Hiking is a great way to balance your strength training sessions, plus it's easy on the joints, strengthens your heart, lungs, and muscles, as well as your mental health. And going with friends and family can also reap healthy benefits. Explore beyond your neighborhood and head to one of these trails perfect for you and the family. Here’s where to go:
Ault Park; 5090 Observatory Ave., Cincinnati Try the one-mile Ridge and Valley Trail with gorgeous views, or go for the Ault Valley Trail that is an easy out and back gravel trail the kids will love. Dog friendly!
Bender Mountain Nature' Preserve; 6320-6468 Bender Road, Cincinnati Be ready for a few rocky spots, but overall it’s nice for a family nature trip or even bird watching. You can bring your pup along, too.
Caldwell Nature Preserve; 430 W North Bend Road, Cincinnati Lots of explorative bridges and creeks make this fun. The kids can learn all about the Old Mill Creek history as you wind along ridges formed by Mill Creek Watershed.
East Loveland Nature; Preserve; 313 E Loveland, Ave., Loveland The Loveland Nature Trail is less than a mile. This easy loop is moderately trafficked located near Loveland, Ohio. Be ready to see some wild flowers and plenty of activities for the kids including opportunities to explore the creek.
Everybody’s Treehouse; 1212 Trail Ridge Road, Cincinnati Located in Mt. Airy Forest, the Everybody’s Treehouse Trail leads to, you guessed it, a treehouse! The best part is it’s free for everyone to play in and you can even enjoy a family picnic. This easy 0.1 mile trail leads through an admirable forest setting, out and back.
Pine Hill Lakes Park; 211 Kings Mills Road, Mason The main trail is a well-paved loop in Mason and shady in spots with plenty of benches to rest with Baby. The kids will love pointing at the ducks and geese along the way, and after your hike, let the kids play at the park. Dog-friendly.
Sharon Woods; 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville Creeks and waterfalls are easily accessible after a hike. The Sharon Woods Lake Trail to Gorge Trail Loop takes you around the lake and through the woods. Cool off in the creek along the way and enjoy beautiful overlooks. Motor vehicle permit required.
Shawnee Lookout; 2008 Lawrenceburg, North Bend Includes three easy trails all under two miles: Miami Fort Trail, Blue Jacket Loop and Trail and Little Turtle Trail which is a perfect “lollipop trail” near North Bend, Ohio, with a perfect view of the Ohio River. Plenty of benches. $3 per day.
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site; 3380 Beaver Road, Union The Discovery Trail behind the visitor center is where you can learn about prehistoric history during the Ice Age on markers as you go. Don’t forget to check trails that lead to the Bison viewing.
Boone County Arboretum & Central Park; 9190 Camp Ernst Road, Union The Dogwood Trail is paved, and you’ll pass by recreation fields and various plant collections of the arboretum. Connect to the loop trail or simply call it a day and relax in the gazebo.
Devou Park; 1201 Park Drive, Covington The Overlook is breathtaking and you can easily walk the paths, even on muddy days. Backcountry trails, too.
England–Idlewild Park; 5550 Idlewild Road, Burlington Portions of the paved paths have exercise stops for Mom and Dad plus a story walk. Check out the playground, lake and more.
Highlands Cemetery; 2167 Dixie Hwy., Fort Mitchell One of the trails starts at a creek, and another “Batman-themed” trail is a kid favorite so they can follow the Batman signs along the way.
Local Hiking Groups & Programs
HIKE IT, BABY facebook.com/groups/HikeitBabycincinnati A group of parents who regularly meet and hike together with their kids. Join the private Facebook group and meet other families.
FREE FOREST SCHOOL OF CINCINNATI facebook.com/groups/FreeForestSchoolCincinnatiOH A free, volunteer-run group perfect for ages 0 to 6 and their caregivers. Meets on a weekly basis throughout the year in nearby wilderness areas.
TRI-STATE HIKING CLUB OF CINCINNATI meetup.com/hike-cincinnati A non-profit hiking group free for beginners or advanced hikers.
• Find more hiking groups that fit your family’s lifestyle at meetup.com or Facebook.
• Find more favorite kid and baby/stroller-friendly trails with the All Trails app or visit alltrails.com.