
7. After about 1.3 miles, turn left onto Marathon Edenton Road.
8. Continue on this road for approximately 6 miles until you reach the Little Miami State Forest Preserve.

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Ohio State Parks