This summer was all about bikes in my house — and I wasn’t complaining. Most days, you could find me trailing behind my older three kids as they biked, a tiny baby snoozing on my chest in a carrier. It’s no exaggeration to say that we. biked. everywhere. Luckily, the family minivan easily holds all the bikes + gear, and we made it our summer mission to explore lots of bike trails in the area. And I quickly learned that some are better than others, especially when it comes to kids.
Here’s a roundup of our Favorite Family-Friendly Bike Trails in Cincinnati:
Loveland Bike Trail (pictured)
The Loveland Bike Trail is perfect for beginners: you start in Downtown Loveland near a fun playground/picnic area, and can literally make the ride as long as you’d like. We usually ride for 30 minutes in one direction, and then turn around and come back for an easy, hour-long excursion. The trail is flat and shady, but can get busy. Go during a weekday or weekend afternoon to beat the crowds.
Airports make the best places to bike — they’re large, open and (most importantly) flat. This bike trail makes for a fun afternoon, as you can stop by the Land of Make Believe playground or wander around historic Lunken Airport when you’re done. The loop at Lunken Airport is best for older bikers, as it’s 5 miles long. It would also be a fun ride for parents pulling tots in a trailer — it’s nice and long, so you may even the kids to take a little nap!
We’ve walked this riverfront trail and it’s just beautiful. Because you’re downtown, it’s best for older riders with better bike control. Start at Sawyer Point and meander over to Smale — this ride is more about the journey than the destination, as you’ll take some iconic Cincinnati landmarks along the way! My advice: make it a “playground ride” by starting at the 1000 Hands Playground at Sawyer Point and ending at Smale Riverfront Park.
This Montgomery Park is a total hidden gem — with a babbling creek, picturesque pond, woods and prairie, it’s a gorgeous natural escape in the suburbs. There’s a half-mile loop around the park that takes you through the various natural areas. It’s a bit hilly and goes through the woods, making it a good option for kids craving a little bit of independence! Watch your kids ride from the comfort of one of the bench swings on the dock.
This new kid on the (bike) trail is just perfect for kids. There’s a massive runway that’s flat, wide and traffic-free, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that Summit Park is where my oldest daughter learned to ride without training wheels. Ride through the woods and cruise down the path on Plainfield Road, and you can customize a ride that’s as long or short as you want. There’s also a path around the Great Lawn that my kids speed around like race cars at the Indianapolis 500. Afterwards, park at the bike racks by the playground and let your kids run wild!
This 1.4 mile loop features clear left/right lanes. The trail is slightly hilly, but mainly flat as it winds around a lake. It’s easy to see your kids as they ride around the trail; the only downside is that it can be a little windy at this Butler County MetroPark. There’s a really cool playground at this park that makes for a fun bike-riding incentive!
This fall, explore Ohio on two wheels at these family-friendly bike trails!