Summit Park in Blue Ash is the superlative superstar of local parks. For starters, there’s its epic playground, full of verdant green turf and colorful, next-level play structures. Then there’s the nature playscape, with its zip lines, in-ground tunnels, natural jungle gym, and water play area. Add in the 153-foot Observation Tower that offers panoramas all the way downtown, several top-tier restaurants, a beloved farmers’ market, pristine dog park, and massive great lawn, and there really is nothing Summit Park doesn’t offer.
But if you’re seeking some peace and quiet at this popular park, there’s a little-known option that’s simply perfect. Just beyond the dog park, you’ll find an entrance to a lush little forest, and it’s here where you’ll find the perfect kid-friendly trek.
The trail is mulched and shaded, and runs parallel to the Observation Tower. There’s a cornhole set and several picnic tables located at the entrance to the trail, which, if we’re getting technical, really is more of a path than an actual hike. The whole length of this wooded walkway is about half a mile; when you arrive at the end, simply turn around and retrace your steps.
However, if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, I recommend staying in the woods, and having your kids wander a bit. If you veer off the trail, towards the Observation Tower, you’ll come to a clearing that’s full of giant sticks, branches, and logs. It’s a real, live nature playscape. Back here, kids have constructed various dwellings and teepees, and the whole area feels quite magical. Just for a moment, you’ll forget you’re at one of the most popular parks in Cincinnati; instead, you’ll find yourself in A. A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood, where kids—and their imaginations—can roam free.
Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Rd., Blue Ash