Looking for a quiet place to walk your canine companion? Then make your way to the Metahqua Nature Preserve, just 10 miles northeast of Chillicothe. Named after the Shawnee word for “tree,” this 234-acre site features three trails for adventurous pups to explore.
First up are the Old Field Trails, a pair of loops situated right next to the parking lot. Covering a total of 0.6 miles, these trails will take you and your pooch around a tallgrass floodplain beside Little Walnut Creek, an area that was historically used for agriculture. Look for signs of mink, beaver, and muskrat on the banks of the creek, and keep your ears open for the sound of woodcocks in the tallgrass fields. If you follow the loops all the way, you’ll also come across a constructed wetland comprising elm, birch, and sycamore trees.
Across the road from the parking lot is the Paw Paw Ridge Trail, a longer loop spanning 1.27 miles. This path meanders through the woodland part of the preserve, running along ravines and gullies. You and Fido will find yourselves walking among a variety of trees, including upland hardwoods, fragrant pines, and paw paws. At the northern end of the trail is Becky’s Pond, a picturesque spot where you can rest your paws and enjoy the scenery.
From Becky’s Pond, you and your pup can continue on to the Gobbler’s Knob Trail. While only 0.35 miles long, this trail ends in a steep hill climb—an endeavor that’s probably best left to experienced hikers.
Wherever you go on the preserve, always keep your four-legged friend on a leash and pick up after them. Remember to bring your own doggy clean-up bags as there are no pet waste stations on site, and carry plenty of water to share with your pup.
For a walk that’s sure to earn two paws up from your dog, head to the Metahqua Nature Preserve!If you’re not able to fit your pup’s walk into your day, book a local dog walker with Wag! to keep them active!