Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

April 23, 2024

Mom Report – Favorite Family Hiking Destinations

Nothing beats enjoying the outdoors with the family – fresh air, beautiful scenery, inspiration from nature and creating memorable moments without the distraction of devices.

Real time adventure, like hiking, is priceless! The weather is nearly perfect, as in the springtime, when temperatures are mild but the glory of autumn leaves turning color is breathtaking. In the fall, the air has a crispness about it that compliments the entire body, giving a sense of rejuvenation post trail.

If you’re looking for a reason to hike, let’s just say the health benefits alone will get you and the family moving! We’ve had to learn with additional emphasis in 2020 that health is a priority. Hiking has proven to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It will also lower your risk of heart disease, boost bone density, strengthen the core, improve your mood (or as I like to say uplift your spirit), and more!
Hiking also allows for some much-needed quality time with the people that matter most to you. The things you’ll find yourselves talking about and physically helping one another through nature’s unexpected obstacles will leave a lasting impression on everyone. Hiking is sensory worthy.

What makes the ideal hiking destination? Many would suggest it is much like investing in real estate; the primary component: location, location, location. A good trail would be one with lush landscape, a hearty (yet sturdy) climb, varying altitudes, clear paths, vivid sounds of bustling water and gentle wildlife greeting you along the trail. Basically, a bit of serenity! A family-friendly woodsy journey is all about fun surprises, exercise, and bonding.

Mt. Airy Forest; 5083 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, Oh

Cincinnati has a number of awesome places to gain in the hiking experience. Cincinnati’s largest park, Mt. Airy Forest lies on almost 1,500 acres, and is definitely on the list. The park is about 10 minutes from downtown Cincy. It is a place that even as a child in the 90’s I remember being awe-inspired by all there was to take in. Such is still true to this day! The G Trail, Cedar Trail, Furnas Trail Loop is moderately rated, and will give the family a reasonable challenge. The trail is indeed set in a loop with an elevation gain of 501 feet, and 3.5-miles long.

What most hikers applaud about this location is the fact that is not a crowded trail. This is super important to obtaining the peaceful trek which is desired. Patrons are allowed to bring their canine companions too, but they must remain leashed. What’s more, the park keeps the trail manicured allowing for a smoother journey. Be mindful that weather will play a role on any trail and what you may encounter along the way. A fun Fact about Mt. Airy Forest Park is that is a culmination of several unsuccessful farms, so there is some rich history to uncover on this trail. This particular location in Mt. Airy Forest Park has lots to discover: bird watching, beautiful wild flowers, extraordinary views, and park specific activities. The best times to visit would be from March until October, so there is still plenty of time to enjoy. Always check with Cincinnati Parks for changes to park hours and/or for closures.

Delhi – Bender Mountain Loop Trail; 6320-6468 Bender Road, Cincinnati, Oh

One of the most popular locations with heavy traffic, this gorgeous trail is situated just 15 minutes from downtown Cincinnati. Bender Mountain is very picturesque! It only takes a few moments out in this earthy environment to realize why so many flock to this area. Rapid Run flows southbound right next to the trail, an added bonus on this hiking journey. Eventually you will discover a number of pleasant spots that give views of the Ohio river. Bender Mountain Loop is 2.3 miles long with an elevation gain of 459 feet. It is also rated moderate.

If you are looking for a location that is less busy, with greater social distancing, then Bender Mountain Loop ranks beneath Mt. Airy Forest Park. Yes, you could always take a little drive 2-hours north to Hocking Hills State Park to elevate your hiking adventure. Ohio is a beautiful state with amazing options to appreciate wilderness. But there is plenty of nature close to home that will impress the entire family. I say, take a trip to Mt. Airy Forest Park this hiking season. It offers every element that makes for a great hike this time of year right here in Cincinnati!

Looking for more kid and baby-friendly trails? Click here! 

About the Author

Nyketa Gaffney

Nyketa is proud mother of a 15-year-old daughter who is bright, funny and an aspiring actress. She is a local freelance writer, enjoys creative environments and colorful personalities. Nyketa aspires to tour the world, write books, eat great food and inspire children to be their best selves!