MetroParks’ Twin Valley Trails Challenge Returns

Five Rivers MetroParks will host the Twin Valley Trail Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 25. Participants in this free, noncompetitive event choose their own adventure by hiking any distance from 1 to 28.7 miles, following marked routes on the Twin Valley Trail (TVT), located in and connecting Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks. The TVT Challenge is suitable for hikers of all ages and skill levels.

“The Twin Valley Trail Challenge is about meeting your goals rather than competing against other hikers,” said MetroParks’ outdoor recreation coordinator and backpacking expert, Angie Sheldon. “We set people up for a positive experience, so hikers can count on four water and snack stations, as well as shuttles in case hikers have met their max miles for the day and want to head back without finishing a long loop.”

Typically held annually in June, the TVT Challenge was not held in 2020 and delayed earlier this year due to COVID-19. This year, hikers can experience a 2.3-mile extension of Germantown MetroParks’ orange trail, which opened in 2020.

The TVT Challenge is presented by local hiking and outdoor advocacy group Dayton Hikers.

“We’re thrilled the TVT Challenge is happening this year,” said Dayton Hikers founder and avid local hiker Andy Niekamp. “It’s an opportunity for people to challenge themselves, and it’s a great event for all ages and experience levels. You can participate solo, as a group or with your family.”

Day-of registration is open from 5:30 a.m. to noon at the Twin Valley Welcome Center in Germantown MetroPark, 6910 Boomershine Rd. Those who plan to hike the full day on the trail will need to start no later than 7 a.m. and bring a headlamp for hiking during the early morning and evening hours.

At check in, participants will receive a trail map and other helpful info, including routes. Participants also are encouraged to download MetroParks mobile app, powered by OuterSpatial, to access maps, locate amenities and more. Download the free app at

Free camping at Germantown MetroPark is available on site on Friday and Saturday nights. Participants also can join fellow hikers for a post-challenge cookout on Saturday.

The event will follow best practices as it relates to COVID-19, such as requiring face coverings if riding in a shuttle vehicle.

The natural-surface Twin Valley Trail includes steep hills, open meadows, footpaths and mud with varying terrain. Located just a 30-minute drive from downtown Dayton, the TVT is one of the longest hiking loops in the region, making it a resource for those who wish to train for longer excursions.

Niekamp, who most recently finished a 320-mile section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, said the TVT is excellent for training. Though it doesn’t offer the elevation gain of the mountainous Appalachian Trail, it does offer a long-distance experience.

Other long trails that come through MetroParks include the 1,444-mile Buckeye Trail, which loops the entire state of Ohio, and the North Country National Scenic Trail, which stretches more than 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota.

Learn more about the Twin Valley Trail and the Twin Valley Trail Challenge by visiting

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