Dedicated to Day Hiking in the Cincinnati area
There are lots of great places to explore the outdoors in and around Cincinnati.
Some are well known, some not so well known.

It is my privilege to help others enjoy the many great outdoor recreation areas around Cincinnati.


Van Gogh Walk in the Woods



"Hiking is great exercise and feeds the soul. To be out with only the earth and nature, away from manmade things, provides inner nourishment and peace."


The top three (but also the furthest)!
 

The Cincinnati area is great for hiking.   

But if you're willing to drive 3 hours or so, you'll arrive at the gold standard of "area" hiking, Red River Gorge.  Known nationally as "the Red," and locally simply as "the Gorge," Red River Gorge is a hiker's delight with outstanding trails leading to sweeping vistas amid lots of rocks and lush flora.  Get a good map and plan your trip before you arrive.

Tip: For a great warmup hike, hike to Natural Bridge in the adjacent state park.  It's a fantastic and famous hike, with good elevation change that'll get your heart pumping.  

Tip 2:  If you aren't camping or cabinning, consider staying at the Lil Abner Hotel. Right between The Gorge and Natural Bridge SP, it's an outstanding jumping off point to hit the trails early in the morning.  The place looks rundown from the outside, but the rooms on the inside are nice.  Ask for a 2 bedroom suite.  Huge rooms, remodeled in 2013 and under $100.  

A bit closer at  about 2.5 hours driving time is the runner up for the best area hiking; Hocking Hills SP and forest.  There are many places to hike here, The hiking areas in Hocking Hills SP are separated geographically, with the exception of the top touristy sites;  Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave.  These  areas can be crowded and parking lots do fill up, so plan your trip accordingly.  

Some of my favorite areas in Hocking Hills include The Rock House and  Conkle's Hollow (lower trail), as well as Airplane Rock, Chapel Cove and Long Hollow on the bridle trails.  I also like the Buckeye Trail between Cedar Falls and Old Man's Cave (where they serve ice cream at the refreshment stand!).  You can loop back on a different trail, making it a nice 6 mile loop.  A stop at Ash Cave is also worthwhile on your drive out of the area. 

Tip: There are a lot of hidden and lesser known areas to hike around Hocking Hills.  Some require a permit from the Ohio Dept of Nat'l Resources, but most of those do not have trails. Consider hiring a local guide to get you away from the tourist crowd and show you some of the lesser known hikes, of which there are several.  

Tip:  To get to Hocking Hills, take I-71 North to Route 35 at Washington Court House.  I know it isn't the most direct (Route 50 is).  But trust me, it is by far the quickest and easiest.  You can easily hit most of the "must sees" within a day trip.

Rounding out the top 3, and a bit closer still, is John Bryan SP/Glen Helen Nature Preserve.  About an hour north of Cincinnati lies the city of Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This town is home to Antioch University, and lies right on a bike trail.  It also lies adjacent to Glen Helen and John Bryan, two of the real gems of nearby hiking areas.  You can hit all the major sites in a day, including Clifton Gorge, and THE Yellow Spring from which the town got it's name.

Tip:  Hiking both areas without driving between the two can be a bit tricky.  In order to see everything, consider parking at Clifton Gorge to hike at John Bryan SP.  Then drive to Yellow Springs for lunch, followed by hikes at Glen Helen.  Be sure to visit Young's Jersey Dairy for a milkshake when you're done!

For more detailed trail help or hike recommendations, send me an email.

Happy Hiking !!

 

HTML hit counter - Quick-counter.net