Cincinnati is filled with bustling neighborhoods, historic buildings, and towering skyscrapers, but there are also plenty of spots to get away and escape the city/suburban life. This list of hikes within and around our city are all under three miles, are rated easy to moderate, and all of them provide a relaxing way to get some fresh air and enjoy the natural beauty of the Queen City.
1. Ault Park Trails - Ault Park - 5090 Observatory Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45208
Ault Park is known for its pavilion and stunning views, but there are also exciting trails to explore! You'll stumble across many photo-ops, including an old railroad bridge. These trails are a surprising oasis in the middle of a bustling area of the city.
2. Fernbank Park - 50 Thornton Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45233
Fernbank Park offers two short hikes to meet everyone's needs. The 2.2 mile paved trail along the river is scenic and great for exercise. If you want to get into the woods, try the mile loop, Sycamore Trail, for a little more escape into nature.
3. Wildflower & Geology Trails - Cincinnati Nature Center - 4949 Tealtown Rd. Milford, OH 45150
The Cincinnati Nature Center has many wonderful hiking trails and these two connected hikes are a highlight. Both are a good balance of relaxation and exploration and are well-maintained. There is a fee to visit the center and trails, but better yet, become a member to support this natural gem in our city.
4. Bender Mountain Loop Trail - Bender Road & River Road
This 2.3 mile loop trail may be one of the more difficult on the list, but the view from the top is worth it. The trail is a bit wild, so if you're looking for an adventure close to the city, check this one out.
5. Badlands Trail - Miami Whitewater Forest - 9001 Mt Hope Rd. Harrison, OH 45030
Miami Whitewater is known for its family-friendly Shaker Trace trail, but we suggest giving the Badlands Trail a try. This 1.7 mile loop will take you into the forest and up and down hills for the perfect amount of challenge.
6. Johnson Hills Park Trail - 7950 Bridle Rd. Cincinnati, Ohio 45244
Johnson Hills Park in Anderson has a few trails that are great on their own or combined for more of a challenge. They offer the perfect opportunity to wind down and have a relaxing walk in the woods.
7. Wood Duck Trail - Mitchell Memorial Forest - 5401 Zion Rd. Cleves, OH 45002
Mitchell Memorial Forest is a popular spot for mountain bikers, but there is also a lovely, mile-long loop trail that makes for the perfect family hike. You'll walk along a creek and eventually end up with a view of a small pond.
8. Caldwell Nature Preserve Trail - 430 W. North Bend Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45216
Caldwell Nature Preserve is a hidden gem with some of the most unique hiking opportunities. While parts of the trails are closed at times, there are still plenty of opportunities to explore this Mill Creek valley.
9. California Woods Trail - 5400 Kellogg Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45230
This 2.6 mile trail includes a variety of terrain and enough challenge to keep it interesting. The surrounding woods are beautiful and it's another quiet escape from the nearby city.
10. Bass Island Trail - 3852-3868 Newtown Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45244
This 2.4 mile stretch of trail is actually a part of the much longer Little Miami Scenic Trail. It's a great section of this popular trail for both hiking and bike riding.
11. Kingfisher Trail - Winton Woods - 10245 Winton Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45231
This 1.1 mile loop trail within Winton Woods makes you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. You'll forget about the nearby neighborhoods and highways and focus on the peaceful surroundings.
12. The Gorge Trail - Sharon Woods - 11450 Lebanon Rd. Sharonville, OH 45241
This favorite trail within Sharon Woods is a .7 mile, gravel trail that takes you out and back, for a total of 1.4 miles. It's one of the most scenic trails on this list with wooded views, lake views, and even a stunning waterfall.
13. Miami Fort Trail - Shawnee Lookout - 2008 Lawrenceburg Rd. North Bend, OH 45052
Miami Fort Trail is a 1.4 mile loop that features a stunning view from Shawnee Lookout. Try this one at sunset and you'll be for a breathtaking treat.
14. French Park - 3012 Section Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45237
Within French Park in Amberley Village, you'll find a 2.9 mile trail that provides a surprising amount of variety. Its location makes it a convenient stop for a quick hike and the scenery and creek will give you the natural escape you're seeking.
15. Woodland Mound Trails - 8250 Old Kellogg Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45255
The trails at Woodland Mounds take you through the woods, as well as along paved walkways with sweeping views of the river. This gem of a park offers many activities; the hike is just one of several ways to enjoy Cincinnati's natural beauty.
How many of these Cincy hikes have you tried? Did we miss any of your favorites? Share with us in the comments so we know what to check out next!