For a quiet walk in nature with a history lesson, leash your pup up and head to the Junction Earthworks Preserve in Chillicothe. Open to the public 365 days a year, this archaeological park and nature preserve features four nature trails that take visitors around two 2,000-year-old American Indian earthwork complexes, Junction Earthworks and Steel Earthworks.
Earthworks Trail, the shortest and easiest trail on the preserve, is a 0.5-mile loop that starts at the parking lot and weaves through the field containing the nine earthworks of Junction. Though the earthwork locations are not always visible, interpretive signs are available along the way.
From Earthworks Trail, you and Fido can continue on to either the Tippecanoe Darter Trail or Star Brook Trail. Active pups should have no problem hiking the 1.7-mile Tippecanoe Darter Trail, which runs through a 70-acre restored grassland prairie and along a scenic creek before heading into a riverine forest. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for various birds; some of the feathered critters that you might encounter are the Grasshopper Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, and Dickcissel.
Junction’s third trail, the 1.2-mile Star Brook Trail, will lead you and your pooch above the prairie and into a bluff forest comprising White Oak, Hackberry, Shagbark Hickory, and other trees.
To reach Steel Earthworks, the preserve’s second complex, make your way to Plyleys Lane and follow the former railroad corridor turned connector trail. You and Fido will eventually arrive at a prairie, which features puptastic views and more earthwork locations.
Wherever you go on the preserve, make sure to always keep your furry companion on a leash and clean up after them. For the best experience, visit between June and August, when the wildflowers are in full bloom and there are more birds to spot.
Get to know Southern Ohio’s natural beauty and rich history by taking a walk on the trails of the Junction Earthworks Preserve!
If your schedule conflicts with your pup's drive for adventure, book a local dog walker with Wag! to keep them moving and exploring!