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Top 10 places to go on a winter walk in the Dayton area

Published: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 @ 8:49 AM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Gem City Visuals
(Gem City Visuals)

Winter is a time for walks.

It may not always seem that way as snow and slush piles up. However, wintertime hikes are when people can have some of the most quiet, most peaceful walks of the year and around Dayton, there are breathtaking hikes waiting for all levels of fitness.

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Here are 10 great places in the Dayton area to take a hike:

❄️ Charleston Falls Preserve

2535 Ross Road, Tipp City

Charleston Falls Preserve in Miami County shows the effect of icy temperatures.(Contributed)

Between Tipp City and Huber Heights, this gem is perfect for folks with small children or those who are just looking for a two-mile stroll. The reason it is No. 1 is the waterfall. Go the day a hard-freeze hits just after a spell of warm temperatures and you’re sure to see a beautiful cascade of ice across the 37-foot tall rock wall.

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❄️ Germantown MetroPark and Twin Creek MetroPark 

7101 Conservancy Road, Germantown

9688 Eby Road, Germantown

A Cardinal visits the feeders during the bird count Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, at the Germantown MetroPark Nature Center.(Photo by E.L. Hubbard)

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This is cheating. These two MetroParks are so gigantic there could be a Top-10 list just within their boundaries. But now it’s time to get lost. Germantown MetroPark features 16 miles of trail. Nearby Twin Creek features 20. Just massive. Backpackers park at one and hike to the other. There is enough here that hikers could spend the whole winter exploring. Both hug the Twin Creek and are peppered with streams, so expect to get muddy. There are plenty of short spurs but to get the full experience bring a backpack with thermos of hot chocolate, extra socks, good binoculars and a sense of adventure. A day well spent.

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❄️ Grant Park, Washington Township Park District

501 Normandy Ridge Lane, Centerville

Grant Park in 2012 after the season’s first snowfall. Contributed photo by Jack Louden of Centerville(Contributed)


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The south suburbs are blessed with good walkabout space. Parks in Kettering, Centerville and the townships provide miles of good hikes, as does nearby Sugarcreek MetroPark. But this out-of-the way space is a great way to get lost in the middle of town. Park behind Normandy Elementary School, and head down the trail and over a short bridge. The path goes either side and the hike is hilly through woods and prairie. The full outer loop is about three miles. A spur also runs along Holes Creek one mile and back. Bring your dogs — keep them on the leash — and take them home muddy and tired.  

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❄️ Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm 

1000 Aullwood Road, Englewood

Preschool students tour the horse barn during a field trip at the Aullwood Farm.(Staff Photo by Jim Witmer)

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Dayton’s own hidden treasure includes six miles of trails with vistas that include forest, prairie, marsh and pond. When Marie Aull donated her land in 1957, it became the National Audubon Society’s first nature center in the Midwest. Today it is considered the premier Audubon Center in the United States. Park at either the farm entrance on Frederick Pike or the Center entrance on Aullwood Road; a .8-mile path connects the two, and a network of short paths wind throughout the farm and woods. 

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❄️ Downtown Dayton

RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument Ave., to Island MetroPark, 101 E. Helena St.

Workers from downtown Dayton walk back toward Riverscape from Deeds Point after a lunch hour walk.(Staff Photo by Ty Greenless)

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Start and end in downtown. Take your time at RiverScape and read the signage; park planners put a lot of thought into this space. Take the Great Miami Bike Path to the east and north, cross over a pedestrian bridge, then up the bike path past Deeds Point to Helena Street and the start of the Island park. The paths keep going, mainly along the Great Miami, and can take hikers up to the Wegerzyn Garden MetroPark and beyond. Hikers back downtown can get warmed up at any of several downtown or near-downtown coffee shops, including Boston Stoker and Ghostlight Coffee

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❄️ Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum 

118 Woodland Ave., Dayton

The Lookout Columbarium and Plaza at Woodland Cemetery, which overlooks the city of Dayton and the Miami Valley.(Contributed)

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The Dunbars. The Wrights. The Deeds. Erma. They're all here. Park on-street in the University of Dayton neighborhood and walk in the main gates and be ready for a special walk. The cemetery is very much a working cemetery. But the outer perimeter of the 200-acre complex winds over hills and past the grave stones of generations of Daytonians. Some of the largest Sycamore trees in the region are here. 

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❄️ Cox Arboretum

6733 Springboro Pike, Miami Twp.

Terry Flucas, a photography enthusiast from Englewood, points his camera toward scenic views at Cox Arboretum MetroPark.(Staff Photo by Lisa Powell)

As an arboretum, this park is designed to shine in the spring, summer and fall. But give winter here its due. The three miles of paths through rolling woods are a perfect Sunday afternoon stroll. The observation tower is very striking and gives incredible views for the park below.

❄️ John Bryan State Park

South Gorge Trail, 3790 Ohio 370, Yellow Springs

(Gem City Visuals)

The park has many paths, but this 1.2-mile south gorge trail is accessible only over a footbridge. Hikers have the southern banks of the Little Miami River all to themselves. The hike is a little strenuous and the return is also over a footbridge. Want more? Another mile of hiking through the park gets visitors to downtown Clifton for the Christmas lights.

❄️ Downtown Troy 

117 E. Main St., Troy

The Public Square in downtown Troy is decorated each year.(Staff Photo by Jim Witmer)

Honestly, this hike is just an excuse to eat at K’s , but it’s worth it. Downtown Troy, especially at the holiday season, is pretty and there are a ton of small shops. Amble your way around the pretty downtown square, then go up Market Street to the shores of the Great Miami River and stroll along the paths atop the levy. But when done, go to K’s for burgers and fries.

❄️ Caesar’s Creek Loop Trail

857 E. Ohio 73, Waynesville

Sisters Rebecca, left, and Sarah Ciampa search through the spillway area of Caesar Creek Lake, where they hunted for fossils on a cold holiday break afternoon in 2012.

There are 11 miles of hiking trail around the southern basin of the Caesar’s Creek Lake, and many miles more of bridle trails to the north. Some of the state park’s trail system is part of the 1,400-mile long Buckeye Trail, the state-wide loop path around Ohio. The paths include gorgeous overlooks of the lake, glades and forests. The state park campgrounds are accessible with paths between all the camping spurs. A bonus is the spill way on the southeast corner of the lake. The area is a fossil paradise. No child who is into dinosaurs should miss heading out onto this long, rocky area, flipping over nearly any rock, and entering the mesozoic era.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Lebanon: Aylor-Cook Trail behind Berry School on Broadway
  • Big Woods or Cedar Falls Trails at Hueston Woods State Par
  • Brukner Nature Center: 5995 Horseshoe Bend Road, Troy

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This Dayton student just got a college diploma before graduating high school

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Ashli Garnett  is the first student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School to earn an Sinclair Community College associate's degree as part of a partnership between the high school and the college.
Ashli Garnett
Ashli Garnett is the first student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School to earn an Sinclair Community College associate's degree as part of a partnership between the high school and the college.(Ashli Garnett)

Ashli Garnett has had a busy week or so. 

The Dayton teenager earned a college diploma on May 6 from Sinclair Community College. 

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This Wednesday, the Dayton teen will walk across the stage to receive her diploma from Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School.

The 18-year-old is the first Dunbar student to earn an associate's degree at Sinclair Community College as part of a partnership between the Dayton Public Schools high school and the college designed to better prepare students for their post high school lives. 

Ashli, a track standout, will enter Southern University at New Orleans this fall as a junior. 

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She loved the challenge that came with her college studies. 

“The brain is a muscle and you have to work it out like every other muscle,” Ashli told this news organization. “The whole thing was amazing. It helped me reach this independence and maturity level.”

In 2014, Dunbar launched its partnership with Sinclair Community College.  

Through the program, students are given the option of earning an associate’s degree while pursuing high school diplomas.

Dunbar has about 590 students. About 110 are taking college courses in the high school or on Sinclair’s campus. 

Ashli Garnett is the first student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School to earn an Sinclair Community College associate's degree as part of a partnership between the high school and the college. Ashli is the daughter of Christopher Garnett  and Shanaun Simpson.(Ashli Garnett)

Funding comes from Ohio’s College Credit Plus, which helps student take college courses from community colleges and universities. 

Dunbar Assistant Principal Tiffany Ray-Bozeman said Dunbar students have earned thousands of college credit hours since the program launched, including the 386 earned by 39 of the high school graduating seniors this year. 

Bozeman said the partnership helps students and their parents financially. 

It also helps them in terms of preparedness, she said.

Bozeman said students are given skills to conquer the anxieties that often come with freshman year and navigating college life. 

“They get all those bumps and bruises done here with our support,” she said. 

Ashli Garnett is the first student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School to earn an Sinclair Community College associate's degree as part of a partnership between the high school and the college.(Ashli Garnett)

Bozeman said Ashli, the daughter of Christopher Garnett and Shanaun Simpson of Dayton, is a standout who remained active at Dunbar while studying at Sincair. 

She is Dunbar’s 2018 salutatorian, sings in the choir and is on Dayton Public Schools’ Student Senate. 

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Garnett, who plans to study communications in New Orleans, also has a job and volunteers at 5K races, many of them charitable.   

“I always try to stay busy,” said Garnett, who earned her associate’s degree in liberal arts.

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Ashli Garnett is the first student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School to earn an Sinclair Community College associate's degree as part of a partnership between the high school and the college.(Ashli Garnett)
Ashli Garnett is the first student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School to earn an Sinclair Community College associate's degree as part of a partnership between the high school and the college.(Ashli Garnett)
Ashli Garnett is the first student at Paul Laurence Dunbar Early College High School to earn an Sinclair Community College associate's degree as part of a partnership between the high school and the college.(Ashli Garnett)

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These ‘Boss Chicks’ are on the rise in Dayton and hope to spread their ‘bossy’ ways around the nation 

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Shawon Brown Gullette launched Boss Chicks in April of 2017.
Shawon Brown-Gullette
Shawon Brown Gullette launched Boss Chicks in April of 2017.(Shawon Brown-Gullette)

Shawon Gullette has been on the receiving  end of advice from “boss chicks” her entire career. 

And she says that has been a very good thing.

“Women have always been my backbone,” the owner of Dayton Trichology Hair Loss Control Center and Infinitee Salon & Spa said. “I said, let me help other women who are in the same shoes I was in.” 

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At one point, Gullette was mentoring five women at once, offering advice and guidance. It was too much and she thought there had to be a better way. 

Boss Chicks Dayton was born from there.

The organization designed for black female entrepreneurs, managers and leaders had its soft launch on April 17, 2017 at Salar Restaurant and Lounge in Dayton’s Oregon District. 

Gullette says it has grown stronger since. 

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“As you help women grow, you help your community grow,” she said. 

Boss Chicks Dayton now has nearly 40 members in Dayton. 

Chapters in Atlanta, Indianapolis and Jackson, Fla. are being organized.

Gullette hopes to expand to even more states in 2019. She envisions a National Boss Chicks conference happening right here in Dayton. 

“As women, we are mothers, we are aunts, we are sisters, we are daughters. We are able to nurture each other and build off that experience,” Gullette said. “‘Boss’ is being better than you were before.”

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Besides building relationships between business women, Boss Chicks hold mixers and mingle social at various bars and restaurants in and around Dayton, quarterly meetings with featured speakers and bar takeovers for a list of causes that includes heart disease. 

Membership is $30 monthly on 

Gullette said Boss Chicks aims to expose women to new ideas and opportunities locally and globally. 

“As women, we need to support each other,” she said. “We need to have certain support for us because we are minority.”

Members range from Mary Kay Cosmetics saleswomen to nurses and doctors. 

“We are bosses in a lot of different way,” Gullette said. “You are boss at home. You are boss at work. You are boss of yourself.” 

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Sweet dreams: How to conquer your nightmares 

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 3:02 PM

The American Sleep Association estimates that up to 90% of people have nightmares.

You're asleep, right? You can hardly be expected to control your actions, much less your thoughts. But if bad dreams are ruining your sleep (and affecting your waking moments), you can work to eliminate or minimize them, according to psychologists and sleep experts.

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How nightmares work 

"One way of thinking about dreams is that they're part of the same problem-solving processes that we use during the day time," Gregory White, a California-based clinical psychologist and psychology professor at National University, told U.S. News and World Report. "If you're really distressed, you're more likely to have distressing dreams." 

In turn, a night of bad dreams can leave you feeling depressed or angry the next day, and repetitive sleep loss can cause a slew of negative side effects, from poor performance to obesity. Long-term sleep loss can even lead to mental illness.

(jhorrocks/Getty Images)

Tore Nielsen, a professor of psychiatry, who directs the University of Montreal's Dream and Nightmare Laboratory, told U.S. News about his research, which showed excessive numbers of nightmares are frequently linked to mental health problems including anxiety disorders, PTSD, depression and even a higher risk of suicide.

"Fortunately, there are effective treatments for nightmares," he added, like rehearsing the "bad dream script" with a more positive ending, or treating nightmares and anxiety disorders simultaneously.

Know the ordinary causes

According to Psychology Today, nightmares occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and result in feelings of extreme fear, horror, distress or anxiety. "This phenomenon tends to occur in the latter part of the night and often awakens the sleeper, who is likely to recall the content of the dream," according to PT, which detailed these common causes:

  • Anxiety or stress. "In 60 percent of cases, a major life event precedes the onset of nightmares." The death of a loved one is a common trigger.
  • Illness with a fever
  • An adverse reaction to a prescription drug
  • Recent withdrawal from a drug, especially from sleeping pills
  • Excessive alcohol consumption or abrupt alcohol withdrawal
  • A breathing disorder during sleep, e.g. sleep apnea
A sleep study from January suggests having sex actually helps you sleep better.

How to fight nightmares

Writing in Physchology Today, Susan Krauss Whitbourne looks at recent nightmare research and recommends the following steps for those suffering from nightmares:

  • Put your worries to rest before bedtime. It's a good idea to clear your head of your day's annoyances and unpleasant events. Instead, focus on the positive events that happened to you during the day.
  • Avoid ruminating on negative experiences. If you tend to dwell on the negative, try to stop this habit, Whitbourne advised. "Catch yourself when you're envisioning worst-case scenarios or when you're starting to get down on yourself for feeling the way you do. Reducing your negative emotions while you're awake can make it easier for you to engage in Step 1 of putting them on hold when you're ready to go to sleep."
  • When you do have nightmares, don't catastrophize them. "Catastrophizing" is the psychological term for imagining the worst possible outcome of a negative experience. As a result, the "magnitude of the experience skyrockets beyond its original negative impact," Whitbourne explained. "The nightmares that stick with you the following day may contain horrendous images. Dreams do not predict the future. If you worry that the bad things you dreamt about will happen, you will only increase your negative mood state." 
  • Learn to distinguish an actual dream from a waking nightmare. Sometimes you may actually be half awake when you think you're asleep. Recognizing this may help you see that you're allowing your negative emotions to cascade.
  • Watch what you eat. Probably the best known cause of bad dreams (and the fuel for many a cartoon and sitcom plot) is the link between indigestion and nightmares. This really is a thing, according to  Woman's Day, which recommended avoiding foods that could cause indigestion near bedtime. For rest that's more peaceful all around, eat dinner at least two hours before bedtime, and choose nighttime snacks wisely, including no milk products for the lactose intolerant and no caffeine after 2 p.m.

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In addition to these steps, Gregory White suggests breathing exercises. While holding on to the memory of the bad dream, take a deep breath and then release it very slowly "so that you decondition" the anxious feeling you've associated with the dream. He also recommended getting out of bed quickly, since movement tends to disrupt the ability to remember dreams.

And if you've taken all these steps and still feel distressed? It may be time to seek help. "For anything that's consistent or very troubling and you're not getting far from it," White said, "go see a therapist."


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Children may face drowning danger 24 hours after hitting the pool

Published: Monday, May 23, 2016 @ 7:47 PM
Updated: Monday, May 23, 2016 @ 7:47 PM

Dad Recognizes 'Dry Drowning' Symptoms In Son After Reading Viral Story

As summer vacation draws near, parents and children are heading to the pool.


Parents may know to guard against drownings in the pool, but there is also a risk hours after a child has been out of the water.


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"A child could die 24 hours later after they have been in the water,” Barbara Byers of Canada’s Lifesaving Society told Global News. "The ones you have to keep an eye on are kids who go under, inhaling and coughing up water in the process. This can happen in a bathtub as well if the child goes face down in the water."


A Global News report has alerted parents for what to look for.


When a child inhales too much water, it can irritate their lungs and cause a buildup of fluid. The lungs may run out of air if too much liquid builds up.


"Drowning is silent," Byers said. "When fluid gets in the respiratory area, they can’t scream, they can’t shout."


Although Byers told Global News death from what was once called "dry drowning," but is now simply called drowning, is rare, parents can look for the following symptoms :

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Extreme and unusual tiredness

  • Abnormal behavior

  • Persistent coughing

  • Chest discomfort


According to the Centers for Disease Control, children ages 1 - 4 have the highest drowning rates in the United States. Among children ages 1 - 14, it is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death, behind motor vehicle crashes.

Furthermore, parents should never leave children unattended in the water and if any of the above symptoms are observed, they should not be afraid to take them to a doctor, who may perform an X-ray and will listen for fluid in the lungs.

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