Oak Openings Hiking Trail

Whitehouse, Ohio 43571

Oak Openings Hiking Trail

Oak Openings Hiking Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"If you’re an über-hiker, tackle it in a day, but if you’re a mere mortal, take two days to explore this long and winding path. Walk along inland sand dunes (a signature characteristic of the oak openings), in oak woodlands, through canopy openings and prairies, through pine forests, along creekbeds, past attractive ponds, and on sandy trails.

The preserve, at under 4,000 acres, is home to more than 1,000 plant species, a number of which are rare or endangered.These include flowering plants such as Skinner’s foxglove and the carnivorous sundew. Rare butterflies found here include the Frosted elfin and Persius dusky-wing. Expect to see some of the park’s resident deer, which number in the hundreds. Nesting birds include larks, sparrows, indigo buntings, whippoorwills, and bluebirds."

Oak Openings Hiking Trail Trip Reports

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I had just taken this hike trail for the first time. I had a great time! The markers are a tiny bit hard to follow in some areas. I think I had only walked 15 miles of the trail by cutting off onto another, but it was still a beautiful trail. Even though today was 90+ degrees, it was cooler in the forest and there was a breeze, so it wasn't nearly as bad. There are plenty of beautiful scenes, it's quiet, and if you enjoy a long, long walk, this is a great choice.
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Really nice for being in such a developed area...there was some trail maintence going on during my hike but they clearly marked detours to take...In some of the places you feel like you are nowhere near Toledo, Ohio cause you're surrounded by very tall pines and run into the occasional set of sand dunes too! Not bad for a sunny day hike!
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I've run this as a training run a couple of times in the last month. This is among the best trails in the state.

The trailhead is found about a quarter mile east of the parking lot off the bikepath. The yellow blazes are (mostly) easy to follow, and it's best to follow the trail counterclockwise since it's marked better in that direction. The local scouts have improved the the trail with bridges over the little streams/gullies/swamps but some are in disrepair so be careful. It can be very very boggy in places after heavy rains. On one run I had to go through ankle deep water in a half dozen places. But a week later it was pretty dry so it drains well (the sandy soil does it I guess).

The total distance is something of a question mark. The sign at the trail head says 16.5. The park map says 16. The old signs (and this trailguide) say 17. There are mile markers at the half miles and they say it's about 15.5 (plus maybe a half mile to the parking lot). But some milemarkets appear to be a bit off (based on my clock and estimated running speed).

Oak Openings Hiking Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
About 5 to 8 hours
Apr through Oct
Oak Openings Preserve Metropark
Local Contacts
USGS: Whitehouse
Local Maps

Trail Log