Make a day trip of it and get ready to welcome the new season with some time spent outdoors, appreciating the beauty that is all around us!
CLERMONT, KY ( 120 MILES FROM CINCINNATI – 2 HR 10 MIN)
Experience something new and a little unusual with a visit to Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest (2075 Clermont Road, Clermont, Ky). There are over 40 miles of trails available to hike within Kentucky’s natural topography. The Forest Giants Trail will bring visitors up close and personal to three Forest Giants; these friendly giants have been created using recycled wood and they make for an amazing photo opp. Visit bernheim.org for more information. On the way back home, make a pit stop for some fabulous food. Shack in the Back BBQ (406 Mount Holly Road, Fairdale, Ky) has an outdoor patio and a menu that boasts ALL of the amazing smoked meats, delicious sides and homemade pie that is sure to hit the spot.
SLADE, KENTUCKY (136 MILES FROM CINCINNATI – 2 HR 4 MIN)
Venture towards Daniel Boone National Forest Park for some hiking that will have you amongst the clouds! Families can park at Natural Bridge State Park (2134 Natural Bridge Road, Slade, Ky), take the Original Trail and hike to Natural Bridge for a breathtaking scenic view. Families can refuel their tummies after all of the hiking at Miguel’s (1890 Natural Bridge Road, Slade, Ky)! Pick up a pizza, sandwich (the Bacon-Avocado-Lettuce-Tomato sandwich is phenomenal!) or delicious bowl to enjoy in the outdoor dining area. To learn more about travel to Slade, visitparks.ky.gov/slade/parks/resort/natural-bridge-state-resort-park.
HOCKING HILLS, OHIO (135 MILES FROM CINCINNATI – 2 HR 16 MIN)
Caves and cascading waterfalls make Hocking Hills State Park (19852 State Park Route 664, Logan) a popular staycation destination. The naturally formed gorges are simply gorgeous; at some points, the full length of the gorge is an impressive half a mile! Worked up an appetite while hiking? The Olde Dutch Restaurant (12791 State Route 664, Logan) is sure to fill folks up with tasty, home-made, hearty food. There is also a gift shop and petting zoo that kids will adore. To learn more about travel to Hocking Hills, visit hockinghills.com.
YELLOW SPRINGS, OHIO (73 MILES – 1 HR 17 MIN)
A short drive from Cincy, John Bryan State Park (3790 OH-370, Yellow Springs, Oh) is home to a vast 752 acres that can be navigated via hiking, biking, climbing and canoeing. This scenic nature escape includes lush fall flora and gorges galore – a true treat for the eyes. After exploring the local sights, explore some great tastes, too – families can grab carryout lunch from The Historic Clifton Mill (75 Water St., Clifton, Oh). This historic grist mill is educational and the restaurant is delicious; be sure to pick up some pancake mix or other goodies
from the gift store and don’t forget to walk through the 90-foot covered bridge nearby. Visit stateparks.com/john_bryan_state_park_in_ohio.html for more information.