FAQ's & Information
Glen Helen is a private, nonprofit nature preserve, protected by a conservation easement. The easement provides a way for us to protect the Glen for future generations by providing legal and permanent protections that restrict the type and amount of development that may take place on the property. These restrictions include strict protections for the flora and fauna within the Glen. Removal or destruction of any feature, plant, and or animal is strictly prohibited and any visitor found to disregard trail guidelines may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We appreciate your respect for the land and for other guests. We look forward to seeing you out on the trail.
For the safety and enjoyment of all visitors, and to protect the ecological health of this important natural land,
all Glen Helen visitors must abide by the following guidelines:
Trail Hours & Hours of Operation
Trails are open from dawn to dusk. Visitors are welcome to explore our 20+ miles of trails from sunrise to sunset, 365 days a year. When hiking in the evening, please allow an appropriate amount of time to exit the forest before sundown. Hikers found within the Glen after sunset, are subject to a trespasser violation. If you are lost on the trail, please contact Ranger Smith.
The Glen Helen Nature Shop and Atrium Gallery are open to the public. The Glen Helen Nature Shop offers nature-centered gifts, books, and Glen Helen gear; hours of operation based upon volunteer availability, 10am-4pm. See our Volunteerism page to volunteer at the Nature Shop.
The Glen Helen Trailside Museum serves as our welcome center. Visitors have an opportunity to visit with our ambassador animals, learn about the Glen, as well as purchase trail maps and Glen gear. Open weekends, seasonal hours. Additional hours may be available with volunteer support. Contact Tom Clevenger to schedule private weekday visits for your group.
All organization, business, school/childcare, and group visits require registration, no less than 48 hours prior to arrival to arrange for bus/passenger van/multi car parking. For visits to the Outdoor Education Center, Raptor Center, or guided group hikes please call 937.767.7648. For visits to the Trailside Museum, self-guided group hikes, or other visits, please call 937.769.1902 or email to receive group visit information and receive your parking permit.
Parking, Fees, & Liability
Parking is $5 per car, $2 per person for group visits. Guided hikes, programs, and staff-led private hikes may result in additional fees. A parking attendant may be present. In his/her absence, an honor-system payment box is located by the kiosk in the Corry Street Parking Lot entrance. Glen Helen is a nonprofit organization your parking and program donations support preservation and ecological education efforts. Please see our calendar for events and pricing.
Secure all valuables. Glen Helen is not responsible for personal property or personal injury during your visit. Parking after dark is not permitted, violators may be towed at the owner's expense.
Four handicapped parking spaces are available in our Corry Street Parking Lot. The Trailside Museum is accessible by accessing the wood ramp, located at the center of the parking lot. The Vernet Ecological Center is accessible by following the paved walkway, leading off of the left, rear corner of the parking lot. Due to covenant protections, parking is no longer available in the former Yellow Spring parking lot. This has resulted in a loss of handicap access to the Yellow Spring. We are working toward an alternative access plan.
All visitors must remain on designated trails. Failure to stay on trails disrupts the delicate ecology of the Glen and can harm the flora and fauna of the preserve. Stay on the trail even if it is muddy or wet. Walking around the mud widens the trail, damaging growth on the forest floor and resulting in a muddier trail in the future. Mud is part of the outdoor experience! Please, hike through it.
Picking or Carrying Out Items
Picking or collecting plants, rocks, sticks, insects, etc. is strictly prohibited. All animal and plant life, as well as natural features are protected within the boundaries of Glen Helen. Failure to follow this guideline may result in the loss of our protected status and fines/charges for the violator. It is important that all features and life within the Glen are left undisturbed for generations of visitors to enjoy.
Swimming, wading, or other entry to all waterways is strictly prohibited. To protect delicate waterways, visitors must refrain from disturbing the ecology of the many streams and wetlands within the Glen. Please use designated stone paths, bridges, and boardwalks only.
Do not litter. Better yet, help protect the Glen by carrying out any trash that you may find. Remain mindful, Leave No Trace. If interested, you may become a steward of the Glen by joining the Guardian's of the Glen program or other stewardship opportunities, visit our Volunteerism page and program calendar for more information.
Though friendly and well trained, all pets must be leashed and remain on the trail at all times. Leashes in excess of 6 feet are not permitted. No animals, wild or domestic, should be released in Glen Helen.
Do not disturb or deface markers, monuments, statues, stones, trees, etc. Glen Helen is a protected nature preserve, open to the public for their enjoyment and ecological education. Acts of vandalism include, but are not limited to: carving, tagging, building rock stacks known as Cairns, removal or alteration of any natural object within our boundary. Please report acts of vandalism to the Glen Helen Ranger at 937.769.1902 or email Ranger Smith. Vandalism will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Picnics, Hammocks, & Camping
Picnics, hammocks, and camping are not permitted within the Glen. Facilities that provide these services are nearby, at John Bryan State Park and in the Village of Yellow Springs. Visitors may carry in water and carry-and-eat snacks, carrying out all trash and disposing of it properly. Trash and recycle cans are available in/around buildings and parking lots. Camping exceptions are made for select educational events, hosted by Glen Helen, only. Please see our program calendar for Meteor Shower and other program information.
Concerns on the Trails
If you have a concern for an animal, person, or situation that you have observed within the Glen, contact our staff immediately. If you have a concern for an animal, do not approach it. Allow Glen Helen staff to assess the situation and respond accordingly. Your safety is important to us. Please do not put yourself in harms way to report a concern.
Access to the Raptor Center and Outdoor Education Center
Public access to the Glen Helen Raptor Center and Outdoor Education Center is limited. Visitors wishing to visit the Raptor Center may choose to enjoy a ~30 minute hike to the facility from the Corry Street Parking Lot, located at 405 Corry Street, or park at the Raptor Center. Please note that Raptor Center parking is limited to 20 minutes; parking is reserved for Raptor Center visitors only. Violaters may be towed at the owner's expense.
The Outdoor Education Center is closed to the public. For student and staff protection, visitor parking is not permitted in this area.
Drink at your own risk. Many visitors stop by the historic Yellow Spring and other water features within the Glen to sip the cool water. We strongly suggest that visitors refrain from this practice. Though we make every effort to protect this land and the natural springs and waterways within our 1000 acres, please remember that we are surrounded by commercial farms and private properties that may not utilize environmentally friendly practices. Creeks, rivers, and groundwater contain contaminants from these offsite locations. Consumption and/or contact with waters within the Glen may pose a risk to your health.
Glen Helen is a nonprofit organization. We are supported by tax-deductible Glen Helen Association Memberships and visitor donations, public, and private grants. We are not a state or county-funded park. Glen Helen is a private nature preserve, open to the public from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. Programs, activities, and the Glen's future depend on active participation by volunteers, continuing support of membership, and the generosity of donors, like you. Donations and purchases made at the Trailside Museum or the Glen Helen Nature Shop are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.