5 Winter Hikes To Get You Outside

For many of us, our decision to go outside during the winter is easily overruled by the comfort of binge-watching Netflix while inhaling warm brownies. Speaking from experience. However, getting outside (safely, while social distancing) is one of the best things you can do to stay active, boost your mood, and break up your routine—especially during a one-year and counting quarantine.

And sure, with Cincinnati still under a heavy blanket of snow walking to your car may feel like a hike in itself. But if you’re looking for a short winter escape, these local places are great for a brisk walk while being immersed in nature and diverse wildlife. 

  1. Shawnee Lookout 

With gorgeous views of the Ohio River and Great Miami River Valleys, Shawnee Lookout is a historic gem tucked on the outskirts of the Westside. It’s well known for its 18th-century historical Springhouse School and Log Cabin and Native American archaeological earthworks. The park’s nature trails include the 1.3-mile Blue Jacket, 2.0-mile Little Turtle, and the 1.4-mile Miami Fort trail—all easy to moderate with slight elevation changes. 

Address:

2008 Lawrenceburg Road

North Bend, OH 45052

  1. Mt. Airy Forest

Established in 1911, Mt. Airy Forest was the nation’s first urban reforestation project and has come a long way since. Mt. Airy Forest spans 1500 acres and is Cincinnati’s largest metropolitan park with numerous hiking trails, pedestrian bridges, natural areas, buildings, structures, and home to the Everybody’s Treehouse which is the only public universally accessible treehouse in the Tri-State area. Today, the park remains an expansive escape of protected land within the city limits.

Address:

5083 Colerain Ave

Cincinnati, OH 45223

  1. French Park

Located in Amberley Village, French Park is a 275-acre park laced with scenic hiking trails through forested areas along winding creek beds. It’s a great place to be completely immersed in forestry while spotting wildlife and listening to the serenity of trickling water. The outermost loop is three miles long with smaller trails connected throughout (all accessible at trailheads from the parking lots).

Address: 

3012 Section Rd

Cincinnati, OH 45237

  1. Cincinnati Nature Preserve

With a model for environmental sustainability and conservation on a national level, Cincinnati Nature Preserve is doing more than its part to protect our local ecology and lead by example through nature education. The Center’s Rowe Woods has nearly one dozen trails through various landscapes including forest, fields, streams, and ponds to experience the stillness and quiet of the season.

Address:

4949 Tealtown Road

Milford, OH 45150

  1. Devou Park

Hop over the Ohio River into Covington, KY and you’ll quickly see why Devou Park’s eight miles of backcountry trails are a hiking haven. The scenic trails are great for all ages and offer a relaxing escape from the busyness of the city. Plus, it has arguably the most breathtaking,  panoramic views of Cincinnati and Covington.

Address:

1201 Park Dr

Covington, KY 41011

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