Wonderful Walking At Sycamore Park
In our opinion, Sycamore Park in Batavia, OH, is an excellent place to walk. It is easy to access at 4082 St. Rt. 132, but because it is in a valley, it is secluded. You are immediately surrounded by trees, a river, and a wooded area, so you feel miles away from civilization. There is a paved path along the East Fork of the Little Miami River for an easy walk as well as dirt path in a wooded area with scenic views of the river.
We walked at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. The temperature was 61 degrees with a mild breeze. The asphalt path around the perimeter of the park and picnic area meanders along the river, some areas more wooded than others. There are distance markers periodically, so it is easy to gage your walking distance. It was the perfect nature walk, enabling you to easily observe nature, and lose yourself in its glory.
The dirt trail also surrounds you with the sights and sounds of nature, but it was harder to maneuver, and is something that requires some preparation. The beginning of the trail was pleasant with some information signs and scenic resting areas, but was narrow and muddy after a short distance. Further down the trail, you enter the Frances Wilson Preserve trail which becomes even more muddy and narrow, and crosses several creeks. We turned back when we got to the second creek where there was no easy way to cross it, with slippery rocks and a muddy hill to climb, it was just too dangerous to attempt.
Traffic Noise: You can hear cars on State Route 132 when you walk on the portion of the paved trail along that side of the park, but it isn’t very loud, and you cannot see the road from any of the trails.
Interesting Features: There were some enormous Sycamore trees along the trail, and informative signs telling about them. Their beautiful white bark reflected the sun, and some of them had large cavities at the base of the trunk, so large you can stand in them. Besides these amazing trees, there is playground equipment for children, and shelters with picnic tables and grills to use or reserve for occasions.
Historic Points Of Interest: Across the river on the paved paths can be seen the old foundation for the Batavia Roller Mills. The spot had been selected in 1795 as a water powered sawmill site and a few years later was in operation milling corn as well. This mill ran for decades before it burned down. The mill went through several iterations and was called the Batavia Roller Mill when it finally closed in 1961. The building eventually fell in, leaving only some machinery and the stone foundation.
Overall Rating: We give it an excellent rating for walking. You have a choice of types of trails, all of them surrounding you with trees and a river view. Perfect for walking alone as well, where it’s easy to feel the peace of nature as it touches your soul, giving you a calming break from the busy world around us.