24 Stunning Hikes in the Cincinnati Area
Greater Cincinnati is home to a myriad of parks offering diverse hiking trails perfect for every sort of hiker. As the temperatures climb, Cincinnatians should take advantage of the many benefits the outdoors offers. The outdoors increases serotonin levels and gives your immune system a boost — it’s a natural energizer. Got a dog? Walk it. Have kids? Tire them out. An old friend? Reconnect with them. Or, go Walden-style and wander alone to your heart’s content. Here is just a sampling of the best hiking spots in the Cincinnati area.
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Photo: Izzy Viox
7950 Bridle Road, Dry Run
An easy and relaxing walk through the Johnson Hills Park trails through forest areas is perfect for walking, running and hiking. The park's trail loop is a little over 2 miles long and open for all skill levels.
Photo: Kellie Coleman
430 W. North Bend Road, Carthage
Ranked as one of the top 10 hikes in Ohio by Marmot outdoors company in 2016, Caldwell Nature Preserve in Carthage has 3.5 miles of trails that include a paved and level path into the woods that is accessible to those in wheelchairs.
4949 Tealtown Road, Milford
The Cincinnati Nature Preserve has 15 trails with assorted degrees of length and difficulty. This park also offers the "Hike for Your Health" program. Grab a Hike for Your Health passport and get a stamp at the front desk after every hike. Complete all 15 trails and win a special prize.
Photo: Paige Deglow
6480 Bender Road, Delhi
Bender Mountain Loop Trail is a 2.3-mile hike past scenes of wildflowers and woods. This trail is considered moderately difficult and is great for a small challenge with beautiful scenic payoffs.
Photo: Izzy Viox
5400 Kellogg Ave., California
The California Woods Nature Preserve has a small network of short hikes. Trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. This park is 113 acres of woods filled with a variety of woodland and aquatic wildlife, including beavers, ducks, owls and more.
Photo: provided by Great Parks of Hamilton County
10397 Springfield Pike, Woodlawn
Glenwood Gardens has the Garden Loop Trail and the Wetland Loop Trail. The Garden Loop is 1.1 miles of paved trail leading past a gazebo, the Mill Creek and the stone bridge. The Wetland Loop is a nature trail past grassy meadows, woods and wetlands.
7234 Old Forest Road, Corydon, Indiana
This 3,000 acre park offers fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, horse trails and biking. It also includes more unusual attractions like an operational blacksmith forge, a pioneer farmstead and a historic three-story haypress.
Photo: Kellie Coleman
5090 Observatory Ave., Mount Lookout
Ault Park is nestled within an unsuspecting nook of Mount Lookout. Here, the suburban rush slows to a lull. From early morning until late afternoon, the sprawling landscape is full of people traversing its paved loops and gravel trails. If the park were smaller than its boastful 224 acres, it may feel crowded.
Photo: Madeleine Meeks
11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville
Sharon Woods, established 1932, is the oldest park in the Great Parks of Hamilton County network. Within its 730 acres are trails, a lake, a boathouse, pavilions, playgrounds, a golf course and Heritage Village, a "living museum" that recreates what Ohio life was like in the 1800s.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
1201 Park Drive, Covington
Covington's largest park, Devou spans over 700 acres with scenic hilltop views of the city, plus trails, a golf course, picnic shelters and playgrounds.
Photo: Adam Doty
3380 Beaver Road, Union
If you're up for a short drive, Big Bone Lick State Park in Union, Ky. has a collection of easy and moderate trails that pass through the historic site's woodlands, grasslands, savanna and salt-sulfur springs. Named after the Ice Age Megafauna that once occupied the area and its saltwater streams, the park is still home to a collection of giant mammals: bison. The 10 to 15 on view are a link to the Ice Age and an attempt to reestablish a herd of the endangered animals at the park.