Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Miami County, OH

  • Published 2022/10/27

Situated in Western Ohio is Miami County, named after the Miami Indians to honor them.

It was formerly a part of Montgomery County, and on January 16, 1807, the Ohio government certified the creation of Miami County.

The small towns and villages provide an insight into the simple lives of the county’s inhabitants.

The region has a combination of unique attractions distributed throughout the area that you can reach easily either by foot or wheel.

The county has so much to offer locals and visitors alike, such as canoeing, hiking, biking, and more.

Check out other best things to do in Miami County, Ohio!

Bathe, Hike, and Have a Picnic in Charleston Falls Preserve

Cascades of Charleston Falls Preserve

Kenneth Keifer /

Charleston Falls Preserve on Ross Road, Tipp City the most visited nature park in Miami County.

It covers over 216 acres of prairie and forests with its most extraordinary feature: the waterfall.

The fall originated from small underground springs some miles to the east, and the stream that creates the falls plunges 37 feet on its course to the Great Miami River, a mile to the east.

You may call this waterfall a “Miniature Niagara” as it flows over rock strata, also found in New York State and Canada.

Trail leading to the waterfall at Charleston Falls Preserve

arthurgphotography /

This enchanting place is the perfect spot to hike and observe wildlife or simply bask in the sun.

At Charleston Falls Preserve, you’ll also find uncommon plants in the limestone faces of the bordering gorge, including walking fern, purple cliff break, rock honeysuckle, and wild columbine.

The preserve includes activities such as nature programs, picnicking (of course!), hiking trails, and more.

A cave at Charleston Falls Preserve

Kenneth Keifer /

Ride Ponies and Camels at Idle-Hour Ranch for a Cause

The Iddings family established the Idle-Hour Ranch a few years ago as they were searching for animals for live Nativity.

It’s an animal sanctuary committed to providing family-friendly education, fun, and hands-on interaction, resulting in the opening of the ranch to the public in 2007 to raise funds to support the animals.

The ranch’s goal is to foster loving care for animals regardless of their species and to empower conservation worldwide.

Located on Fenner Rd, Troy, Idle-Hour Ranch houses different animals, including goats, water buffalo, kangaroos, camels, birds, a coyote, a fox, and more.

Kids can enjoy a pony or camel ride for an extra cost that will go to the animal funds.

Paddle Your Way at Barefoot Canoe

Barefoot Canoe is a family-owned local business located on E Tipp Pike, West Milton that Harold Barefoot established in the early 1970s.

Harold Barefoot used to build fiberglass canoes before renting aluminum canoes.

His nephew Bill bought the business in 1992 and eventually sold it to the current owner in 2008.

Barefoot Canoe operates canoe trips and fishing journeys down the Stillwater River to help visitors reconnect with nature.

Canoers, kayakers, and paddlers will enjoy scenic views here, including that of a minor waterfall.

To ensure that you’ll have an enjoyable and safe ride, Barefoot Canoe provides paddles and life jackets.

Check Awesome Centuries-Old Aircraft at WACO Air Museum

The WACO Aircraft Company is a 7,500-square-foot hangar that houses the WACO Air Museum on South County Rd 25A, Troy.

The company was the biggest civil aircraft manufacturer in the country between the 1920s and 1930s.

Currently, the museum showcases 10 aircraft, including a replica of a 1919 “Cootie,” a 1940 RPT, a 1929 WACO ATO Taperwing, a 1921 Model 4 replica, and more.

Likewise, there are displays featuring the Civil Air Patrol during WW II, a collection of engines and propellers, and WACO factory artifacts, to name a few.

You might also experience an open-cockpit flight on one of the two flying planes at the WACO Air Museum.

Hike or Bike at Farrington Reserve

Farrington Reserve stretches 27 acres of land offering 2,500 feet of access to the Great Miami River.

Families or groups will enjoy exercising, boating, fishing, and viewing different animals here.

From the Reserve, you can also access the Great Miami River Recreational Trail for hiking or biking.

The park also conserves land in the riparian corridor to secure water quality as well as wildlife habitat.

The reserve offers ample parking spaces that connect the bikeway’s Troy and Piqua sections.

Located on W. Peterson Rd, Piqua, Farrington Reserve also has a deep pool at the falls’ base.

Unleash the Golfer in You at Stillwater Ridge Golf Club

Stillwater Ridge Golf Club is a family-friendly nine-hole course on OH-571, West Milton.

The course stretches 3,120 yards from the longest tees, featuring three sets for different skill levels.

The five-hole course is perfect for beginners or those who want an easier layout.

This golf club might not be the most challenging, but it features Bermuda grass and winter rye lines.

Stillwater Ridge Golf Club stands out from other golf courses because of its excellent service, as well as its cozy ambiance.

Have a Taste of Old-Fashioned Whiskey at Indian Creek Distillery

During your trip to Ohio, don’t forget to drop by its oldest distillery and the place of supreme frontier hand-crafted whiskeys: the Indian Creek Distillery

Located along Staley Rd, New Carlisle, Indian Creek Distillery depicts a legendary legacy of pristine American farm distillation from the past to the future.

For more than 200 years, the Staley family has operated the historic farm distillery using an archaic double copper distilling process.

Additionally, the ranch holds a couple of special events all year round, including a variety of local food trucks and live music.

You can also get a glimpse of the Indian Creek Distillery’s history through the photos and artifacts in the retail room.

Satiate Your Hunger at Smith’s Boathouse Restaurant

The Smiths’ Boathouse Restaurant got its name from the original boathouse created in 1946 to commemorate the historical landmark location.

Situated along N. Elm St., Troy, you’ll find it within Troy’s Treasure Island Park.

While sinking your teeth into their mouth-watering selection of steaks, seasonal dishes, and different kinds of seafood, you’ll enjoy a scenic view of the Great Miami River.

You’ll keep coming back for more after you taste the French onion soup, walleye, and Caesar salad.

You can also have a bottle of craft beer, whiskey, or wine to go with your meal, while kids can feast on sundaes and chocolate cheesecakes for dessert.

Soak in River’s Edge Nature Preserve

The Brukner Nature Center owns and maintains the River’s Edge Wildlife Preserve on Ludlow Falls.

Sometimes called “Brukner 2,” it features natural springs, numerous waterfalls, and an aerial view of the cool Stillwater River.

River’s Edge Wildlife Preserve also offers a short hiking trail looping up and down the gorge and proceeding to the springs and waterfalls.

You can go to the Tree-Top Bird Vista and watch birds come and go during the migrating season or feed them during winter (Project FeederWatch).

The vista is an air-conditioned refuge every summer and a cozy place during winter; it’s open every day to the public for free from dusk till dawn.

It’s worth noting that the River’s Edge Wildlife Preserve doesn’t allow pets because they frighten the wildlife.

Additionally, they prohibit smoking, and you must always stay on the trail even if it’s muddy to prevent erosion, damaging the wildflowers, and reducing plants and animal habitats when the trails widen.

Camp on Water at Treasure Island Park

Designed to facilitate canoes, boats, kayaks, and bicyclists, Treasure Island Park is the newest entertainment and recreation sensation in Troy.

Located on N Elm St., this historic place enables you to camp on the water through Float Troy — believe it or not!

There are inflatable floating tents on the Great Miami River, anchored at Treasure Island Park.

At Treasure Island Park, you can sleep and relax on these floatables, which are close to hiking, biking, and other outdoor activity venues.

The floating tent can accommodate four adults or two adults and two kids.

When you get hungry, there’s a picnic shelter marked with the park’s name.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Beyond Miami County, you’ll also find equally delightful things to do on your vacation.

Check out the following places that are just a few minutes drive from Miami County.

Discover Flora and Fauna at Five Rivers MetroParks

Daytime view of Five Rivers MetroParks

Patricia Elaine Thomas /

Five Rivers MetroParks offers a rich mixture of historical assets and miles of trails across several kinds of natural riches, such as meadows, wetlands, prairies, and woodlands.

Settled on E Monument Ave, Dayton, Five Rivers MetroParks are operational all year round to provide visitors with limitless opportunities to observe wildlife and discover rare tree and plant species.

Don’t forget to bring your binoculars or video recorder while hiking or horse riding to capture videos of animals you’ll see on your way.

Flora at Five Rivers MetroParks

Patricia Elaine Thomas /

Your whole family can go fishing in the lakes, rivers, and ponds, which are abundant in different kinds of fish.

You can fish from the bass boat’s deck, paddle a fishing kayak, or simply sit in the shade.

If you want a different activity, you can also go ice skating on the park’s rink with your family.

Stream at Five Rivers MetroParks

Texas141, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Experience an Explosion of Fun and Amusement at Scene75 Entertainment Center

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind entertainment, Scene75 Entertainment Center is the place to be!

This huge entertainment center spans 160,000 square feet and accommodates offers plenty of indoor activities (14), arcade games (150), and a full bar and grill.

The place is the perfect venue to hold important events, especially birthdays.

Take advantage of their great birthday package comprised of a party host, party place settings, a private party room, a souvenir shirt for the celebrant, and arcade play.

Located along Poe Ave in Dayton, Scene75 Entertainment Center has thrilling activities for everyone to enjoy.

Appreciate the Scenery and Serenity of Smith Memorial Gardens

If you want to see something green and colorful and relax in a quiet place, the Smith Memorial Gardens is the best place to go.

Considered one of the finest tiny public gardens in Ohio, it flourishes with various plants and flowers that attract different species of birds and insects, such as bees and butterflies.

There’s also a garden house that accepts scheduled services for activities, including the Perennial Sale, usually held every April.

You can arrange other important events here such as weddings, birthdays, and other small parties.

Located on Walnut Lane, Oakwood, any visitor will enjoy Smith Memorial Gardens for walking, picnicking, and taking pictures.

Enjoy Nature at the Great Miami River Recreational Trail

Pathway of Great Miami River Recreational Trail

Logan Rickert, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Great Miami River Recreational Trail has been open since July 2005 and provides 32 miles of bikeway beyond the Great Miami River through Miami County.

It allows visitors to enjoy nature while walking, running, or biking on the trail with friends or family.

The middle section starts at the south end of Middletown and proceeds north 77 miles to Piqua.

Bridge along Great Miami River Recreational Trail

Logan Rickert, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Great Miami River Trail is the cornerstone of one of the nation’s biggest paved trail networks, connecting 340 miles across the Miami Valley.

It connects small towns, large cities, natural areas in southwestern Ohio, and many parks, including Carillon Historical Park, Treasure Island Park, Rice Field, Rentschler Forest Preserve, and Triangle Park.

Play, Hike, Fish, and Picnic at the Centennial Park

Centennial Park is one of the family-friendly parks you must visit in Ohio.

Located on Union Blvd, Englewood, this park allows families to have a wonderful picnic in the woods and fish at the catch-and-release pond.

If you’re a sports enthusiast, you can play ball games such as sand volleyball, tennis, or softball with friends and family.

Don’t forget to visit Carr Woods Nature Sanctuary, located at the back of the park, for a pictographic stroll.

Centennial Park offers plenty of recreational opportunities that each family member will enjoy.

Its amenities include restrooms, a bike trail, picnic shelters and tables, playgrounds, and parking, to name a few.

Final Thoughts

Miami County in Ohio offers a host of attractions where you can relax and have some quality time with the family.

You can enjoy various activities for free or spend a few bucks in some places which are worth every buck.

Bring your family along and discover the best things to do in Miami County, Ohio.

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