Great Parks – Closer Than You Think!

When it comes to parks, I think we will all agree that Cincinnati ROCKS! Not only do we have a HUGE number of parks in Cincinnati, we have a great variety of parks as well.

This post is part of a sponsored partnership with Great Parks of Hamilton County. 

When it comes to parks, I think we will all agree that Cincinnati ROCKS! Not only do we have a HUGE number of parks in Cincinnati, we have a great variety of parks as well. Whether you’re looking to camp, to fish, to bike, to hike, or to just spend a day outside – you’re sure to have a park close to home!

Just take a look at the Google Map I’ve created below to show you just how the Great Parks of Hamilton County really are “closer than you think”!

Great Parks of Hamilton County map

For all you Cincinnati purists, I have divided this list of Great Parks up based on whether the park is on the west or the east side of I-75. ūüôā


West Side Great Parks:

Campbell Lakes Preserve (Harrison): Enjoy fishing at these four secluded lakes along the Miami Whitewater River. An Ohio fishing license is not required to fish at these four lakes. Bank fishing and licensed car top boats such as canoes, kayaks and jon boats are permitted; motors are not allowed. Bass and northern pike are catch and release only; bluegill and crappie are limited to 10 of each per day.

Embshoff Woods (Delhi): Enjoy a 1.0-mile Parcours fitness trail, 9-hole disc golf course, playground and reservable picnic shelters.

Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve (Colerain Twp.): Take a walk along the 0.6-mile accessible Pin Oak Trail featuring a butterfly and wildflower garden (bikes and skates not permitted). Find unique gifts at the large gift shop and attend a program, exhibit, or event at the two-story barn.

Fernbank Park: Located right along the Ohio River, this park offers a 1.2-mile paved trail, the 1.0-mile Sycamore nature trail, a playground, and bank fishing. Fernbank Park is a regional park made possible through a partnership between the Cincinnati Park Board and Great Parks of Hamilton County.

Glenwood Gardens (Woodlawn): One of my very favorite parks in town, this park has miles of walking trails (paved and gravel). Walk the 1 mile paved loop or take the extensions past a stream, ponds, and valleys. Bikes, scooters, and skates are prohibited. And if you have young ones, don’t miss The¬†Highfield Discovery Garden (within Glenwood Gardens, admission charged).

Miami Whitewater Forest (Crosby Twp.): This is the largest of the Great Parks of Hamilton County. The park has multiple trails (.6 miles up to 7.8 miles) as well as horseback trails. Bring a disk and play the 9-hole disc golf course. Your four-legged best friends will enjoy a trip to the 11-acre dog park with play fields, an all-season area, and a dog agility course.

Mitchell Memorial Forest (Miami Twp., near Cleves):¬†Mountian bike enthusiasts – this is your park! Ride (or walk) on 8 miles of trails. The park also has a “catch and release” fishing pond, a playground, and picnic areas. Pets are not permitted on the mountain bike trails.

Shawnee Lookout (North Bend):  Enjoy lots of great river views (both Ohio River and Great Miami) and hiking at Shawnee Lookout. Shawnee Lookout is well known for its historical Springhouse School and Log Cabin and Native American archaeological earthworks.

Triple Creek (Colerain Twp.): This park boasts multiple softball fields, a fishing pond, and a walking trail.

Winton Woods (Springfield Twp., south of Greenhills): Another favorite of mine, this park has miles of paved walking trails, a gorgeous lake (with lots of recreation possibilities), a campground, golf courses, Parky’s Farm, horseback riding, and MUCH more! Be sure to check out our post on Winton Woods and all this park has to offer.


East Side Great Parks:

Francis RecreAcres (Sharonville): Play on multiple soccer fields (available for lease), volleyball courts (with spring and summer leagues), and a paved walking trail. A universally accessible playground was installed by corporate volunteers in fall 2011 that features wide ramps, rubber safety surface and physical fitness elements.

Lake Isabella (Symmes Twp.): Whether you want to fish, enjoy a meal outdoors, or camp (new in 2018), Lake Isabella is your spot! This 28 acre pay lake is stocked weekly March through October. You can enjoy lots of activities here – check it out in our Lake Isabella post here.

Little Miami Golf Center (Newtown): Play a round or two of golf on this 9-hole par 3 course, practice on the grass or covered (and heated) driving range, or enjoy some miniature golf. You can play FootGolf or try your hand at Lawn Bowling here too!

Otto Armleder Memorial Park (close to Fairfax): This park has something for everyone. There’s a 10 acre dog park, lots of paved walking and biking trails, playgrounds, soccer fields, and access to the Little Miami River.¬†Armleder Park is a joint venture between the Cincinnati Park Board, Cincinnati Recreation Commission and Great Parks of Hamilton County. Great Parks maintains the dog park and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission manages the park‚Äôs soccer fields and pavilion.

Sharon Woods (Sharonville): Another favorite, this park has a large lake with a walking trail that circles it. Multiple playgrounds for the kids, lots of picnic areas, streams, a boathouse with rentals, and hiking trails – there’s something to do here for DAYS! There’s an indoor, two-story play area for the kids (ages 2-12, admission charged). See our post about Sharon Woods here.

Woodland Mound (near Anderson, along the Ohio River): Head east for this great park. The pavilion is home to Parky’s Wetland Adventure playground. Play the 18-hole disc golf course and launch the boat into the Ohio River at this park (daily and annual boat launch permits may be purchased at the visitor center.) Walk the trails, camp, picnic, and play on the playgrounds.

Withrow Nature Preserve (Anderson): This park is nestled in the trees and offers an outdoor wedding setting that accommodates up to 100 guests and a gazebo. Reservation includes climate controlled bride and groom changing rooms. This park also features a scenic 1.7-mile Trout Lily nature trail.

*Valid Motor Vehicle Permits are required for every vehicle entering a Great Park of Hamilton County. Otto Armleder Memorial Park & Recreation Complex and Fernbank Park are cooperative ventures with the City of Cincinnati; therefore, a Motor Vehicle Permit is not required. 

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