Follow the green trail to see 3 waterfalls in this Dayton park

Beth Adelman of Englewood took this photo in December the day after the Dayton area’s first freezing day. She says, “I was hiking with a friend at Englewood MetroPark, and we came upon the frozen falls. What a beautiful site.”

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Beth Adelman of Englewood took this photo in December the day after the Dayton area’s first freezing day. She says, “I was hiking with a friend at Englewood MetroPark, and we came upon the frozen falls. What a beautiful site.”

Martindale, Patty and Oaks are three names outdoors enthusiasts in the Miami Valley should be well acquainted with.

Tucked away inside Englewood MetroPark are three waterfalls, located just a short hike from one another. Englewood has a number of unsuspecting, gorgeous park features, but few are as dazzling as the falls. A wintery rain, like the Miami Valley experienced Thursday, mixed with freezing weather Friday has made the falls an icy spectacle to behold.

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Englewood is one of the larger parks under the Five Rivers MetroParks umbrella, with 1,900 acres of lakes, woods, wetlands and meadows. Thanks to its flood-plain forests and wetlands, the park helps to buffer and protect the Stillwater River.

To hop on the green trail that takes hikers to all three falls, visitors should use the East Park entrance at 4361 W. National Rd. in Vandalia. On the 3.8 mile trail, hikers will discover Martindale Falls, a breathtaking view of a limestone and shale ridge top which plunges into a wide, rocky undercut ravine, according to the Five Rivers website.

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Martindale Falls in Englewood MetroPark

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Martindale Falls in Englewood MetroPark

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

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Martindale Falls in Englewood MetroPark

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Next on the trail, visitors can hike around the top to see Patty Falls, named for the Patty family who settled nearby. Five Rivers referred to Patty Falls as “wide, rocky, wet-weather falls” that sits alongside a smaller cascade that trickles all year long.

Patty Falls can best be described as serene. A bench directly across the cascade, along the ridge, is a beautiful spot to rest and watch before continuing on to the last stop on the waterfall tour.

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Patty Falls in Englewood MetroPark

Patty Falls in Englewood MetroPark

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Patty Falls in Englewood MetroPark

Just a few minutes farther down the path is a view of the smaller Oaks Falls. Though sometimes only a small stream cascades down the rock face, hiking above the falls opens up a great view to the forest canopy.

“Those who don’t want to do the entire hike can use the trail intersections to customize their hike, making it shorter,” said Lauren Lemons, Five Rivers MetroParks community outreach coordinator. “North towards Martindale Falls, there is also a bit of a steep hill to traverse. The best way to plan a trip to see these falls is by downloading the MetroParks mobile app to check elevation and customize your hike: www.metroparks.org/mobile.”

After checking off the waterfall stops, people should consider making time to visit “Big Blue,” a champion blue ash tree.

“Many of the trees in the forested areas Five Rivers MetroParks protects have been around much longer than MetroParks, the city of Dayton — even the state of Ohio,” Five Rivers MetroParks officials say on the park system’s website. “Imagine all the changes these old trees have seen... You’ll find Big Blue just past the stone gate entrance to the West Park area, found at 100 East National Road.”

Park amenities found at Englewood include boating, camping, cycling, fishing, horseback riding, paddling and much more. Visit metroparks.org/places-to-go/englewood/ to plan your waterfall adventure.

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