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  • Writer's pictureKelly Gibbs

Explore the Best Hiking Trails in Cincinnati: 8 Must-Visit Spots

Updated: Jan 29

Take in the beauty of the Midwest and enjoy connecting with nature by exploring local Cincinnati hiking trails. Whether you’re in the mood for a casual stroll outdoors, or want to get your heart racing with a more vigorous excursion, the hiking trails near Cincinnati offer options. Discover the hiking trails Cincinnati locals head to when they want to be one with nature.

List of Hiking Trails in Cincinnati

The Best Hiking Trails in Cincinnati

Escape city life for peaceful serenity, these next few months are the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Hikes are the best way to have an outdoor adventure and the best hiking trails in Cincinnati can be found in the city's beautiful nature preserves.

5090 Observatory Ave., Mount Lookout

Ault Park hiking trails

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.

1558 Stanford Dr, Northside

Parker Woods Northside Hiking

Parkers Woods and Buttercup Valley Nature Preserve form a contiguous green space of approximately 89 acres connected by natural hiking trails. The Parkers Woods Preserve trails are great for the beginning hiker or someone looking for a short walk through the woods.

3012 Section Road, Amberley Village

French Park Hiking in Cincinnati

French Park is a 275-acre park, located in Amberley Village and boasts miles of hiking trails, creeks, meadows, and wooded hillsides. The park has a trail almost 3 miles long and is open year round. Enjoy a stroll, jog or run past woods and a creek for a fairly easy hike. Visit the the park's beautiful historic French House where you can feel like you're in the early 1900s.

5400 Kellogg Ave., California

Hiking Trails Cincinnati California Woods

The California Woods Nature Preserve has a small network of short hikes. Trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. No dogs allowed. This park is 113 acres of woods filled with a variety of woodland and aquatic wildlife. Lick Run Creek passes through this preserve, and is home to kingfishers, snapping turtles, small fish, a myriad of invertebrates and the occasional visit from grebes, mallards, wood ducks, and even beavers.

5083 Colerain Ave., Westwood

Hiking in Cincinnati, Mt Airy Forest

Located between Mt. Airy and Westwood, Mt. Airy Forest is the largest Cincinnati Park at 1,459 acres. A man-made forest with miles of hiking trails! Forest trails zigzag through the thick — and sometimes hilly — Mt. Airy woods with trails ranging from .7 miles to 4 miles.

11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville

Sharon Woods Trails

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. It is a popular spot to exercise outdoors with a 2.6-mile paved multi-purpose trail around the lake, a 1.0-mile fitness trail and the 0.7-mile Gorge nature trail.

10245 Winton Road, Greenhills

Hiking Trails Cincinnati, Winton Woods

Views of the lake, dense woods and vibrant grass fields can be found at Winton Woods. This park has 2.6 miles of paved trails, a fitness trail, two nature trails and a horseback-riding trail. A new trail is being planned to link two of the most popular Great Parks. At 3.6 miles in length, the Glenwood Gardens to Winton Woods Trail will open new doors to these parks and connect to additional trails that wind through gardens, prairies, wetlands, forests and lakes.

430 W. North Bend Road, Carthage

Best Hiking Trails in Cincinnati

A mix of old growth forest and newer plantings, Caldwell Nature Preserve is home to a variety of plants and wildlife including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. 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.


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The above article “Best Hiking Trails in Cincinnati: 8 Great Spots to Explore” was provided by Kelly Gibbs. Kelly can be reached via email at or by phone at 513-290-6216.

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