6 must-see sights in driving distance of Dayton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Whether your looking for a change of scenery or just want a quick adventure getaway, we have seven breathtaking places worth the drive to see. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

This Earth Day might be less than balmy, but Dayton’s neck of the woods and just beyond has a number of beautiful spots for a mini Earth Day weekend getaway.

There’s so much to do and see within just a couple hours of Dayton. So, pack a bag and make a day (or weekend) of it.

ExploreYour guide to some of the best Earth Day events in the Dayton area

🌎The Yellow Spring

The Yellow Spring at Glen Helen (image source: Glen Helen Facebook)
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The Yellow Spring at Glen Helen (image source: Glen Helen Facebook)

Find out how Yellow Springs got its name by visiting the Yellow Spring along trails at Glen Helen, a 1,000-acre nature preserve with 25 miles of trails, about 30 minutes from Dayton. The famous spring carries 60 gallons of iron-rich water to the surface every minute, according to Glen Helen.

ExplorePlan to explore Yellow Springs’ exciting Earth Day events

🌎Ohio Caverns

Crystal stalactite at Ohio Caverns.
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Crystal stalactite at Ohio Caverns.

Credit: submitted

Credit: submitted

At just under an hour's drive, the caverns in West Liberty stay at a steady 54 degrees all year and feature some of the most unique formations in America. Guests from around the world come to experience the 35-acre park complete with guided tours and mining for gemstones and fossils.

ExplorePearl’s Fen is Dayton’s newest wetland — and it’s waiting to be explored

🌎SunWatch Indian Village

SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park in Dayton.
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SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park in Dayton.

Right here in Dayton did you know there's an Indian village and archaeological park? SunWatch Indian Village, at 2301 W. River Road, features reconstructed structures of how the Fort Ancient Indians lived 800 years ago. There's also an indoor theatre, artifacts and an Interpretive Center for even more exploration.

Explore10 things to know about SunWatch

🌎Serpent Mound

Spanning 1,348 feet long from head to tail, Serpent Mound near Hillsboro in Adams County is an archaeological marvel. Connie Post/ Staff
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Spanning 1,348 feet long from head to tail, Serpent Mound near Hillsboro in Adams County is an archaeological marvel. Connie Post/ Staff

Serpent Mound is the largest effigy mound in North America — and one of only two effigy mounds in Ohio. It's worth the 90-minute drive to see this preserved ancient earthwork that stretches 1,330 feet and depicts the form of an undulating serpent with an oval shape at the head. Serpent Mound was first mapped by modern culture as early as 1815. The Ohio Historical Society opened a museum near the mound in 1967 and constructed a walkway around the mound.

Explore9 things to see and do in Ohio's only national park

🌎Hocking Hills

Upper Falls at Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills. Hannah Poturalski/ Staff
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Upper Falls at Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills. Hannah Poturalski/ Staff

Credit: Hannah Poturalski/ STAFF

Credit: Hannah Poturalski/ STAFF

There are 26 state parks within about 100 miles of Dayton. Hocking Hills State Park is definitely deserving of a long weekend in order to take in all the natural sights it has to offer. You can find everything from caves, waterfalls and cliffs within six main parks. The names themselves are intriguing enough — Devil's Bathtub, Rockbridge, Rock House, Old Man's Cave.

🌎Mad River Gorge

Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve will be Ohio’s largest natural rock climbing area. CONTRIBUTED
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Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve will be Ohio’s largest natural rock climbing area. CONTRIBUTED

Ohio’s largest natural rock-climbing park, Mad River Gorge and Nature Preserve, will impress local climbers with the the variety of climbing challenges for beginners on up to veteran climbers. The cliffs – about 45-50 feet at their highest point – have been on private land for decades, but in recent years, the park district was able to purchase the land with the help of a Clean Ohio Conservation Grant. The attraction will be available to climbers at no cost.

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