Cincinnati Family Magazine

Your # 1 Hometown Family Resource

October 7, 2022

Winter Fun Guide

Bundle up, it’s time to get OUTDOORSY! Enjoy some winter fun with sports or explore nature activities this month.

DOWNHILL SKIING, BOARDING AND TUBING

 

The Beach Mountain

2590 Waterpark Dr., Mason

513-398-7946 or thebeachmountain.com

Snow tubing is the perfect winter activity for families with kids of all ages. Whether your tweens and teens want to slide down the 400-foot runs, or the tots want to sled and play in the kids’ area, the Beach Mountain has something for everyone, including viewing areas for parents, a warm-up pavilion, and concessions like hot chocolate and s’mores kits that you can make over the fire. Birthday parties and group sales are available; two-hour snow tubing passes for adults and kids over 42” are $18 on weekdays, call for weekend prices; kids under 42” who just want to play in the kids’ area are $3 or free with a tubing pass!

 

Perfect North Slopes

19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, IN

812-537-3754 or 513-381-7517

perfectnorth.com

Perfect North offers downhill skiing and snowboarding for the adventurous ones, plus snow tubing for kids of all ages (even grown-up kids). New equipment, additional parking, and an expanded and redesigned beginner area will make for a great visit for families and first-timers. Ski or snowboarding tickets with tubing included range from $28 – $35 for kids and $35 – $47 for adults; snow tubing only tickets are $20 – $25 for ages 12 and younger, and $25 – $30 general admission; lessons and equipment rental is extra.

 

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

 

All Great Parks of Hamilton County (513-521-PARK or http://greatparks.org/activities/winter-sports) are open to cross-country skiing, but no skiing on golf courses or conservation areas. Bring your own equipment.  A motor vehicle permit ($3 daily, $10 annual) is required to enter the parks.

 

OUTDOOR ICE SKATING

Fountain Square

myfountainsquare.com

Winter just doesn’t feel like winter without a spin on the U.S. Bank Ice Rink at Fountain Square! Rent a pair of skates or bring your own, enjoy concessions or one of the nearby restaurants and give a call if you’re interested in hosting a private party or a group. Admission is $6, plus $4 for skate rentals. Hours are 12 – 5 p.m. Monday – Thursday, and 12 – 9 p.m. Friday – Sunday (subject to change).

 

Blue flags at Cincinnati Parks (cincinnatiparks.com) indicate that ice is at least three inches thick and safe for skating. Call 513-352-4080 to determine skating conditions before visiting. The following Cincinnati Parks offer the best ice skating opportunities:

 

Mirror Lake and Twin Lakes in Eden Park

950 Eden Park Drive

Five minutes from downtown off Gilbert Avenue and Victory Parkway.

 

Rapid Run

4450 Rapid Run Road

On Rapid Run Parkway between Queen City Avenue and Glenway Avenue. Skaters can use the smaller, man-made lakes.

 

Great Parks of Hamilton County designate permitted skating areas in the following parks with barrels and signs. Rangers check the conditions daily. A motor vehicle permit ($3 daily, $10 annual) is required to enter the parks. Call 513-521-PARK (7275) or visit http://greatparks.org/activities/winter-sports to check on skating conditions before visiting:

 

Miami Whitewater Forest

9001 Mount Hope Road, Crosby Township

In addition to skating, check out the park’s hiking trails at the Hamilton County Park District’s largest park.

 

Mitchell Memorial Forest

5401 Mount Zion Road, Miami Township

After skating, enjoy a walk along Wood Duck Trail.

 

Sharon Woods

11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville

Don’t miss a spin on Sharon Woods Lake with 35 acres of ice skating fun. Or if it gets too cold outside, head indoors to the Adventure Station inside Sharon Centre.

 

Triple Creek

2700 Buell Road, Colerain Township

Offers a pond for skating, paved trail for walking and a playground on more than 170 acres.

 

Winton Woods

10245 Winton Road, Springfield Township

This park offers trails and a lake to skate on.

 

Woodland Mound

8250 Old Kellogg Road, Anderson Township

Enjoy nature trails and ice skating on the pond.

 

INDOOR ICE SKATING/ICE HOCKEY

Learn to Skate Cincinnati

513-759-4259 LearnToSkateCincinnati.com

Lessons taught at Northland Ice Center (10400 Reading Road).
Students follow a proven method of teaching that will improve their skills as figure skaters, hockey players or recreational skaters – kids have a chance to perform in ice shows, camps and competitions to gain experience.

 

Northern Kentucky Ice Center

2638 Anderson Road Crescent Springs, KY

859-344-1981 nkyicecenter.com

Home to the Northern Kentucky Skating Club (NKSC) and Northern Kentucky Youth Hockey Association (NKYHA), the ice center offers plenty of public skating sessions, just call for times. The studio rink offers time for beginning skaters and stick times for hockey players, as well as lessons for kids and adults and hockey for youth and adult teams. The larger rink is ideal for hockey games, figure skating and public ice skating sessions. Family rates and group rates available.

 

Queen City Figure Skating Club at Northland Ice Skating

10400 Reading Road, Evendale

513-563-0001 or queencityfsc.com or northlandicecenter.com

Group lessons for all skill levels and ages provided in a fun environment from a highly trained coaching staff. Email learntoskate@queencityfsc.com for more information. January is National Skating Month and Queen City Figure Skating Club has planned an Ice Party and Open House to celebrate all things ice-skating. Enjoy open ice-skating with a free lessons, door prizes, refreshments, info, and a skating exhibition. Free skate rental is also available. Open house takes place Jan. 31, 5 – 6:30 p.m.

 

Sports Plus Ohio

10765 Reading Road

513-769-1010 or sportsplusohio.com

Head to the web site for a daily listing of public skate and stick times. Sports Plus is also home to Figure Skating Club of Cincinnati, and the Cincinnati Skating School, as well as ice hockey practice and tournaments. Sports Plus is also home to plenty of other fun activities, like Zip City.

 

SLEDDING

 

Sledding is permitted in the following Great Parks of Hamilton County (greatparks.org/recreation/wintersports.html). Call 513-521-PARK (7275) to check on conditions before visiting. A motor vehicle permit ($3 daily, $10) is required to enter:

 

Embshoff Woods

4050 Paul Road, Delhi Township

The disc golf course becomes a fun sledding hill in the winter.

 

Miami Whitewater Forest

9001 Mount Hope Road, Crosby Township

Take a fun ride down the hill by harbor overlook and check out the beautiful lake in the winter.

 

Sharon Woods

11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville

There is a popular sledding hill located near Sharon Centre. Be sure to stop inside and visit Nature’s Niche Gifts & Books store.

 

Winton Woods

10245 Winton Road, Springfield Township

This park has a designated sledding location at Elm Ridge Overlook Shelter, which also has a nice view of Winton Lake.

 

Other popular sledding areas:

Devou Park

Kenton County 859-292-2151 covingtonky.com

The band shell area offers ample hills for sledding, but sled at your own risk.

 

Voice of America Park

7850 VOA Park Drive, West Chester
513-867-5835 yourmetroparks.net

VOA Park boasts a 65-foot hill that’s open for sledding from 8 a.m. – dark, when snowfall amounts permit. Contact the park office before visiting. A motor vehicle permit (visit site for rates) is required to enter the park.

ICE FISHING

Call Great Parks of Hamilton County at 513-521-PARK (7275) or visit http://greatparks.org/activities/winter-sports to check on conditions before fishing. Ice fishing is gauged upon the thickness of the ice, which rangers check daily. Bring your own equipment. A motor vehicle permit ($3 daily, $10 annual) is required to enter the park.

 

HIKING

 In Cincinnati Parks (513-352-4080 or cincinnatiparks.com)

 

Caldwell Nature Preserve

430 West North Bend Road

Over three miles of nature trails, including a paved path.

 

California Woods

5400 Kellogg Ave.

This nature preserve contains miles of hiking trails, and is adjacent to the Magrish Preserve, a designated Important Birding Area.

 

LaBoiteaux Woods

5400 Lanius Lane

Over two miles of hiking trails cross this nature preserve full of geological history.

 

Mt. Airy Forest and Arboretum

5083 Colerain Ave.

Cincinnati’s largest park offers miles of trails, as well as an arboretum.

 

In Great Parks of Hamilton County (513-521-7275 or http://greatparks.org/activities/winter-sports).  A valid Hamilton County Parks District motor vehicle permit ($3 daily, $10 annual) is required to enter all parks.

 

Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve

3455 Poole Road, Colerain Township

This is Hamilton County’s smallest park, but the Pin Oak Trail offers a short, paved nature trail that passes a prairie, a forest and a pond.

 

Fernbank Park

50 Thornton Ave., Cincinnati

Fernbank Park is a partnership between the Cincinnati Park Board and the Hamilton County Park District and offers a one-mile paved trail that winds through the park.

 

Glenwood Gardens

10623 Springfield Pike, Woodlawn

This park has everything for a winter walk, including a trail that winds through wetlands, prairies and meadows.

 

Miami Whitewater Forest

9001 Mount Hope Road

The Shaker Trace Trail has an inner loop with Parcours fitness stations and an extended outer loop through prairie and wetland.

 

Mitchell Memorial Forest

5401 Zion Road, Miami Township

This park has one of the first official mountain bike trails in Hamilton County, at 3.9 miles in length, it also makes for a great rustic hike through the woods. The Wood Duck Trail is one mile in length.

 

Sharon Woods

11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville

Sharon Woods offers a scenic, 2.5-mile, paved course around Sharon Woods Lake, a .7-mile gorge trail that runs past waterfalls and a one-mile Parcours Fitness Trail with 18 exercise stations.

 

Shawnee Lookout

2008 Lawrenceburg Road, Miami Township

This park offers three moderate nature trails, including Blue Jacket (1.3 miles), Little Turtle (2 miles) and Miami Fort (1.4 miles).

 

Winton Woods

10245 Winton Road, Springfield Township

Winton Woods offers two challenging nature trails, a 2.6-mile multi-purpose trail, and a horse trail, or stop by Parky’s Farm to visit the animals.

 

Withrow Nature Preserve

7075 Five Mile Road, Anderson Township

The Trout Lily trail is a 2-mile nature trail with a view over the Ohio River.

 

Woodland Mound

8250 Old Kellogg Road, Anderson Township

Woodland Mound offers two moderate nature trails, as well as the Seasongood Nature Center, which includes interactive displays, two outdoor observation decks, and a classroom for Naturalist programs.

 

In Boone County Parks (859-334-2283 or boonecountyky.org)

Boone Cliffs

4990 Middle Creek Road, Burlington

The unpaved trails are rated moderate to difficult and feature 20 to 40 foot cliff formations.

 

Central Park

9190 Camp Ernst Road, Union

Home to the Boone County Arboretum, this park offers paved walking and hiking trails.

 

Dinsmore Woods

5700 Burlington Pike, Burlington

Dinsmore Woods is over 100 acres of old growth forest with moderate to difficult hiking trails.

 

England/Idlewild Park

5550 Idlewild Road, Burlington

This park offers hiking trails along with a dog park for the four-legged members of your family.

 

Florence Nature Park

7200 Nature Park Dr., Florence

This small park features a short paved path and a gazebo, perfect for a quiet winter stroll.

 

Giles Conrad Park

7500 River Road, Hebron

A 1.3-mile paved and level trail connects riverbank overlooks to large green spaces. This park also offers fitness stations and a playground.

 

Gunpowder Creek Nature Park

6750 Sperti Lane, Burlington

Unpaved walking trails measure 1.25 miles long that travels an elevation of 620 to 830 feet.

 

Middle Creek Park

5501 Middlecreek Road, Burlington

Middle Creek offers over eight miles of unpaved walking and hiking trails that range from moderate to difficult. Trails are also open to horseback riding.

 

Waller-Stephenson Mill Park

2744 Verona Mudlick Road, Verona

For the general public, enjoy 2.37 miles of unpaved trails running through old forest growth at the back of this property that is a joint project between Boone County Parks and Walton-Verona Schools.

 

Walton Community Park

35 Old Stephenson-Mill Road, Walton

This 30-acre park features a gentle paved walking trail and two large playgrounds.

 

In Kenton County Parks (859-525-7529 or kentoncounty.org):

Lincoln Ridge Park

420 Independence Station Road, Independence

Offering unpaved hiking trails with playgrounds nearby.

 

Doe Run Lake

1501 Bullock Pen Road, Covington

Hike along the Doe Run Nature Trail and keep an eye out for animal dwellers.

 

Middleton-Mills Park

3415 Mills Road, Covington

Hiking trails and playgrounds make this park a great spot for winter hikers.

 

Pioneer Park

3951 Madison Pike, Covington

Pioneer Park offers paved walking and biking trails, along with the Kenton Paw Park for your furry friends.

 

In Butler County Parks (513-867-5835 or yourmetroparks.net).

A valid motor vehicle permit ($5 daily, $10 annual) is required to enter all parks.

Dudley Woods

5591 Hankins Road, Liberty Township

This park offers easy nature trails, making a winter hike with little ones a real treat.

 

Forest Run Wildlife Preserve

1810 New London Road, Hamilton

Offering an observation deck amongst the nature trails which run through the woods and meadows and along the wetlands.

 

Gilmore Ponds Interpretive Preserve

7950 Gilmore Road, Hamilton

This park is a good one for families interested in birding and spotting abundant wildlife.

 

Rentschler Forest Preserve

Miami-Erie Canal 5701 Reigart Road, Hamilton

Offers a scenic nature area, along with plenty of hiking trails and play areas.

 

Sebald Park

5580 Elk Creek Road, Middletown

Most of the park remains in a natural condition, but there are trails for winter hikes, as well as horse trails..

 

Voice of America Park

7850 VOA Park Drive, West Chester

A 2.5 paved scenic trail plus Wiggly Field Dog Park makes this park a perfect spot for all families.

 

In Clermont County (513-732-2977 or clermontparks.org):

Crooked Run Nature Preserve

521 County Park Road, Chilo

Crooked Run offers 77 acres, over a mile of hiking trails, and three wildlife viewing blinds.

 

Kelley Nature Preserve

297 Center St., Loveland

Featuring nearly two miles of hiking trails along the scenic Little Miami River, perfect for both hiking and winter bird watching.

 

Shor Park

4659 Tealtown Road, Batavia

The newest park Clermont County boasts 53 acres three walking trails on easy terrain.

 

Sycamore Park and Wilson Nature Preserve

4082 State Route 132, Batavia

Offering over four miles of hiking trails that traverse several large hills and offer great views of the East Fork of the Little Miami River.

 

Other Hiking Areas:

Cincinnati Nature Center Rowe Woods

4949 Tealtown Road, Milford 513-831-1711 cincynature.org

Comprising over 1,600 acres, CNC offers over 16 miles of award-winning trails that wind through Eastern deciduous forest, fields, streams and ponds. CNC is also home to educational programs for kids, including the Nature PlayScape and the Nature Preschool. When conditions are favorable in January, families are invited to play in the snow in the Nature PlayScape, whether they want to sled down the meadow hill or build a snowman. Check the Facebook page or call the Front Desk, or sign up to receive email updates at natureplayscapre@cincynature.org. Rowe Woods is open daily in January from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $8 adults, $3 ages 4 – 12, and $6 for seniors and active military.

 

 

 

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