[There are two bikeways along the Wolf Creek. This review covers the northern Verona to Trotwood trail. The Paul Laurence Dunbar Bikeway to the south connects with the Great Miami River Trail.]
By Sue Leet
The Wolf Creek Trail runs 13 miles northwest from Trotwood through Brookville to Verona [in Montgomery County, Ohio.] The trail is primarily rural with facilities in two of the three towns. Weekdays are quiet; you'll see very few people. The number of users picks up on weekends but you'll still have the trail mostly to yourself in many areas. Expect to see riders and walkers of all ages as well as a few in-line skaters. This is a trail where greetings of "Good Morning" and "Hello" are the rule.
The ride from Trotwood follows a slightly uphill grade for most of the way to Brookville. As you leave Trotwood, you'll pass the backyards of homes along the trail.
At Snyder Road, just to the left of the bikeway, is the entrance to the group camp area of Sycamore Woods State Park. Go around the chain across the driveway. (I think it's okay; the ranger has never told us otherwise). The road heads back into the woods. When you reach the group camp building, it's easy to pick up one of the park's hiking trails.
As you head towards Brookville, you'll pass farms with cows, horses, sheep, and llamas in the pastures. Springtime brings lots of babies. Early morning may find a deer or fox sharing the bikeway with you. In this area, the trail is mostly shaded until 10 a.m. and in the early evening. Wildflowers line the path and provide a variety of color.
Approaching Shiloh Springs Road, you will see the Air Hill rest area. Five Rivers Metro Parks has provided a covered place to sit and a bulletin board with information and brochures about the trail. You'll continue to see park benches along the way for the next four or five miles.
Just past the Heckathorn Road intersection, you'll see the beginning of Brookville. You have only another half mile of uphill; it begins to level off at the yield sign between Heckathorn and Westbrook Road.
Between Westbrook and Arlington Road, you're in Brookville. The trail is now slightly downhill, a welcome relief for your legs. The area just past Westbrook Road can be stinky for a minute due to a factory that deals with rubber. Downtown Brookville has one restaurant (unsure of the hours and the quality) and is home to Mar-Chelle soft pretzels; unfortunately, they only sell in bulk. Be careful of glass on the bikeway around Market Street (you'll see a bar on the corner).
Once you leave downtown Brookville, you'll notice Golden Gate Park on your right. In the evenings and on weekends it will be full of kids' football or baseball leagues. There are restrooms here although it's a challenge to find them. (I found success by heading toward the tennis courts; turn right at the stop sign just past all the ducks and geese.)
When you reach Arlington Road, you'll find a Dairy Queen, Kay's Restaurant, and a pizza place to your left, Rob's Restaurant and fast food to your right. Rob's frequently has bikes parked outside and seems to be bike friendly. Air is available to the left at the Swifty and to the right at the gas stations just before the interstate. This area is your last restroom break!! (Note: This will be your busiest intersection to navigate.)
Past Arlington Road you'll pass a service road (which will also take you to the fast food restaurants) and Rob's parking lot (where a number of people park their cars and start their ride). As soon as you pass under I-70, it's rural again although it's now more fields than woods. You'll see little but soybeans and corn from here on. You'll pass an old orchard just past Temple Road; look for colts in the spring. The bikeway has provided another rest area, Pete's Station, just past Wengerlawn Road. Although there are no restrooms here, it's still a great place to get off your bike, drink some water, and enjoy the quiet.
As you approach Verona, the trail is once again tree-lined. The trail ends at Preble County Line Road. Verona is the proverbial sleepy little town and is worth riding through.
It's just over five miles back to Arlington Road and about eight to the depot in Trotwood. The last five or five and a half miles will be a leisurely downhill ride.
[The southern Wolf Creek Trail has been included in the trail specs below. The two bikeways are not linked together at this time.]
Length: Trotwood to Verona: 12.6 miles / asphalt - approx. 10'
Condition: Very Good
Facilities: Water & restrooms at the restored train station in Trotwood. Nothing at trail's end in Verona. Sue Leet adds - "Golden Gate Park, which parallels the bike path in Brookville, has parking and restrooms."
Paul Dunbar Trail restrooms & parking at the Wesleyan MetroPark. No other facilitites.
Food: Sue Leet - "A few restaurants are available in Trotwood if a person travels east on Wolf Creek and continues straight at the light. Brookville's eating options have changed. The Porch Light Cafe is now El Greco's, a branch of the one in Dayton, with sandwiches and pizza. Another downtown restaurant serves breakfast. At Arlington Rd, there is Rob's (usually with bicycles parked in front), Dairy Queen, a new K's opening in the spring, and a collection of fast food and gas stations for rest stops. Actually, Brookville has more restaurants and closer restaurants than Trotwood."
Parking: Sue Leet - "Park at the depot in Trotwood which is accessible from the Rt. 35/Rt. 49 connector - turn west on Wolf Creek Pike, continue into Trotwood, turn left at the light, and the depot is on your right in about 3 blocks, just before Union Rd. If you want to start from Brookville, take exit 21 from I-70, turn south, and turn left at the first light by the Wendy's. Turn right into Golden Gate Park and turn right again until you come to the parking lot next to the trail. There is also a parking lot and access area at Shiloh Springs Rd."
Paul Dunbar Trail restrooms & parking at the Wesleyan MetroPark.
Verona Brookville Trotwood Dayton
20.1mi 13.8mi 7.8mi 0mi