If you’re anything like me, you are counting down the seconds until the weather is more consistently warm and my active children can more easily be outside. I like a good snow day, but I’m over all the bundling up and shivering! As the weather begins to shift and you’re ready to be outdoors more as a family, you may want to check out some hike in Cincinnati. With our excellent park systems, there are actually quite a few places to explore, and I’ve narrowed it down a bit to some of the ones that are best to take on with kids in tow.
Check out this list of the best places to hike in Cincinnati with kids and start making plans for family adventure this spring and summer!
Cincinnati Nature Center – Rowe Woods (pictured)
If you have yet to explore the Cincinnati Nature Center as a family, then definitely add this to the top of your list! There are several hiking trails that are easy enough for young children, but I would opt for a carrier versus stroller; it wouldn’t do very well on the mostly dirt pathways. After your hike, make sure to save time to visit the Nature Playscape, which is pretty much a child’s dream come true. There is a small fee to enter the property, or you can choose to purchase a membership. Either option is so worth it to visit this hidden gem in Cincinnati!
If you need a hiking trail that is stroller friendly, then check out Miami Whitewater Forest. They have a fully paved trail that is still filled with plenty of nature, so family members of all ages will enjoy it. There’s a creek that’s perfect for rock skipping and even wading on a hot day, and you can choose the shorter path or challenge the family to the 8-mile loop through woods, wildflowers, and open fields.
For a unique, family-friendly hike, head to Northern Kentucky and Big Bone Lick State Park. This historic land is filled with interesting recreations and even a museum and there are two short hikes that are perfect with little ones. The first leads to the salt licks and is a lovely wooded trail. And you have to take the quick hike to see the rare herd of bison that roam in the park.
Another hidden gem in Cincinnati, Mt. Airy Forest is 1,459 acres of natural beauty. You can check out an actual hiking trail in the park, or just wander around the Arboretum area and enjoy a picnic at one of many spots. The kids will also love the incredibly unique treehouse – one of the most magical spots in the city.
East Fork State Park is one of Ohio’s largest state parks and has so much to offer Cincinnati-area families. When it comes to hiking, there are many trails to choose from, many of which have lovely views of the lake, but from a safe distance for little ones. They also offer a great interactive trail map that is extremely helpful for knowing what you’re getting in to! The park also offers fun on the water, camping, and horse back riding.
This large park on the west side of Cincinnati is known for its amazing mountain bike trails, but there is also a trail that is perfect for kids. The Wood Duck Trail is about a mile long, easy enough for all ages, and provides a variety of scenery. There’s also a playground nearby for more fun after the hike.
Farbach Werner is another stroller-friendly park with a fun little hiking trail that’s great for kids. The path takes you through a wooded area, unique plant life and a lovely little pond. The Preserve also often offers kid-friendly events, so that’s something else to keep an eye out for!
French Park is a great, centrally located natural oasis in Amberley Village. The park has a 3-mile trail that is great for kids, even on a hot summer day. The hike is mostly shaded and the perfect blend of easy, yet interesting, to keep the attention of kids of all ages.
As one the most family-friendly parks in the city, we had to include Sharon Woods on the list. There’s so much to do aside from hiking, but don’t forget about the trails that do show off the natural beauty of this park. There’s a paved trail that is great for strollers and if you want to have a bit more adventure, try the Gorge Trail. And don’t forget to seek out Cincinnati’s most beautiful waterfall! With the hiking trails, indoor play area, Heritage Museum, and frequent events, Sharon Woods can easily provide enough family fun for an entire day.
These 9 spots to hike in Cincinnati are just the beginning of the list of family-friendly trails in our amazing city. If you have more to add, we’d love to know your favorites! And feel free to share your favorite family hiking pictures with us in the comments!