60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cincinnati: Including Clifton Gorge, Southeast Indiana, and Northern Kentucky

Overview

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cincinnati covers the best and oftentimes little-known hiking destinations within 60 miles of the greater Cincinnati area. The hikes were selected based on family friendliness, scenery, and history. Many of the hikes fall between 3 to 5 miles in length, providing parents with a relaxing and revitalizing hike that even little ones can enjoy. Author Tammy York hiked most of the trails with her two young daughters. 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cincinnati was created with other parents and ...

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Overview

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cincinnati covers the best and oftentimes little-known hiking destinations within 60 miles of the greater Cincinnati area. The hikes were selected based on family friendliness, scenery, and history. Many of the hikes fall between 3 to 5 miles in length, providing parents with a relaxing and revitalizing hike that even little ones can enjoy. Author Tammy York hiked most of the trails with her two young daughters. 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Cincinnati was created with other parents and newbie hikers in mind, yet it provides plenty of challenging hikes for skilled outdoor adventurers. Trails in this guide cover Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, and range from easy to difficult.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"This book is a great resource for a family that likes to explore the outdoors. It’s an easy to read guide, and the author has the book laid out in such a way that makes it easy to find whatever hike will suit your family the best." &#8212FamilyFriendlyCincinnati.com

“Tammy York teamed up with the series 60 Hike in 60 Miles to produce one of the area's most long awaited reads… a great buy for any local hiker.” – Rachel, Cincinnati Hiker blog

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897325103
  • Publisher: Menasha Ridge Press
  • Publication date: 6/10/2014
  • Series: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,129,414

Meet the Author

Tammy York grew up exploring the woods near her grandparent’s home outside of Connersville, IN. A seasoned naturalist with over 16 years of field experience, she lives in Cincinnati.

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Read an Excerpt

Ault Park: Ridge and Tree Trail

Key at-a-Glance Information
Length: 2.76 miles
Configuration: Two loops
Difficulty: Easy–moderate
Scenery: Woods
Exposure: Shaded
Traffic: Moderate–heavy
Trail surface: Gravel and soil
Hiking time: 2–2.5 hours
Driving distance: 20 minutes from downtown Cincinnati
Season: Year-round
Access: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Maps: USGS Cincinnati East; Cincinnati Parks Ault Park Map
Wheelchair accessible: No
Facilities: Picnic areas
For more information: Cincinnati Park’s visitor center, (513) 352-4080 or cincinnati-oh.gov/parks
Special comments: Ault Park offers a variety of events throughout the year. Visit the Web site to see what events you might like to attend

GPS Trailhead Coordinates (WGS84)

UTM Zone 16S
Easting 0723701.7
Northing 4334868.1

Latitude/Longitude
North 39° 08’ 3.41”
West 84° 24’ 42.75”

In Brief
Located on Cincinnati's lower east side, Ault Park offers a variety events and festivities throughout the year, including a Fourth of July celebration. Several hiking trails in this urban park make it easy to accidentally take a side trail.

Directions
From Interstate 71, take exit 6/Smith Road (OH 561)/Edwards Road exit. Go 0.1 mile and turn right on Edmundson Road, then after 0.2 miles turn right onto Edward Road. Drive 0.6 miles, then turn left on Erie Avenue. After 0.9 miles, turn right onto Delta Avenue. In 0.1 mile, turn left onto Observatory Avenue and follow it 0.6 miles to Ault Park.

Description
Ault Park, the fourth largest park in Cincinnati, was named after Ida May and Levi Addison Ault, who were active in the development of Cincinnati parks. In 1911, the Aults began giving land to Ault Park, donating a significant amount of the 223 acres that make up the park today. Observatory Road ends at Ault Park. Follow the curb around the observatory and park in the lot on the north side of the formal garden and pavilion area.

Look to your left for a small picnic area. The trail entrance is off to the right of the picnic area. The series of trails covered in this hike will take you through a good portion of the park’s 223 acres.

Once you enter the woods, the trail leads downhill. At 0.16 miles you’ll descend a series of large, stone steps that take you farther into the valley of sugar maple, American beech, white oaks, and Ohio buckeye trees. Within 0.2 miles, you will encounter a series of spur trails and be able to see several footbridges. Keep to your left and don’t leave the trail that you're on.

The trail intersects with the T Trail and a footbridge at 0.25 miles. Stay on the trail and take the stone steps down to a small bridge at 0.27 miles. Cross the bridgeand turn to your right to follow the gravel path through this lower area. There's a small creek to your right. This portion the trail is completely shaded by the dense canopy.

Cross another footbridge at 0.51 miles. You’ll come to another trail intersection at 0.56 miles; continue on the gravel and stone trail that you have been on.

At 0.69 miles, the trail joins with the Ridge Trail, which is marked with red paint. Take the Ridge Trail by heading to your left and uphill before you get to the railroad overpass.

The narrow, single-person path leads uphill. As you're walking up the ridge, be sure to look to your right and into the valley area. Multiple trails intersect with the trail that you're on, so be careful to stay on this main trail or you’ll wind up getting turned around.

The Ridge Trail intersects with the Orange Trail at 0.83 miles. At 1.1 miles, you'll encounter a tree that measures 17 feet in circumference. I won’t identify it for you, but if you're unable to figure it out, walk a little farther. A sign marker at 1.24 miles, in the open area near Observatory Road, will tell you.

Follow the trail around and look for the red post marking the Ridge Trail. Here, you’ll re-enter the forest. A bench at 1.33 miles provides a nice, shaded place to rest. The Ridge Trail and Valley Trail intersect at 1.36 miles. Stay on the trail to your left, then at 1.5 miles, take the steps down.

When you are in the valley again, follow the gravel path to your left, then turn right and take the footbridge over the creek. Turn left onto the T/Tree Trail at 1.69 miles. You'll immediately cross another footbridge. The trail meanders through the woods and crosses several footbridges. As you're walking along this lower portion of the trail in the springtime the edges of the trail are lined with trilliums and spring beauties. You’ll begin to head uphill and out of the valley at about 2.0 miles; at 2.12 miles, take the trail to your right and continue uphill.

You’ll notice a lot of trail erosion at about 2.3 miles, so watch your footing as you step over the top of the rocks and exposed roots. Soon (at 2.32 miles), you’ll come to a footbridge. Immediately after you cross, you’ll see an enormous red oak tree on the left side of the trail. Continue uphill and the trail will exit the woods at about 2.5 miles. Take the road to your right and walk along the road (watch for traffic). When the pavilion area sidewalk starts, cross the road to your left, and follow the sidewalk to the garden area entrance to the left.

To your left is the Ault Park Pavilion. This 1920s structure fell into disrepair with the passage of time, but the Ault Park Advisory Council and other civic groups carefully restored it to its previous grandeur. The Ohio Historical Society recognized the accomplishment in 1992.

The formal garden area in front of the pavilion is maintained by the Adopt-A-Plot volunteer gardening program. At the apex of the formal garden you’ll find a trellis area with benches. This is a very nice place to rest and watch for the Cooper’s hawks that use the open area of the formal garden for hunting small birds and mammals.

When you're done enjoying the unique plantings of the formal garden, head north and follow the sidewalk to your vehicle.

Nearby Activities
Want to walk some more? You’ll find several hikes nearby, including the hills of California Woods and Eden Park (home to the Cincinnati Art Museum and nationally recognized Krohn Conservatory). Shopping opportunities abound in the unique Hyde Park area.

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Table of Contents

Ohio
Adams Lake State Park and State Nature Preserve
Beaver Creek Wildlife Area
Buzzardroost Rock
Caesar Creek Gorge Nature Preserve
Caesar Creek State Park
Chaparral Prairie State Nature Preserve
Chilo Lock 34 Park and Crooked Run Nature Preserve
Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
Cox Arboretum
East Fork State Park
Germantown MetroPark
Governor Bebb Preserve
Hayes Arboretum
Hueston Woods State Park and Nature Preserve
John Bryan State Park
Miami of Ohio: Natural Areas
Spring Valley Wildlife Area
Stonelick State Park
Sugarcreek MetroPark
Wilderness Trail

Cincinnati Hikes near the 275 Loop
Ault Park
Caldwell Park
California Woods Nature Preserve
Cincinnati Nature Center
Eden Park
Gilmore Ponds Interpretive Preserve
Miami Whitewater Forest: Outer Loop
Mount Airy Forest: Diehl Ridge and Elm Ravine
Mount Airy Forest: Furnas, Quarry, and Red Oak
Sharon Woods
Shawnee Lookout
Spring Grove Cemetery
Withrow Nature Preserve
Winton Woods

Indiana
Clifty Falls State Park and Preserve
Hardy Lake State Recreation Area
John Sunman Nature Preserve
Pennywort Nature Preserve
Mary-Gray Bird Sanctuary
Mounds State Recreation Area
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge: Nature Center
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge: Richart
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge: River
Versailles State Park
Whitewater Gorge Trail
Whitewater State Park
Selmiers State Forest
Shrader-Weaver State Nature Preserve

Kentucky
Big Bone Lick State Park
Blue Lick State Park
Boone County Cliffs State Nature Preserve
Curtis Gates Lloyd Wildlife Management Unit
Dinsmore Homestead and State Nature Preserve
Fort Ancient State Historical Site
Kincaid State Park
Mullins Wildlife Management Area
Quiet Trails Nature Preserve

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