Top Cincinnati Hiking Destinations

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American spends 87 percent of their life indoors and another 6 percent in cars. That means humans are only outside for roughly 7 percent of their lives — a disheartening statistic.

But you can buck that trend: Greater Cincinnati, Ohio is home to a myriad of free parks with their own unique vibe.

And, if you need another reason to step outside, the outdoors increases serotonin levels and gives your immune system a boost — it’s a natural energizer. Got a dog? Walk it. Have kids? Tire them out. An old friend? Reconnect with them. Or, go Walden-style and wander alone to your heart’s content.

In French Park, pockets of grassy knolls lay hidden in the woods, and a large stream moseys behind the French House, a 1900s brick mansion perched royally on the hill. Second in size only to Mount Airy Forest, it is considered by many to be the city’s — and Cincinnati Park’s — best-kept secret. Considering its massive 275-acre size, you’d expect more hikers to busy the trails, but a jaunt here is frequently a quiet venture.

Sharon Woods, established 1932, is the oldest park in the Great Parks of Hamilton County network. Within its 730 acres are trails, a lake, a boathouse, pavilions, playgrounds, a golf course and Heritage Village, a “living museum” that recreates what Ohio life was like in the 1800s.

This handy guide of local parks is just a sampling of where you can go in the Queen City for an outdoor outlet, with a specific focus on hiking trails achievable for any fitness level.


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