KATHY PFEIFFER
Weekend Walker: Jim Terrell Park

If you want a quick blast of raw nature, walk the rugged one mile dirt path at Jim Terrell Park on Longworth St., Terrace Park, OH, right outside Milford. It’s challenging enough to be fun with dips in the path, quick turns around large brush configurations made by flooding, and narrow trails along the edge of a steep cut above of the Miami River.

We walked here on Dec. 13, 2015, at 11:30 a.m., the temperature was 60 degrees, and we were the only people walking the trail. There were others in the parking lot that were preparing to go kayaking. The narrow dirt trail veers off the parking lot with no sign or information. After a few steps, you are completely immersed in nature.

We came to several forks in the path, and made a point of choosing the path on the left each time. This led us to a wonderful stretch overlooking the Miami River, and around large brush piles of flood debris, which were spectacular. There were some dips in the path, which were fun to run up and down, we noticed mountain bike tracks on the path as well.

At about the half mile mark, the path turned inland into the woods again, and we soon came to a lovely resting area with a picnic table and fire pit that overlooked a tributary flowing into the Miami River. When the trail ended in the parking lot, it measured one mile, and we enjoyed it so much, we quickly walked it again.

Restrooms: There was one port-a-potty in the parking lot.

Traffic Noise: No sights or sounds of traffic.

Interesting Features: There was a small boat launch area, the trail was for mountain biking also, and the scenery was unusually interesting. It was hard to believe such wilderness was so close to town.

Historic Points of Interest:  During the walk we saw old bridge pylons that occupied the park, and continued on across the river.  They turned out to be the remains of a streetcar bridge.  It was originally built in 1903 by the Cincinnati, Milford and Loveland Traction Co. which went out of business by World War One, and the bridge became the property of several streetcar companies in turn.  The line was finally scrapped in the 30s.

Overall Rating: We give it an excellent rating. It is close to town, easy to get to and you are immediately immersed in nature. The dips in the path made it fun and gave the walker more exercise than walking a flat trail. Our only concern was imagining the walker’s experience if mountain bikers were whizzing through the trail at the same time. The trail is too narrow for bikers to pass walkers. Our experience was great though. We were refreshed and energized, and came back for more.

Nature enthusiasts Kathy and Greg Pfeiffer challenge parks and trails in the Clermont County area to see which ones are the best walking spots.  To be part of their study, the trails have to be part of a park or natural area that is free to the public and easily accessible from the road. The trails are rated on the condition of the paths, availability of restrooms, traffic noise and interesting features such as historic points of interest and proximity to a wooded area, lake or river.