Ault Park – What You Need to See and Do!

One of my favorite things about living in Cincinnati is our wide array of FABULOUS parks and places to play outdoors. And one of my favorites, of all those parks, is Ault Park.

The Ault Park Pavilion

Ault Park covers more than 223 acres and includes trails, lots of picnic areas, gardens, and play structures.  

The park was established in 1911 after Levi and Ida Ault gifted the land to the Cincinnati Park District. Over time, more land was acquired and many structures were added including the gorgeous pavilion (shown above, 1930) and the Heekin Overlook (more info below).

Looking up at the pavilion from the lawn

I would venture to say that I’m not the only person to call this park a favorite. It is an absolutely outdoor space – with tremendous stone buildings, massive staircases and a cascading water feature.  Just look at the beauty…

Looking over the great lawn from atop the pavilion

The star of the show here, at least in my opinion, is the pavilion (as seen in the photos above). The Pavilion provides gorgeous views of park, from the ground level or the top of the structure (climb the stairs which you’ll find on the sides).

Standing at the top of the Ault Park pavilion

What is there to do at Ault Park?

view from the top of the ault park pavilion

Enjoy a long walk around the park.

Take a stroll on the paved sidewalks that border the lawns. Or circle the pavilion on the park roadway and admire the architecture. This park provides miles of walking opportunity with the best of views.

Relaxation at Ault Park

Have a picnic at Ault Park!

The park has lots of space for picnicking under the shade of their gorgeous tree specimens.  Or perhaps you’d like to stretch out on one of the massive manicured lawns? They do also have numerous picnic tables around the grounds. You’re allowed to bring in food to the park but no alcohol.

Ault Park gardens sign

Stop and smell the roses.

You’ll find beautiful plantings surrounding the large manicured lawns. There’s something to admire here in all gardening seasons – from the Great Lawn Garden to the Adopt-a-Plot gardens (39 gardens maintained by volunteer gardeners). It’s a beautiful walk – don’t miss it!

A gazebo at the end of the garden section

Hike the Ault Park Trails!

You’ll find 9 trails around the park, ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty. Many of the trails are accessed from other trails, making your hike as short or as long as you’d like! View a map here.

the overlook at Ault Park
Heekin Overlook

Take in the view from the Heekin Overlook.

When you’re under the terrace you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of Lunken Airport and its landing strips and the Little Miami River Valley.  It’s an absolutely gorgeous view.

Spring is especially beautiful at Ault Park

Make plans and try to catch the beautiful magnolia, dogwoods, and cherry trees in bloom when spring hits.

Dogwood trees in bloom
Dogwood trees in bloom at Ault Park

The cherry trees (over 100 of them in the grove) bloom in the spring and they’re spectacular (typically in mid to late March or April, depending on the weather). As you enter the park you’ll see the cherry tree grove on the left, just before you hit the circle.

cherry trees in bloom
some of the younger cherry trees at Ault Park

My favorite has always been the magnolia trees. I make a point to go there every spring just to see these trees in bloom.

magnolias in bloom at Ault Park
magnolias in bloom

This park is beautiful, even in the dead of winter!

Winter at the park

When I visited (during a previous year’s snowfall), it was obvious that it’s a popular destination for sledding. The hill around the pavilion is a perfect spot for kids – a mild slope and a short hill.

What about bathrooms?

You’ll find bathrooms at the pavilion and close to the playground. Keep in mind that the park district closes some of the restrooms in the winter months (typically Oct. 15 – April 15).

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, you can bring your dogs (on a leash, of course). Be aware that you can’t take pets into the garden area or the great lawn areas. Those areas are clearly marked with signage.

Ault Park is located at 5090 Observatory Circle {website}
This park is free to enjoy (no park sticker required)

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About the Author
Bridgett Raffenberg
My name is Bridgett Raffenberg and I am the creator of 365Cincinnati. I've been uncovering and sharing all of the best things to do in Cincinnati since 2010. I enjoy exploring new spots, discovering local events, and meeting the people who call Cincinnati home!

9 thoughts on “Ault Park – What You Need to See and Do!”

  1. I believe you can always go to the top of the Pavilion as long as there isn’t an event going on. We just got married at Ault Park! It was beautiful!

  2. I live in the Fl. keys, Cinny was my hometown,You able to walk to top on right looking at yard.I loved the top are,whole different view. Nancy

  3. Just visited Ault Park today it was absolutely gorgeous! Plus my husband and I were blessed with seeing a couple get engaged there today ! It was a moment I will never forget!

  4. I love the beauty and immense detail of Ault Park. I go all the time at different times of the day. Each time period brings its own unique show. In the morning when the sun says hello, in the afternoon comes a gentle breeze, and the evening show introducing the moon with its companions the stars. No matter what time I go to Ault Park, it is beautyful and full of joy that can ease any day.

  5. The Premier event that benefits the Arthritis Foundation is the Concours DeElegance. A classic car spectacular that eclipses Pebble Beach in one respect. No “just for show” cars here. You must be able to drive them. Usually held weekend near Father’s Day. While I loved your comments about the Milford “cruise in”, that I, too love, you MUST see the Concours.

  6. I was born in Mt. Lookout in upper Delta Ave. back in the forties. Ault Park was the greatest. We played football in the fifties there, hung out there in the sixties and danced at night when they had entertainment. I now live in Pinellas County in Florida and it’s great to see the park looking great.

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