Five Rivers MetroParks

The Miami Valley is blessed with a host of wonderful parks.  One major system is the Five Rivers MetroParks.  The genesis of these parks owes their existence to the Great Dayton Flood of 1913.  Chartered in 1915 the Miami Conservatory District was Dayton’s answer to flood prevention.  The organization built five dams throughout the upper tributaries of the Great Miami River.  These normally dry dams impound water during heavy rains and then the dams release the water downstream in a more controlled fashion.  Over time, each one of these water retention areas became a dual-use regional park.  The project was so impressive that twenty years later, the success of the Miami Conservancy District inspired the development of the much larger Tennessee Valley Authority.


Bike Trails

In addition to the park reserves which formed around the dams, the Miami Conservancy District also procured much of the levee areas which ran along the rivers, thereby connecting the parks.  This serendipitous action set the stage in forming one of the richest bike trail systems in the US featuring 350 miles of paved trails.  Today, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission oversees the network’s maintenance and growth.


Stunning Dayton Artwork

Our outstanding Five Rivers MetroPark system holds many Miami Valley landmarks and points of interest.  Over time, I’ve captured these Dayton scenic locations in varying seasons and under amazing light.  These images form dramatic canvas prints which will impress corporate art and healthcare art clients.  If you are looking for ways to celebrate your pride about living in the Gem City, these art prints will be the solution to your wall décor needs.  Shot a high resolution, these prints easily print in large canvas wall art sizes to at least 8 feet wide and acrylic panels 11 feet tall.

Aullwood Garden MetroPark

Aullwood Garden exists to the hard work and generosity of Marie Aull.  In 1977, she donated her property to the Give Rivers MetroParks and continued to care for her garden and live on the property until 2002.  Her husband, John Aull, purchased the property near the Stillwater River in 1907.  The spend decades planting flowers which populate the forest floor around their cabin.    Every year, the woodlands spring to life with daffodils, Virginia Bluebells, and lilies.   The beautiful home now resides on the National Register of Historic Places.

A winding path between large Sycamore trees and Eastern Red Buds at Aullwood MetroPark

Carriage Hill MetroPark

Carriage Hill, in Huber Heights, Ohio, draws its origins from Daniel and Catharine Arnold.  The farm remained in the family from 1830 to 1910.  The forerunner of the Five Rivers MetroParks, the Dayton-Montgomery County Park District, acquired the land in 1968.  In addition to land donated by Eugene Kettering, the park was first known as Drylick Run, for the Mad River tributary which ran through the property.  The non-profit, Friends of Carriage Hill aided in financial assistance and education programs and the park assumed the name Carriage Hill Reserve.  Today, Carriage Hill MetroPark consists of 900 acres and features a horse farm, trails, and meadows and offers visitors insight to 19th-century farm life.

An autumn scene where a farm horse grazes in a pasture next to a bright right barn and unique windmill.

Cox Arboretum MetroPark

Cox Arboretum and Gardens MetroPark is one of many parks in Dayton’s Five Rivers MetroParks system.  James M. Cox and his family established the park in 1962 by donating their land.  Fifteen years ago, the James M. Cox Jr. Arboretum Foundation hired Francois Goffinet, an amazing landscape designer from Belgium, to establish the park’s master plan.  Today the park hosts many features including the Water Garden and Monet Bridge.

Colorful sunset over Cox Arboretum where pink stratocumulus clouds form intriguing leading lines to the western sky

Deed's Point MetroPark

Deeds Point draws its name from Colonel Edward Deeds, who helped Dayton get back on its feet after the Great Flood of 1913.  In 1994, several parks formerly under the Miami Conservancy District which includes Deeds Point, was placed under the new Five Rivers MetroParks.  Today the Deeds Point MetroPark hosts Legacy Plaza which commemorates Dayton’s celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Flight.  The park also celebrates the region’s role in the Dayton Accords which put an end to the Bosnian Wars.  Standing at the confluence of the Mad River and Great Miami River, the park also serves as a convergence of biker riders exploring the Great Miami River Trail, Mad River Trail, and the Buckeye and North Country Trails.

A bronze statue of Wilbur and Orville Wright overlooking the Dayton Skyline from Deeds Point during a spring sunset

Eastwood MetroPark

Eastwood Park has supported the city in many ways.  Located along the Mad River and downstream from the Huffman Dam, the area was prone to floods.  As part of the new Miami Conservancy District, the land was purchased to protect the region from future floods.  Its protected status also coincides the preservation of Dayton’s water supply.  It served as a quiet place in the country for years.  In the 1940s and with the growth of Wright Field, it supported the morale of military workers.  In the 1970s, the adjacent lake held the Dayton Hydrobowl races.  Today, it hosts portions of the Buckeye & North Country Trails, Mad River Water Trails and favored Kayak spot, Mad River Run, the Mad River Bike trail and Creekside Trail.

A perfect day at Eastwood Lake MetroParks as stone bridges invite visitors to explore the park’s paths through mature trees under amazing skies

Englewood MetroPark

Englewood Dam lies along the Stillwater River and holds the Miami Valley Conservancy District’s largest dam.  In 1967, the surrounding lands were opened to the public and was called Englewood Reserve.  In the 1970’s, the park was so popular that it had to close at times for congestion.   The Englewood MetroPark is adjacent the Aullwood Gardens and the Audubon Center of the National Audubon Society in western Ohio.  Today, the park features the Martindale, Patty & Oaks Falls, Big Blue a champion blue ash tree, mature hardwood forest and the Benedict Blincoe Wildlife Observation Area.

A summer evening as the Stillwater River flows by Aullwood Garden MetroPark near Englewood Ohio

Hills and Dales MetroPark

Visitors to Hills and Dales MetroPark owe thanks to John H. Patterson, founder of National Cash Register Company.  John Patterson believed in outdoor exercise and its benefits to health and human productivity.  In improving his land, he hired the sons of a famed landscape architect, John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. who accentuated the park’s picturesque creeks, rolling hills, dense woods, wildflowers, and wetlands.  After 1999 cleanup efforts, the 63 acres of Hills and Dales became part of the Five Rivers MetroPark System becoming Hills and Dales MetroPark.  Today the historical urban park features Adirondack-style shelters, a boardwalk, picnic areas, trails, and a monument to John H. Patterson which overlooks the park and his former land.

Dogwood Pavilion at Hills and Dales MetroPark at sunrise where trees filter the golden morning sunlight over Dogwood Pond

Island MetroPark

Formerly known as the White City Amusement Park, the confluence of the Stillwater and Great Miami River has hosted entertainment venues for decades.  In 1940, Dayton city leaders erected the Leslie L. Diehl Band Shell where concerts entertained Daytonians.  Years later it hosted the Dayton River Festival.  Today, the park still hosts events, a splash pad, and many old trees as the Great Miami Riverway and Buckeye and North County trail riders follow the river.


RiverScape MetroPark

Formerly known as Val Cleve Park, the crown jewel of Dayton Ohio’s Five Rivers MetroPark system lies in RiverScape MetroPark.  The park offers peaceful views of the Great Miami River as it flows by the Dayton Skyline.  A central park feature entails the Five Rivers Fountain of Lights where the large river fountain spans 800 feet wide and sprays reaching 200 feet in the air.  The park also features a pavilion, RiverScape River Run (kayak chutes), Dayton Inventors River Walk, Founders Point, as well as the Great Miami Riverway.  If you’re looking for canvas art prints that celebrate Dayton’s Fountain, this gallery is for you.

Twilight over RiverScape MetroPark where an eddy forms as Great Miami River spills over River Run which serves as a leading line to the warmly lit Dayton Skyline

Sugarcreek MetroPark

Between Centerville and Bellbrook, Ohio lies this gem of a park where the Sugar Creek carved a valley in the local terrain.  The park provides visitors access to several natural features such as the Three Sisters (a set of 500-year-old White Oak Trees), the Osage Orange Tunnel, a tall grass prairie and a trail through the beech wood trees.  I love exploring this park and capturing several compositions throughout the colorful seasons.


Taylorsville MetroPark

As US 40 crosses the Great Miami River, the Miami Conservancy District erected Taylorsville Dam to control regional flood waters.  Initially known as Taylorsville Reserve when it opened in 1967, in 1994 it also became part of the Horace M. Huffman Jr. River Corridor Bikeway.  Today, the park provides shady hiking trails along its limestone banks and wildflower meadows in the floodplain. Years later its trail connected to Tipp City in Miami County, and eventually ran all the way to Piqua, Ohio.


Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark

Wegerzyn Gardens resides along the Great Miami River where Siebenthaler Avenue crosses the river.  The gardens formed in 1973 as the Benjamin Wegerzyn Horticultural Center and became part of the Five Rivers MetroPark in 1995.  The Wegerzyn Gardens Foundation oversees the educational programs as well as the park’s continued development.  The park consists of a series of eight gardens that feature pavilions, pergolas, arbors, and urns adorned with an array of interesting and colorful flowers.  This garden has produced many of my popular gardenscape prints.  The park’s intimate gardens produce peaceful compositions which adorn many Miami Valley healthcare facilities and patient rooms.


Keywords:  Great Miami River, Ohio Fine Art Photography, Midwest Fine Art Photography, Ohio Canvas Prints