Oxford is the perfect small-town destination for hiking enthusiasts
By Meta Hoge
Oxford, Ohio, is the perfect small town to visit for nature lovers and hiking fans.
Oxford is home to Miami University, which has over 17 miles of trails in the Miami University Natural Areas. There are nine different trails, which are all connected with the exception of the Women’s Recreation Associated (WRA) Cabin Loop. Multiple events are held at the Natural Areas throughout the year, including the annual Hike-A-Thon Plus each fall where over 1,000 people come together to enjoy the trails.
Other activities one can enjoy at the Miami University Natural Areas are wildflower walks led by a professional botanist from the university to view the 60 wildflower species at the Silvoor Biological Sanctuary, birdwatching at the Bachelor Preserve and geocaching.
Just 6 miles outside of Oxford is Hueston Woods State Park. In addition to 12 miles of hiking trails, visitors can fish, boat and enjoy the beach at Acton Lake. Lodging opportunities are provided at the campgrounds and Hueston Woods Lodge and Conference Center.
There is also an 18-hole golf course, a covered bridge on Camden College Corner Road, a horse-riding arena, a nature center with native reptiles and birds of prey (including several red-tailed hawks, a bald eagle and great horned owls), and the Pioneer Farm Museum.
Within town are the Oxford Area Trails, which are undergoing an expansion that will have 12 miles of trails by 2028.
Currently there are four trailheads: the Black Covered Bridge; Leonard G. Howell Park, which connects to the Black Covered Bridge path and the Miami University Natural Areas Marcum Loop; DeWitt Homestead Park, which includes the DeWitt Log House; and Peffer Park.
Jessica Greene, assistant city manager for Oxford, says she is an avid hiker herself and enjoys the beauty of the trails Oxford has to offer.
“I think these are one of the most beautiful ones that I’ve hiked,” she says. “There’s swinging bridges and ponds and creeks and it’s a really beautiful setting.”