Our Favorite Cincinnati Parks Along the Ohio River

The City of Cincinnati Parks have done an amazing job of turning our riverfront into a great place to play. Whether you want to take a long hike or simply hang out and watch the world go by on the river, you’ll find a spot that is perfect for you in one of our many riverfront parks.

Smale Riverfront Park and the Roebling Bridge in Cincinnati

The newest park of them all is Smale Riverfront Park. Located right on the Ohio River, this park can be found between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium. Smale Park includes numerous sprayground features, large swings that overlook the river, the new Carol Ann’s Carousel, a great playground, a “foot piano” right in the middle of an exercise area, rose and flower gardens, a lawn and stage, and beautiful water features. AND there’s still more to come!

History lovers will enjoy the tribute to the Black Brigade. And if you look on the south side of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center you’ll find a large piece of the Berlin Wall.

Smale Riverfront Park

There’s a paved path that goes all the way from Smale Park to the last park I’m going to mention – Theodore Berry International Friendship Park. So after you visit Smale Park, head east (face the river and you’re headed south if that helps) along the riverfront walkway and the next highlight you’ll find is Yeatman’s Cove.

Paddlewheel at Yeatman's Cove in Cincinnati Ohio

Yeatman’s Cove features the “public landing” and a tribute to Cincinnati’s steamboat history. Gaze up at the 30′ diameter and 60 ton exact replica of the paddlewheel from the American Queen and admire its beauty. Surrounding the paddlewheel you’ll find “smokestacks” that can be triggered to play music and blow off steam.

Armeleder Sprayground at Sawyer Point in Cincinnati Ohio

Just beyond that you’ll find Sawyer Point which has numerous outdoor play areas including outdoor tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a big playground, the Armeleder Memorial Sprayground (pictured above), and bike rentals. And be sure to stop for a bit to enjoy the Serpentine Wall.

Walking along the Ohio River at Sawyer Point in Cincinnati

Keep heading east and as you walk along the path beside the river, be sure to watch for historical markers. There’s some great information about Cincinnati’s history along the way.

And the last stop you’ll come to is Theodore Berry International Friendship Park. Enjoy walking through this park along two intertwined walkways. As you pass through the park you’ll notice the park is broken up into gardens from five continents. This park is one of my favorites due to the plantings and the sculptures along the way.

Theodore Berry International Friendship Park in Cincinnati Ohio

And to help you prepare, these parks are all along the river and in a line. You will walk back the same way you came in for your return.

Don’t feel like walking it? There are bike rental shops at both Smale Park and Sawyer Point (see link below).

Bike at Sawyer Point in Cincinnati Ohio

You can find more information about the City of Cincinnati Riverfront Parks here

3 Comments

  • Don’t forget those Cincinnati Parks outside the main riverfront. For instance, we love Fernbank Park in Sayler Park on the west side. Yes, Sayler Park is a part of the city. This little park has a lovely walking area along the river where we watch the barges pass by, plus a trail in the woods and a great playground as well as lots of picnic areas. It’s quiet and clean. In cooperation with the Hamilton County Parks. Come and sit awhile

  • We frequently (and I do mean frequently) walk or ride between Friendship Park and Smale Park. We usually park in Friendship Park walk to the end, turn around walking through Sawyer Point and then through Smale Park (so fun watching it’s progression) -eat some place around the stadiums (usually Crave) then walk back-sometimes crossing over the PP bridge into Newtown. We LOVE it! Best walking path ever!

    • We’re planning a trip to Cincinnati in June. There will be 10 of us. Is there a website that helps navigate the parks and walking trails?

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