Moderate Hike at Possum Creek Metropark

Let's enjoy a nice evening on the Orange Trail. This 3.5 mile loop covers most of the grounds, including two prairies, the ponds, and the Argonne Forest.


Meet at the Argonne Forest parking lot.  Link to Park Map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

imagecopyright 2006 nutsyfagan on Flickr

The park is open until 10 pm, but I figure we'll be done before 9 at the latest.  Should still have some light, but please bring a flashlight in case we get distracted or delayed and it gets dark.

This is a beautiful park with lots of great history and I always enjoy walking the Argonne Forest trying to picture what is was like when there was a midway, cabins, a dance floor, a race track and other amusement park amenities.  It's all long gone now, but there are still shadows of the past that we will see as we walk though the park.

 

HISTORY

Argonne Forest was one of five amusement parks serving the Dayton area. The park was developed in 1925 and named by the local veterans of the 322nd Field Artillery Regiment who had fought in the French forest by that name in 1917-1918. Its founder, Montgomery County Judge Null Hodapp, offered an 80 foot by 30 foot dance pavilion, swimming pool, a figure eight race track, a baseball field, shuffleboard, a picnic area, a shooting range, a midway, cabins and a clubhouse. Retired street cars were utilized as picnic shelters. The area was known for its abundance of beech trees.

Argonne Forest was located on State Route 4 and Frytown Road near the studios of WKEF-TV.

In its prime, the park once attracted over 8000 during a Fourth of July celebration in the 1930’s. The park could not keep up the popularity of nearby Lakeside and Frankie’s Forest Park and closed in 1945 after the death of Hodapp.

The remnants of the park and the area surrounding it became property of Five Rivers MetroParks of Montgomery County and renamed Possum Creek MetroPark. In September 2003, MetroPark volunteers began uncovering brush and debris that covered the old amusement park. Historical markers and trail indicators were installed along the area of what were the midway and picnic areas.

The only existing monument of the park, the clubhouse, is still standing today. MetroPark officials were also successful in locating Null Hodapp’s nephew, Kettering resident Ruey Hodapp who provided them with information on the park and his uncle. A round of applause to Five Rivers MetroParks for helping preserve our amusement park heritage!

 

HISTORICAL PHOTOS

http://argonneforestpark.shutterfly.com/pictures/8

 

 

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  • Patricia

    Crisp evening hike with a beautiful moon. Thanks, Todd!

    April 25, 2013

  • Tim S

    Todd, your efforts are appreciated.

    April 25, 2013

  • Todd C.

    Fun hike, great group, cold weather. The recent rain made for wet trails but this park is so well maintained the trails were quite passable with a few puddles to jump. Always enjoy the Argonne Forest!

    April 25, 2013

  • Kathie H.

    I cannot believe I have to break out my long underwear in late April!!

    April 24, 2013

    • Dawn

      This is Ohio.

      April 24, 2013

    • Terri

      NC weather 71 deg today cool air

      April 24, 2013

  • Dawn

    Just got done with clients so would not have made it anyway. Glad the weather turned ugly... Umm, no I mean, hope you had fun without me. Hee Hee

    April 24, 2013

    • Dawn

      Wow! Just walked outside & it sure got pretty. Still muddy no doubt, but pretty.

      April 24, 2013

  • Karen

    Out late..........not a great excuse, but it works for me tonight! Have a great hike! And stay warm!

    April 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds amazing but I have to be somewhere @ 7:30 :(

    April 24, 2013

  • Dawn

    Weather is stinky. So count me out.

    April 24, 2013

  • Darlene

    :( OT calls....hope to see ya'll next hike

    April 24, 2013

  • Todd C.

    Dawn. no prob at all, give me a call if you are enroute or we can intercept in the park.

    April 23, 2013

  • Dawn

    I may try to get there, but not optimistic. I have clients coming in at 5. I won't RSVP for now, but is it okay if I come at the last minute?

    April 23, 2013

  • Todd C.

    So far looks like a nice forecast, expect some residual wet trails but I have never seen this trail get all muddy. Guess it depends on how much rain we get overnight...

    Tips and tricks ... the entrance is the "center" one on Frytown Rd, not the camp site and not the horse lot. Frytown Rd connects to both Gettysburg and Germantown Rd/Rt 4. You'll drive back a minute or two and you will come to a large lot with a bathroom building -- turn in there and you should see my black Forester with the bike rack. Really lost? Call me at [masked]

    It should be cool out, suggest layers -- and though I think we can do 3.5 in about 1.5 hours let's have some flashlights or headlamps just in case we are all mesmerized by the scenery and linger too long. The moon should be out too, if we become snails out there. These are easy trails, mostly flat and well maintained, so it's easy to make time and still enjoy a moderate pace. Looking forward to a fun evening!

    1 · April 23, 2013

  • mike s.

    Sorry Todd,hope to see you one of these times.

    April 21, 2013

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