HIDDEN GEM: Creekside Reserve is a secret escape along U.S. 35

Credit: Staff

Credit: Staff

Of Dayton’s many sparkling hidden gems scattered across the Miami Valley, Creekside Reserve might be the most hidden of all.

Beavercreek’s Creekside Reserve is a stretch of beautiful flood plain forest and meadows located adjacent to the Creekside Bike Trail. The park, situated between Factory Road and North Fairfield Road, is only accessible via the bike trail, adding a small extra dash of adventure to the visit.

Visitors traveling by car could either park at EJ Nutter Park, located at 865 Factory Road in Beavercreek, or just down the bike trail at Beavercreek Community Park, located directly next to Southern Ohio Brewing at 818 Factory Road.

The bit of additional effort to get to the reserve trailhead is well worth it. It’s hard to believe the park is located next to U.S. Route 35, as the reserve’s trails are filled with sounds of rustling, falling autumn leaves and the relaxing trickle of the Little Beaver Creek.

In 1999, the land was donated by Moraine Associates and was dedicated as a reserve by the Greene County Park District in 2000. The southwest corner of the reserve features a constructed wetland that was created after road improvements on US 35, according to the Beaver Creek Wetlands Association.

Off the bike path, over 3.5 miles of gravel and grass trail wind through the reserve’s forest, taking hikers right up to gorgeous views of the Little Beaver Creek.

Despite its proximity to the bike trail and highway, it’s not unlikely to see deer, woodpeckers, woodchucks, coyotes and smaller animals like rabbits and groundhogs near their homes along the Little Beaver Creek. Multiple observation decks with benches to rest dot the Little Beaver Creek, where hikers can rest while keeping a lookout for the reserve’s resident creatures.

Credit: Staff

Credit: Staff

Creekside Reserve is one of the best spots in the area to get up-close with different sides of the region’s topography — all along one path. Creekside Reserve features a small fen, constructed wetlands, an upland prairie of tall grasses and coneflowers, and a typical flood plain forest containing sycamore, box elder, walnut ash and honey locust.

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