Nature February 12, 2021
The California Woods Trail Will Show You A Completely New Side Of Ohio
Ohioans know how beautiful our state is, but there’s still some places we go that surprise even the most knowledgable Buckeye. California Woods Nature Preserve is one of those rare hidden gems. Did you know there’s a California, Ohio? (We bet you didn’t!) California is one of the 52 neighborhoods that make up the city of Cincinnati; it’s a small river community located at the confluence of the Little Miami and Ohio Rivers, between Lunken Airport and Coney Island. Its eponymous nature preserve is nestled in the center of the community, and it’s utterly breathtaking. The California Woods Trail in Ohio will show you a completely new side of the state—one you never knew existed.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Sometimes you stumble upon a new-to-you place, and you immediately know it's special.
California Woods Nature Preserve is one of those kind of places.
California Woods is one of Cincinnati Parks’s east side parks. It will sneak up on you.
One minute, you’re cruising down a busy city road, and the next, you’re turning onto a one-lane, dirt path and into the woods.
California Woods has 133 acres of sprawling, sun-drenched woods.
It's reminiscent of
, one of the state's most well-known and beloved parks.
But what sets California Woods apart is its scenic beauty—which you wouldn't expect from a city park.
There are streams and bridges, and an abundance of wildlife. In fact, California Woods features 53 species of trees, more than 200 species of herbaceous plants, and is adjacent to the Magrish Preserve, a designated Important Birding Area. Lick Run Creek passes through this preserve, and is home to kingfishers, snapping turtles, small fish, myriad invertebrates and the occasional visit from grebes, mallards, wood ducks, and beavers.
It’s hilly and lush and full of life.
If you're lucky, you may get to see one of Ohio's official state fruit (yes—that's a thing!): the paw paw.
But what's most glorious about California Woods is its trails.
There are six hiking trails, ranging from the .16-mile Twin Oaks Trail to the 2.5-mile California Woods Trail, so there are options for hikers of all abilities.
Families will enjoy the Trillium Trail, a half-mile loop that takes you deep into the forest.
More experienced hikers, meanwhile can tackle the California Woods Trail, the preserve's longest and most challenging trail that leads deep into the wilderness.
Regardless of which trail you choose, you'll be treated to one of the most scenic hikes in Ohio.
At the summit of the California Woods Trail, you'll be rewarded with a breathtaking, 360-degree panorama of California Woods. It’s so quiet and peaceful, you’ll forget that you’re just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
It's reminiscent of one of the state's most well-known treasures: Hocking Hills.
The Trillium Trail starts off with a series of steps that my kids eagerly attack, Rocky Balboa–style. While the climb is a bit challenging for little (and big!) legs, it’s well worth the effort. When you finally make it to the top of Trillium Trail, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking, 360-degree panorama of California Woods. It’s so quiet and peaceful, you’ll forget that you’re just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
California Woods Trail in Ohio is one of those places that truly takes you by surprise, and leaves you completely awestruck at the state’s natural beauty. But that’s pretty much Ohio for you! If you need further proof, these 15 beautiful hikes in Ohio will convince you. Address: 5400 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45230, USA