The Ohio Stay At Home Order has been extended to May 1st, 2020. Luckily, Governor Mike DeWine has decided to keep parks open to all during this difficult time! However, it is worth mentioning that the Governor stressed that parks could be closed at any point, if the public does not demonstrate proper social distancing while visiting.
Having access to our wonderful park system is more important now than ever! To keep the parks open and safe will take the effort of everyone. We all must continue to practice social distancing and avoid crowded parks. The easiest way to accomplish this is to visit a lesser known gem in the Cincinnati Parks system!
This small preserve features a few looping trails in between the neighborhoods of Paddock Hills, North Avondale, and St. Bernard. These trails are manageable for young kids because they are relatively short.
This 27-acre park is located on the Northside of Cincinnati which features a beautiful piece of forest that has been untouched since the pioneer days. Some of the trees in the valley are over 200 years old! Buttercup Valley is a hiker’s dream, with some steep elevation changes and an expansive view of the forest which has not been choked up with invasive honeysuckle. Attached to Buttercup Valley is Parker’s Preserve, which offers 2 trails: a paved trail and a woodland trail. The Parker’s Preserve trails are great for the beginning hiker or someone looking for a small walk through the woods.
Caldwell features a wonderful mix of old and new growth forest for you to enjoy on 3.5 miles of nature trails. This preserve offers a level-paved trail so those who use wheelchairs are able to go into the woods, see the flowers, and hear the birds. Consider bringing some muck boots and taking the kids for a splash in Beaver Creek.
Tucked into the Kennedy Heights neighborhood, this 66-acre park offers a beautiful view from its shelter overlook, as well expansive fields and a walking path. Get some space from others in this park’s greenspace. This spot perfect for flying a kite, having a picnic, or enjoying outdoor workouts in the sun.
Although Mt. Airy Forest is a well-known park, it offers tons of space for spreading out (nearly 1,500 acres). While visiting you can enjoy the Mt. Airy Arboretum, miles of hiking trails, bridle trails (located off Diehl Road) for horseback riders, and a multi-use mountain biking trail. Keep in mind that the playgrounds and disc golf course are currently closed.
This urban park is located in the heart of O’Bryonville, on Madison Avenue. Though the park’s playground and basketball courts are closed, you can still enjoy paved walking loops and a spacious open field. Keep your distance in the grassy field and have a picnic, enjoy an outdoor workout, or fly a kite.
Located in Price Hill, this quiet park features paved walking paths, a historic stone shelter, and a picturesque shallow lake. This little lake is one of the best spots around to launch a toy boat! Have a seat on one of the many wooden benches and enjoy the songs of cheerful birds.
Remember, whenever visiting a park, it is vital that you maintain 6-feet between yourself and others at all times. Be sure to warn other trail users when you are passing, or step off the trail to allow others to pass with enough space. If you arrive at a park and it seems crowded, please leave and choose a different Cincinnati Park. Only if we all do our part to practice social distancing, will the parks remain open.