Five Stunning Spots for a Springtime Hike

Enjoy some quality outdoor time with a hike at one of Cincinnati’s beautiful parks.

Warmer weather is finally here and after a long winter of quarantining indoors, the arrival of spring has never felt better. It’s time to get outside, breathe in some fresh air, soak in some much-needed Vitamin D, and stretch those legs. And because there are so many beautiful outdoor spaces in Cincinnati to explore, we’ve narrowed down the list to help make your decision a little easier.

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum

Photograph Courtesy Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum

Bender Mountain Nature Preserve

Nestled between Bender Road and Hillside Avenue, the Bender Mountain Nature Preserve has a variety of trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging workouts, all of which are rewarded with cascading views of the Ohio River. And spring is an optimal time to visit the preserve since it’s home to over 390 plant species, making it one of the best places in Hamilton County to observe native wildflowers. ­6320-6468 Bender Rd., Dehli Township

California Woods Nature Preserve

Just east of downtown Cincinnati, you’ll find the California Woods Nature Preserve in, well, California. The 113-acre forest has 53 species of trees and over 200 species of herbaceous plants to observe, and if you’re lucky, you may just spot a pileated woodpecker or great horned owl while walking one of the trails. 5400 Kellogg Ave., California

Fernbank Park

On Cincinnati’s West Side, Fernbank Park boasts more than a mile of Ohio riverfront views that you can enjoy on both of the park’s looped trails. The paved shared-use trail offers a look into the park’s rich riverfront history as the site of Lock & Dam 37. If you look close enough, you can even spot the remaining foundations of the dam keeper and workers’ garage and homes. 50 Thornton Ave., Sayler Park

Glenwood Gardens

Glenwood Gardens is a truly eclectic destination with its 335 acres of beautiful trails, gardens, prairies, wetlands, and forests. The park has two trails: The Garden Loop Trail is an easy 1.1-mile hike with a stone bridge that features fossils of ancient sea creatures who lived there millions of years ago, while the Wetland Loop Trail is a 1.6-mile moderate hike that passes through the park’s various habitats and vernal pools, where you can spot a variety of frogs and dragonflies. 10397 Springfield Pke., Woodlawn

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum

If you have an appreciation for history, sculptures, and plant life, Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum is the perfect place for a spring hike. The winding roads within the cemetery will bring you through meticulously landscaped gardens peppered with stunning sculptures and more than 1,200 species of trees, shrubs, and ornamentals. While you explore the grounds, make sure to check out the Dexter mausoleum, a private family gothic revival mausoleum and chapel that was built in 1866, and Geyser Lake, where you’re sure to spot majestic swans and large carp. 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Northside/Winton Terrace

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