Kids need to spend more time outside. Traipsing through the woods, exploring nature, enjoying unplugged, unstructured play. Lucky for us, Cincinnati is full of postcard-perfect nature preserves just waiting to be explored by your kids!
Here are our top 10 Cincinnati nature centers:
Avon Woods Nature Center
The nature preserve consists of rolling hills, hiking trails and a stream cut valley. The trails are easy to locate and great for hiking newbies.
Caldwell Nature Preserve
Caldwell Nature Preserve is home to a variety of wildlife including reptiles, amphibians and mammals. It also features a Nature Center and 3.5 miles of nature trails, including a level-paved trail that makes it possible for wheelchair users to go into the woods, see the flowers and hear the birds. (These paved trails are also great for families!)
California Woods Nature Center
This 113 acre preserve boasts hiking trails, 53 species of trees and myriad birds and wildlife. It’s great for hiking and birding with your little ones — but please note that dogs are not allowed at this preserve.
Cincinnati Nature Center
Boasting 1,600 acres and 20 miles of trails, Cincinnati Nature Center is the largest member-supported nature center in the country. For kids, the main attraction is the PlayScape — plants, soil, and water can be touched and manipulated, creeks stomped in and logs built with. Admission is $9/adults, $4/kids 4-12, free for members and kids under 4.
Florence Nature Park
At just 15 acres, this Kentucky park is the perfect size for kids. Trails are paved, making them both handicap and stroller friendly.
Ft. Wright Nature Center
Ft. Wright, KY
This 13 acre park in Northern Kentucky features hillside trails and a variety of plant and animal wildlife. Its trails are all under a mile, making this a great choice for young families!
Johnson Nature Preserve
Tucked away at the border of Montgomery and Blue Ash, the Johnson Nature Preserve is the perfect size for small kids. The .35 mile loop is a great hike for little legs, and the preserve features an abundance of plants and wildlife.
LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center
With two miles of hiking trails, LaBoiteaux Woods is great for slightly older kids and intermediate level hikers. Kids will get a kick out of the nature center, which houses nature displays, animal mounts, live animals and a nature library.
Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary
Colerain Township, OH
A state-dedicated natural area, Newberry Wildlife Sanctuary is 100 acres full of plant and animal species, waterfalls and woods. Kids will especially love the many waterfalls at this sanctuary!
Withrow Nature Preserve
Anderson Township, OH
This gorgeous nature preserve is a popular place for weddings due to its breathtaking beauty. This park also features a scenic 1.7-mile Trout Lily nature trail, making it great for an afternoon hike!
As summer winds down and we get into fall, there’s no better time to explore the great outdoors. So grab your hiking boots and explore the city’s prettiest preserves and most treasured trails!