Fall is the favorite season for many thanks to colorful leaves (and pumpkin spice everything). While Cincinnati Parks aren’t known for pumpkin spice anything, they are known for scenic fall color! Cincinnati’s color peak is typically around the 3rd and 4th week of October. Some years it lingers into early November.
While the summer drought has muted some of this year’s color, now is still the perfect time to get out and enjoy the scenery! Check out our list of the five top places to spot beautiful fall colors.
Caldwell Nature Center makes the top of our list. Don’t believe us? The American Hiking Society listed Caldwell’s trails as one of the 10-Best Hikes in Ohio! The 3.5 miles of nature trails feature brilliant maples, ash, tulip poplars, walnut and elm trees, offering a spectrum of yellow, orange and red. Caldwell also features a paved trail that makes it possible for wheelchair users to go into the woods.
Mt. Airy Forest is the largest of all Cincinnati Parks at nearly 1,500 acres. With all those acres come tons of trees entering their fall color peak. Mt. Airy also features the most diverse recreational opportunities to get you outside for fall. From disc golf to mountain biking, this park even features bridle trails for horseback riders. Keep an eye out for pops of color with our Hiking Club, on a scenic drive or while you visit the fully accessible Everybody’s Treehouse. Remember when planning your trip to first check for seasonal trail closures.
Follow one of French Park’s five hiking trails to escape the city sounds and witness colorful fall leaves tumble down into a babbling creek. The hiking in this park is especially lovely as all the trails were completely refurbished in the spring thanks to a generous $25,000 gift from the Cohen, the Michelman and the Shifman families.
We recommend Ault Park if you’re looking for a shorter fall foliage hike, great for lunch breaks and perfect for kids! All of the nine hiking trails range from just .12 miles (Kids Tree Trail) to .95 miles (Forest Loop Trail). The Ault Park Commons also offer a short paved loop, great for those who use wheelchairs. Check out all of the trails listed and described by the Ault Park Advisory Council. Remember when planning your trip to first check for seasonal trail closures.
As one of Cincinnati’s most famous and beloved parks, Burnet Woods makes the list. As seen in the photo above, the fall color change can be truly spectacular. The best place to take in the scenery is at the Burnet Woods Fishing Lake. This catch & release lake is stocked annually with Fathead Minnows, Hybrid Bluegill, Channel Catfish and Largemouth Bass. Try your fall fishing skills surrounded by towering, colorful trees.
BONUS: Interested in a guided fall hike?
Cincinnati Parks staff are hosting several FREE guided fall foliage hikes! Check out the Cincinnati Parks Calendar for more details.
A Colorful Canopy! – October 23 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Eden Park 1501 Eden Park Drive, 45202
A Fall Collection of Colors! – October 24 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Mt. Airy Arboretum Arboretum, 45223
Enamored with Autumn Hike – October 25 | 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Avon Woods Nature Preserve, 45229
Cincinnati Parks Foundation Hiking Club | Year-round Every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 am, and Wednesday at 4:30 pm at Mt. Airy Forest