John Bryan State Park is considered the most scenic of its kind in Western Ohio. The state park is located 1 mi (1.6 km) from the town of Yellow Springs. The park offers activities such as hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, rappelling, canoeing, fishing, and picnicking. There are also campgrounds in the park for those who wish to stay overnight. In the center of the park is a limestone gorge through which the Little Miami River flows. If you’re passing through Yellow Springs on an Ohio trip, take some time to visit this park. Scroll below to read our guide to John Bryan State Park, Ohio.
Things to do / Highlights
John Bryan was a businessman who purchased the land now covered by the park in 1896, naming it Riverside Farm. He later bequeathed the land to the state of Ohio. Bryan requested that it be used as a park for forestry and wildlife, as well as an experiment station. John Bryan State Park was one of the first state parks in Ohio. This area, along with the adjoining Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, later became a National Natural Landmark. The park is also adjoined by Glen Helen Nature Preserve. Keep reading to find out more about this beautiful and scenic state park and the activities you can enjoy here:
Set up camp
There are a number of campgrounds in John Bryan State Park that offers basic amenities, including toilets. Take note, however, that there are no showers available. The campgrounds offer 60 camping sites, 10 of which offer electricity hookups. Visitors can enjoy volleyball and disc golf in the campgrounds. Fire rings, seating, and picnic tables are provided for outdoor cooking or picnics.
Hit the trails and go hiking
The park offers four easy trails, ranging in length from 1 mi to 5.6 mi (1.6 km to 9 km) and from 990 ft to 1,049 ft (302 m to 320 m) above sea level. There are a few other trails that are a little more challenging.
Indulge in outdoor sports
For those who enjoy mountain biking, there are several trails set aside for bikers in the park. Rock climbing and rappelling are other popular sports you can enjoy in John Bryan State Park.
Go fishing or canoeing
Fishing and canoeing are both popular activities since Little Miami River runs through Clifton Gorge and can be accessed through John Bryan State Park.
Bring a picnic
Picnic areas are set up throughout the campgrounds in the park, complete with tables, seats, and fire rings. Visitors are asked to clear up their garbage before leaving the area. You can use the receptacles provided or take it home.
Admire the plants and trees
Canada yew, mountain maple, arborvitae, and redberry elder trees grow in the park, plus 100 other trees and shrub species. When in season, more than 340 species of wildflowers grow in the park, including bellworts, wild ginger, and more. These plants make a beautiful backdrop when exploring or relaxing in the park.
Go bird watching
Bird watchers can enjoy spotting more than 90 species of birds in the park, which vary according to season. It is recommended that avid bird watchers visit the park each season for the best experience. A visit to Raptor Center between Clifton Gorge and John Bryan State Park is also worthwhile as the center has a sanctuary for injured birds.
Park rules and regulations
Pets can accompany visitors to John Bryan State Park. It is, however, important to keep them on the leash and to clean up after them. Visitors are expected to take their own garbage home with them or to use the trash receptacles provided.
Some of the trails and parts of the park are accessible for persons in wheelchairs. However, most would be difficult to navigate. A map of John Bryan State Park is available online, and it provides clear marks for trails and areas that are wheelchair-friendly.
How to get there
It is possible to walk to John Bryan State Park from Downtown Yellow Springs via Corry Street, Grinnell Road, then Bryan Park Road. The journey will take around an hour to cover the 2.5-mi (4-km) distance.
The quickest route from the town of Yellow Springs to John Bryan State Park is via OH-343 E and OH-370 S. Head south to Corry Street and turn right when you get there. Take a right to Xenia Avenue, then another right onto OH-343 E and OH-370 S. The park is just to your left. There is plenty of parking available in the lot at John Bryan State Park as well as in Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve parking lot.
Uber and LYFT
Both Uber and LYFT are available in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Download the app to your smartphone and book a hassle-free ride to the park.
John Bryan State Park information
John Bryan State Park
Address: 3790 State Route 370, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387
Official website: John Bryan State Park
Board of tourism: Travel Ohio
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