Mt. Airy Arboretum Is a Hidden Gem

Spring is the perfect time to explore Mt. Airy Arboretum, located inside the iconic Mt. Airy Forest.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

This spring, as we all continue to favor outdoor activities and practice social distancing, you may be feeling a little burned out from the usual list of attractions. But if you look a little deeper, you’ll find that hidden treasures await in all corners of the tri-state. And if you’re looking for a (literal) breath of fresh air, look no further than Mt. Airy Forest.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

At almost 1,500 acres, Mt. Airy Forest is Cincinnati’s largest park. Established in 1911, it was the first municipal reforestation project in America. While Mt. Airy Forest is known for its splendid hiking and next-level treehouse (the treehouse is actually temporarily closed for structural inspection), the Arboretum is perhaps its greatest attribute. Mt. Airy Arboretum is a magnificent collection of trees, foliage, and flowers, tucked inside the eponymous Cincinnati park.

Mt. Airy Arboretum is lush and lovely; the perfect place to explore on a spring afternoon (or simply sit with a book while reveling in the Monet-like resplendence of the scenery). The Arboretum is an official observation area where local botanists, gardeners, and students track plant growth and behaviors in the Cincinnati area. Initially conceived in 1930, many individuals and organizations have contributed to its development and preservation. But botany aside, this park is simply a wonderous place to visit.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

Kids will love wandering through the grounds and reading about the various trees and foliage. There are a variety of gardens within the Arboretum, featuring lilacs, magnolias, and perennials. In spring, it’s utterly divine. In addition, the Arboretum’s educational building looks like something out of a Wes Anderson film, with its classic lettering and mid-century features.

Mt. Airy Arboretum features the best of the best in terms of local foliage and plant life. It’s an unexpected urban oasis that reminds us just how glorious and beautiful Cincinnati truly is. And isn’t that exactly what we all need right now?

Mt. Airy Forest, 5083 Colerain Ave., Mt. Airy

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