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Gilmore Ponds Loop



2.3 mile 3.6 kilometer loop
100% Runnable


Ascent: 22' 7 m
Descent: -21' -6 m
High: 625' 191 m
Low: 605' 184 m


Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 2% (1°)


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Trail shared by Chris Davis

A run with the best birding in the region.

Chris Davis

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Wildflowers

Open daylight hours only.


This is a fantastic loop trail covering some of the best local bird habitat in the Miami Valley Region.

Need to Know

Prepare to be underwhelmed on the drive in, but once you are there it's paradise!


The trailhead for the Wetlands Loop is located at the north side of the parking lot; look for tan colored floating boardwalk. If it is particularly wet, the boardwalk sometimes becomes covered in water! This first section is a glimpse of what is to come with water dominating the trail.

About a mile in on the old Miami-Erie Canal Towpath, you'll see the old ice pond that served the Cincinnati area for centuries, now it is home to some amazing waterfowl. Continuing on, you'll turn a tight right and pass along another series of ponds, this one has an observation deck that you can make your way out onto, and really immerse yourself in the marsh.

As you pass several spur trails, you'll see an observation tower that is a great place to just sit and be still, in addition to hiding yourself from the birds that are skittish.

You'll then pass into open prairie and another small pond where mallards are often seen, cross a small bridge through that area and you are almost back to the platform and boardwalk.

Flora & Fauna

Cattails, sumac, honeysuckle, oak, elm, some cedar and wildflowers in the summer in the prairie. Birds are numerous including Great Egrets, Black Crowned Night Herons, Green Herons, Great Blue Herons, Grebe, Least Bittern, Warblers, Blackbirds and more!

History & Background

Part of the historical Cincinnati Ice Ponds that served the local area with ice, particularly the myriad of brewers in the area at the turn of the last century.

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Trail Ratings

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  5.0 from 2 votes
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in Ohio


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609 Since Sep 1, 2017



Great Blue Heron Flying over the wetlands
Nov 9, 2017 near Fairfield, OH
Canadian geese on one of the interior ponds
Nov 9, 2017 near Fairfield, OH
One of the connecting bridges
Nov 9, 2017 near Fairfield, OH
Marsh Observation Platform
Nov 9, 2017 near Fairfield, OH
Marshland leading to the canal
Nov 9, 2017 near Fairfield, OH
Bird Blind on the connector trail
Nov 9, 2017 near Fairfield, OH


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