5 things you need to do in Dayton before winter ends

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5 things you need to do in Dayton before winter ends

It’s tempting to want to stay under the covers when temperatures drop, but there are plenty of activities around the Dayton area to warm you up this winter.

Here are 5 things to do before winter is over:

1. Ice skating at RiverScape Metro Park

A full slate of activities are on tap at the region s largest outdoor ice skating rink, located on the banks of the Great Miami River in the heart of downtown Dayton. CONTRIBUTED Contributing Writer

The MetroParks Ice Rink opens each year on the Friday after Thanksgiving and remains open through February. The rink, which measures 70 feet by 150 feet and is sheltered under a pavilion, features sweeping views of both the Great Miami River and the downtown Dayton skyline.

There is outdoor heating to keep you warm and concessions to enjoy a snack or hot chocolate. Sign up for beginner lessons or skate on your own. Admission is $5 (3 and under are free) and skate rentals $2.

2. Ice fishing at local MetroParks

With seven or eight inches of ice on top, Dave Billing braves the frigid air in the middle of C.J. Brown Reservoir as he tries some ice fishing. Billing said he caught about a dozen fish ranging from crapie, to catfish and walleye in the couple hours he was fishing. Bill Lackey/Staff Bill Lackey

Anglers can get their hooks and lures back out of storage – a few local MetroParks offer ice fishing opportunities. Be sure to wait for proper ice conditions, then check out popular spots at Carriage Hill MetroPark’s Cedar Lake and pond, Englewood MetroPark ponds off Springfield Road and Possum Creek MetroPark fishing ponds.

3. Snowshoeing or cross country skiing

BEN MARGOT/AP

When the snow gets deep enough to make walking a challenge, get some snowshoes and head to any of the local paved paths or flatter hiking trails throughout the region. Possum Creek and Carriage Hill are among the best parks to try, and conditions are best after a fresh snow. Check here for a list of paved trails in the area MetroParks.

4. Hiking local trails

Old Man’s Cave is a challenging place to hike in the winter. Even wearing ice spikes, you’ll want to exercise caution. Staff photo by Connie Post

Enjoy the peace and quiet of the area trails on your own with a winter hike. Charleston Falls Preserve in Tipp City is one of the best spots to hike with its unique waterfall, known as a “miniature Niagara.” Go the day a hard-freeze hits just after a spell of warm temperatures and you’re sure to see a beautiful cascade of ice across the 37-foot tall rock walk.

John Bryan State Park’s South Gorge Trail is another good one, taking hikers along the southern banks of the Little Miami River.

5. Sledding

Paige Smith, top, and Sarah Scarborough sled down a snow covered hill in Shawnee Park after Xenia Schools were closed on Monday. TY GREENLEES / STAFF Ty Greenlees

It’s not hard to find places to go sledding when it snows, but there are some great hills to check out in this area.

Suicide Hill is an adventure at Community Golf Course in Kettering, right next to Hills & Dales MetroPark. Use caution and you won’t be disappointed.

Germantown MetroPark’s big hill is worth the drive, 20 minutes from Dayton, and Englewood MetroPark also has a good sledding hill along the dam in the West Park. It’s steep but there is lots of room for multiple launches for races or stunt competitions if you are into that.

Taylorsville MetroPark in Vandalia is another good one for long-distance sledding. The hill slopes only 30 degrees and you’ll slide 400-500 feet before stopping. The entrance is on the east side of Brown School Road, south of U.S. 40.

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