In the Cincinnati area, there’s no excuse to avoid getting in touch with nature. Within a few short hours of the city, there are numerous state parks that overflow with natural beauty and adventure and are easily accessible for all interests and abilities. Here, we’ve featured nine of the best state parks that are very close to home and are spread out between Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. You might be surprised by the diversity and activities available when you visit these amazing state parks near Cincinnati.

Do you take advantage of our area’s wonderful state parks? Did we miss your favorite state parks to visit near Cincinnati? Share with us in the comments so we can check them out next!

For another beautiful place to explore in our little corner of the Buckeye State, venture out to the Cincinnati Nature Center and hike through Ohio’s very own old-growth forest!

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State parks to visit near Cincinnati

What's the best state park to visit in Ohio?

With a total of 75 state parks, it’s difficult to determine which one is the single best state park in Ohio. While the above list of amazing state parks to visit near Cincinnati is certainly a great place to start, if you want to explore *the* best state park in the Buckeye State, head to Salt Fork State Park in Cambridge, Ohio. With gorgeous scenery, preserved history, and so many things to do, there’s plenty to explore year-round, which is why it gets our vote for Ohio's single best state park!

What are some other beautiful parks near Cincinnati?

The Queen City might well be known as the Green City, because in addition to being within striking distance of several top Ohio State Parks, the Cincinnati Parks System is home to some truly spectacular places. Eden Park, Ault Park, Smale Riverfront Park, Mt. Airy Forest, and Washington Park are all totally amazing Cincinnati Parks, and each well-worth checking out. But don't forget about the Hamilton County Parks, too; this county park system is remarkable, with places such as Sharon Woods, Winton Woods, and the Otto Armleder Memorial Park & Recreation Complex all standing out as beautiful places to spend an afternoon.

Are there any nature centers in Cincinnati?

Absolutely -- the eponymous Cincinnati Nature Center truly is one of the city's greatest treasures. Within the CNC, Rowe Woods is 1,016 acres of pure natural beauty; its 14 miles of trails traverse deciduous woodlands, fields, streams, ponds, wetlands, and even an old-growth forest! The CNC is home to 65 acres of old-growth forest, in fact; and the CNC’s Upland Trail takes explorers straight through it. At just 1.34 miles long, the Upland Trail makes for an accessible trek for hikers of all ages and abilities. It's well-marked and well-paved; however, there are a few areas with steps and rocky terrain, so be sure and wear proper shoes! This is one of our favorite accessible hikes in Cincinnati, and absolutely an experience for your bucket list!