Family Fun on the Ohio River Trail

One of our favorite things to do as a family is walk. Every morning, the kids and I take a big walk around the neighborhood. We love exploring the nearby nature preserve and walking to our city’s playgrounds. We’ll take family walks after dinner to get out the end-of-the-day crazies. So when we found ourselves with an unscheduled, beautiful Saturday on our hands, we decided to head downtown for some family fun on the Ohio River Trail.


It doesn’t get much more gorgeous than the Ohio River Trail. Currently, this trail connects several Cincinnati Parks, iconic landmarks and bridges along the Ohio River. We decided to start at Sawyer Point Playground and end at Carol Ann’s Carousel, for a kid friendly, 1-mile walk. We knew there would be lots of landmarks along the way to keep the kids motivated and moving.

Here are the highlights of our walk:

Sawyer Point Playground

Sawyer Point Playground 1
This 1,000 hands playground is not for the faint of heart! There’s tons to climb and play on — read more about this Cincinnati gem here!

Yeatman’s Cove

Kids will love running wild in the giant lawn of Yeatman’s Cove — its lush green space and stunning views are perfection.

Daniel Carter Beard (Big Mac) Bridge

Big Mac Bridge 1
Cincinnati is known for its bridges — and kids will get a kick out of their fun nicknames! Julian loved the Big Mac Bridge in all its yellow-arched awesomeness.

Cincinnatus Statue

You have to visit Cincinnatus when you’re at Sawyer Point. Cincinnati was named after this Roman hero — and the statue is totally cool! (Especially when your 3-foot tall toddler stands by him.)

Otto Armleder Memorial Aquatic Fountain

Otto Armleder Fountains
I don’t know what Julian was pointing to — but do you see that giant spray hose behind him? It’s insane.

This water park is crazy. It’s massive, with water shooting every which way and direction! We admired it, but the kids actually weren’t hot enough yet to need cooling off. (This walk was very shaded due to the various bridges and foliage, which kept us quite comfortable until the final stretch by Smale!)


Riverboat small
My kids loved watching all the boats on the Ohio — but this majestic BB Riverboat totally took their breath away.

Great American Ball Park

Great American Ball Park 2
You’ll get a great view of GABP on this walk — the Great American Tower peeking in between the smokestacks is a fun touch!

John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

Watching Boats
This bridge is a landmark; an iconic piece of Cincinnati. It’s incredible to gaze at — and at one point, was the longest suspension bridge in the world!

Rosenberg Swings

After walking a long stretch, the swings were a welcome break. And — what a view. We fell in love with Cincinnati all over again sitting in these swings!

Smale Labyrinth

Smale Labyrinth
This was really fun for my kids to explore — they were very careful to stay on the course and not touch the grass! It made for such a fun game.

Smale River Play

Auger 2
We didn’t want to change into suits, and this water area is just perfect for casual splashin’. The giant auger and mini fountain (pictured) are big hits with my kids!

Carol Ann’s Carousel

Carousel 1
We absolutely adore Carol Ann’s Carousel. It’s such a fun thing to have downtown, and I feel like my kids will have fond memories of this carousel when they grow up. I know I will.

This was such a fun way to spend an afternoon! While the water components were fun (and refreshing!), this walk would be super fun as the weather starts to turn cooler.

Riverfront Collage
(From left:) Sawyer Point Playground, Sawyer Point Stones, National Steamboat Monument, The Magestic.

We live in a beautiful city, and the Ohio River Trail really showcases Cincinnati’s best features!

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