Take an Epic Kayaking Trip Past Cincinnati’s Very Own Royal Residence

Paddle past the Loveland Castle on this Little Miami River adventure that makes a perfect day date, thanks to Loveland Canoe & Kayak.
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Photograph by Sarah McCosham

While this column is largely dedicated to my kids (hello, parenting metaphor!), there is one very important person who doesn’t often appear here, but is a fundamental part of the McCosham family. I’m talking about my husband, Tony, with whom I’ve spend the last two decades gallivanting around the city and building a really great life.

It’s not often the two of us get time all by ourselves. But it’s something that, after a two-year pandemic, we’ve happily prioritized this year. Day dates are a marvelous way to carve out time together—bonus points if it’s something outdoors.

Clearly, I’ve been watching too many episodes of The Bachelorette, because when the opportunity to kayak past a castle caught my eye on my Instagram feed, well, let’s just say I was in.

The excursion? The Castle Adventure with Loveland Canoe & Kayak, a five-mile trip down the Little Miami River that cruises right by Cincinnati’s very own royal residence, Château Laroche. Colloquially called the Loveland Castle, this beautiful fortress holds court from its perch along the banks of the Little Miami. In true Bachelorette date fashion, all the details for this adventure (or journey if we’re using the TV show’s lingo) are taken care of by the adventure outfitter, from the life vests and kayaks to the transportation to the launch point at Carl Rahe Park.

After that, it’s time to push off. This portion of the Little Miami River is calm and generally not too deep, making for a relaxing paddling adventure for beginners and seasoned pros alike. The scenery is quite lovely, too, with verdant greenery and big, cobalt-blue skies for days. Turtles, ducks, and deer can all be spotted along the route, which runs parallel to the Loveland Bike Trail.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

About halfway through the five-mile trip, you’ll want to look to the right, where the Loveland Castle awaits. During summer, the lush landscape can obfuscate the view, so paddle slowly and look for a break in the trees. As the castle comes into view, stop paddling and give yourself some time to take it all in. This magnificent medieval structure was built by hand—brick by brick—by one man, Sir Harry Andrews, and it’s an amazing testament to the power of the human imagination.

Set aside a few hours for this adventure; there are lots of shores where you can picnic or even dock for a swim. While our arms were certainly tired after the excursion, we left eagerly planning our next kayaking trip. I’m just happy I don’t have to compete with 16 other women to partake in such epic adventures.

Photograph by Sarah McCosham

Loveland Canoe & Kayak, 174 Karl Brown Way, Loveland

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