FAIRBORN — Greene County is home to a variety of wetlands, which provide habitat for a multitude of unique flora and fauna that wouldn’t call this region home if they weren’t here. Environmentally-focused organizations in the county have been working hard to make these wetlands accessible to the public, while also maintaining their quality.
And that hard work recently came to fruition.
On Tuesday, officials involved with the project came together with members of the community to cut the ribbon that officially opened the first section of the Spotted Turtle Trail. The four-mile section connects new and existing trails along Creekside Trail, Phillips Park, Beaver Creek Wetlands Reserve, Rotary Park, and Dane Mutter Prairie. In addition, the trail now features new trailheads, observation decks and information stops which share information about the wetlands and the vital role they play.
Jon Dobney, Greene County Parks & Trails director, said hikers will be surprised at the diversity they’ll see along the Spotted Turtle Trail.
“These wetlands attract a diversity of wildlife you’re not going to see anywhere else in the region,” he said. “Even now, with just Phase 1 of this project completed, this is a destination. By the time the final phase is complete, the Spotted Turtle Trail is going to be known throughout Ohio.”
The Spotted Turtle Trail is expected to be complete in seven phases over five years. While some of the trail is already in existence inside various parks and reserves throughout the county, connecting them all creates unprecedented access to the wetlands corridor. When completed, the trail will connect Zimmerman Prairie State Nature Preserve in Beavercreek to Pearl’s Fen north of Fairborn. From point to point the corridor stretches around 15-miles, and the Spotted Turtle Trail will provide more than 30 miles of traversable trails.