Southwest Ohio may not have wide, sandy beaches or spectacular mountains, but we can count on a stunning display of fall foliage each year. There are more than a few good places to catch a view of the changing leaves—some are near, some are far, but all of them are our pride and joy.
1. Ohio River Scenic Byway
Follow the signs for the Ohio River Scenic Byway—it hugs the river for a whopping 967 miles through Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. The views are first-rate whether you go east or west from Cincinnati, but our favorite stretch is US-52 east, toward the teeny town of Ripley, Ohio. Along the way, you’ll pass colorful rolling hills, sun-drenched fields, and a few 19th-century river towns. Stop off in Point Pleasant to see the riverside cottage where Ulysses S. Grant was born in 1822. ohioriverscenicbyway.com/index.html
2. Mt. Airy Forest
Cincinnati is known for beautiful urban parks like Ault Park and Eden Park. But Mt. Airy Forest, situated just west of Northside, is the largest of them all. You’ll find hiking and horse trails, an arboretum, and Ohio’s only wheelchair-accessible public tree house spread over its nearly 1,500 acres. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a quiet fall day—just watch out for the Frisbee-golfers. cincyparks.com
3. Mt. Adams overlook at Holy Cross Immaculata Church
Most people head up to the Mt. Adams overlooks to check out the river. But the views from the Holy Cross Immaculata Church (30 Guido St., Mt. Adams) of our friendly neighbor to the south aren’t too shabby either. Scan east to west to get a good look at the rolling hills that make Kentucky famous.
4. Mt. Storm Park
Tucked up on Clifton’s western edge is Mt. Storm Park. The ornate “Temple of Love” pergola is the most well known feature, but a modern stone pavilion provides the park’s commanding view of the valley and its changing fall colors. cincyparks.com
5. Hocking Hills State Park
Take I-71 north over to US-35 and get ready for some scenery. The popular Hocking Hills State Park is a bit of a drive, but the voyage (and the camera-ready destination) is worth the trip. Caves, waterfalls, and rocky cliffs round out the pretty picture. dnr.state.oh.us/parks/tabid/743