Five regional parks, 70 neighborhood parks, and 34 nature preserves are overseen by the Cincinnati Park Board throughout the city and its surrounding region, including Eden Park, which is home to the nationally-recognized Playhouse in the Park theatrical organization, and the new award-winning Smale Riverfront Park.
Annwood Park is a delightful urban park in Cincinnati's East Walnut Hills neighborhood, originally donated to the City of Cincinnati in 1966 as a gift by Mrs. John Colville Taylor in memory of her husband, a regional Park Board Commissioner. The park, which is overseen today by the Cincinnati Park Board, is designated as a strictly sit-in park by Taylor, never to contain any recreational or playground facilities and never to be resold to private ownership. Park visitors can explore the park's green and grassy areas and observe its beautiful grotto waterfall feature, which was donated in memory of Park Board horticulturalist Geoff Harden. A memorial plaque honors area resident James Von Hamm Dale, who was killed in action in the Korean War.
Cincinnati, OH 45206, Phone: 513-357-2604
© Paul Lemke/stock.adobe.com
Ault Park is the fourth-largest park in Cincinnati, stretching more than 223 acres throughout the city's eastern Mount Lookout neighborhood. The park, which is named in honor of Cincinnati park developers Levi Addison and Ida May Ault, showcases beautiful views of the Little Miami River Valley from a scenic hilltop panorama in the neighborhood's northern area. Landmarks within the park include an Italian Renaissance-style pavilion that was constructed in 1930 and can be rented for public and private special events. A public garden installed at the park in 1980 is credited with beginning the nationwide trend of adopt-a-garden civic programs. Other park amenities include a soccer field, nature trails, a children's playground, and a variety of day-use picnic facilities. Each year, the park hosts the neighborhood's annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration, along with a nationally-recognized Concours d'Elegance car show.
5090 Observatory Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45208, Phone: 513-321-9876
3.Betman Nature Preserve
© Danny Hooks/stock.adobe.com
Betman Nature Preserve is a beautiful nature preserve area along Beech Lane, originally donated to the Cincinnati Park Board in 1977 in honor of Arthur M. Bettman, an area civic and business leader who was best known as the president of the Liberty Cherry Company. The ADA-accessible nature preserve strives to preserve the natural beauty of the city's Evanston and Hyde Park neighborhoods, stretching across several acres of native woodland areas and showcasing significant populations of flowers and shrubs. Visitors can also peruse the holdings of the Bettman Natural Resource Center, which serves as the home of the City of Cincinnati Parks system's library and archives and the headquarters for the system's nature education program. The park's library is open to the public by appointment, with regular staff hours offered throughout the afternoon hours on Mondays.
4 Beech Ln, Cincinnati, OH 45208, Phone: 513-321-6070
4.Buttercup Valley Preserve
© Robin T. Cowen/stock.adobe.com
Buttercup Valley Preserve is a gorgeous 89-acre nature preserve in Cincinnati's Northside district, connected to the nearby Parkers Woods preserve as part of a contiguous green space area accessible via connecting trails. The preserve protects a forested region that has been undeveloped since Ohio's pioneer days, with many trees throughout the area aged over 200 years old. It was originally established in 1973 as a gift from the Greater Cincinnati Tree Council, dedicated on Arbor Day of the following year. Further donations in 1974 expanded the preserve to its current size of 25.6 acres. In 1979, the park's Buttercup Valley Trail was designated as a United States National Recreation Trail. Attractions accessible via the park's trails include the Spring Grove Cemetery and the Flats meadow prairie habitat.
1558 Stanford Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45223, Phone: 513-352-4080
Eden Park is one of Cincinnati's most scenic overlook parks, spanning more than 186 acres throughout the city's Walnut Hills and Mount Adams neighborhoods. The park's lands were originally developed in 1869 as a vineyard known as the Garden of Eden, overseen by regional horticulturalist Nicholas Longworth. After the vineyard's acquisition by the City of Cincinnati, the park area was transformed into a gorgeous urban oasis designed by landscape architect Adolph Strauch. Today, visitors can enjoy beautiful overlook views of the Ohio River Valley or attend attractions such as the Cincinnati Art Museum. The park's nationally-recognized Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park theatrical venue presents a full season of outdoor productions. Other park attractions include the picturesque Bettman Fountain, the 1883 Elsinore Arch, and the lovely Hinkle Magnolia Garden.
950 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202, Phone: 513-352-4080
French Park is a delightful 275-acre Cincinnati city public park, located within Amberley Village on the former estate facility of Herbert Greer French. Following French's 1942 death, his red brick manor and its surrounding lands were donated to the City of Cincinnati for public park development, despite the estate's location outside of city boundaries. It is accessible via a steep incline and is home to several miles of hiking trails and a lovely creek which is accessible via a forested area. Park visitors can make use of its covered day-use picnic shelter, which offers barbecue grills and provides views of the nearby Cincinnati skyline. The park's French House manor can also be reserved for private special events, with garden spaces and outdoor terraces available for seasonal special event use.
3012 Section Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45237, Phone: 513-357-2604
Glenway Woods is a lovely 30-acre nature preserve in Cincinnati's Price Hill neighborhood, accessible via the terminus of Ross Avenue. The park's lands were preserved as a result of citizen activism protecting the area from urban development, spearheaded by Elder High School instructor Donald Patrick, who organized the Glenway Woods Project Committee to purchase 14 acres of the park's lands in 1975. The park was developed in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, the Price Hill Kiwanis, the South Fairmont Improvement Association, and the East Price Hill Improvement Association. Eight additional acres were added to the park in 1977 and donated to the Cincinnati Park Board. Today, the park is home to a variety of significant natural habitats, along with a hiking trail open to the public for nature exploration and leisurely strolling.
Cincinnati, OH 45205
8.Hyde Park Square
Hyde Park Square is the central urban square of Cincinnati's Hyde Park neighborhood, known as one of the city's oldest and trendiest retail and dining districts. The neighborhood, which was originally developed in 1896 as a nature-focused "cityburb" by a group of citizen activists, is home to more than 175 unique local boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment destinations, located less than five miles from Cincinnati's downtown core. It is anchored around the beautiful Hyde Park Square, which is located along Erie Avenue between Edwards and Michigan Streets. Landscaped lawns and gardens surround the historic Kilgour Fountain, which was originally donated to the City of Cincinnati in 1900 and fully restored to its original splendor in 2003. Visitors can sit on park benches and enjoy ice cream from nearby Graeter's Ice Cream, a regional French pot ice cream chain, or grab breakfast nearby at the popular diner The Echo. Each Sunday morning between May and October, the park hosts the Hyde Park Square Farmers' Market. Other annual special events include the October Hyde Park Art Show and the Hyde Park BLAST multigenerational racing event.
2700 Erie Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45208, Phone: 513-871-0324
9.Kennedy Heights Park
© Jenny Thompson/stock.adobe.com
Kennedy Heights Park is a 12.4-acre urban park located within Cincinnati's Kennedy Heights neighborhood, originally purchased by the city for the establishment of a public park facility in 1930. The park is home to a lovely landscape of mature trees and rolling hills, with a boardwalk traversing a preserved wetlands and a beech grove protecting native flora and fauna. An historic 1937 picnic shelter, designed by Carl Freund, stands atop an overlook hill and features a hipped roof, exposed rafters, and original ornamental iron handles. Visitors can make use of day-use picnic sites or explore the park's nature hiking trail. Other park amenities include a children's playground and a public-use soccer field.
6037 Kennedy Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45213, Phone: 513-792-2100
10.Mt. Airy Arboretum
Mt. Airy Arboretum is a magnificent 120-acre arboretum facility in Cincinnati's Mt. Airy Forest public park, open to the public daily free of admission charge. The arboretum and forest were originally founded in 1911 after the purchase of 168 acres of land by the Cincinnati Park Board. Today, the forest spans more than 1,469 acres, with 700 acres preserving reforested hardwood areas, 200 acres preserving reforested evergreen areas, and 269 acres protecting native woodlands. The arboretum facility showcases a gorgeous collection of more than 5,000 native and exotic trees, shrubs, and flowers, serving as an educational botanical facility displaying information about plant growth and hardiness. 1,600 varieties of plants are represented, including one of the American Midwest's most renowned dwarf conifer collections.
Cincinnati, OH 45223
Mt. Storm is a delightful 57-acre public park located within Cincinnati's Clifton neighborhood, set on a western sloping hill overlooking the Mill Creek Valley. The park preserves the former 19th-century estate of area entrepreneur Robert Bonner Bowler, a former mayor of Clifton. Though Bowler's Victorian-style homestead was razed in 1917, his Temple of Love gazebo and pavilion remains today at the park site, designed by Spring Grove Cemetery architect Adolph Strauch in 1850. The gorgeous gazebo and its surrounding gardens were reconstructed and restored in 1938 by the Clifton Garden Club. Today, park visitors can use the park's picnic shelter and children's playground or sled on its public sledding hill throughout the winter months during snowy conditions.
700 Lafayette Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223, Phone: 513-357-2604
12.Olden View Park
© Iliya Mitskavets/stock.adobe.com
Olden View Park is located atop the terminus of Cincinnati's historic Price Hill Incline, which was originally constructed in 1874 and operated daily until 1943. The incline, which was constructed by William Price, stretched 800 feet along the hill of the same name and rose to an elevation increase of 350 feet at its top. The public park was donated to the City of Cincinnati by Mr. and Mrs. William H. Whiting, the daughter and son-in-law of Cincinnati industrialist Harry L. Olden. It was dedicated and opened to the public in May of 1973. Park visitors can view scenic overlook vistas of the city's skyline or peruse bronze plaques that detail the history of the hill and its incline operations. Plaques are mounted on a granite block wall salvaged from nearby city streets that were slated for asphalt covering in the 1970s.
2610 Eighth St W, Cincinnati, OH 45204, Phone: 513-357-2618
13.Otto Armleder Memorial Park
Otto Armleder Memorial Park is one of Cincinnati's newest city parks, spanning 238 acres near the Little Miami Scenic River. The park is overseen by the Cincinnati Park Board, managed in cooperation with the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and the Great Parks of Hamilton County. A 10-acre dog park offers space for parkgoers to frolic with their four-legged friends, with separate spaces for small and large breed dogs and a canine shower facility. Hiking and biking trails provide river canoeing access, while recreational fields and meadows offer opportunities for sports and kite flying. Other park features include a children's playground, day-use picnic shelters, and a one-mile trail connector to the nearby Lunken Airfield Loop.
5057 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45227, Phone: 513-521-7275
14.Owl's Nest Park
Owl's Nest Park was originally developed on a 5.5-acre plot of land at the border of Cincinnati's Evanston and East Walnut Hills neighborhoods, donated to the city in 1905 by Charles and Edward Perkins in memory of their parents' homestead, known as "Owl's Nest." Throughout the 1920s, the site added an additional five acres, bringing its total park space up to 10.4 acres today. Though its estate house no longer stands, the Perkins homestead is commemorated with a plaque, with 16 brick columns preserved from the home's original fence foundation. Bronzed doors at the park's entrance also retain the home's original landscaping, which was copied from the wrought-iron fence located near the Charles River Bridge and Boston's Harvard University facility.
1984 Madison Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45231, Phone: 513-352-4080
Parkers Woods forms an 89-acre contiguous green space with nearby Buttercup Valley Nature Preserve, both located within Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood near Hamilton Avenue and Haight Street. The park's beginnings date back to 1911, when its first 27.5 acres of land were sold to the City of Cincinnati by namesake Alexander Langlands Parker. Additional land was added to the park in 1953, bringing it to its present-day acreage. Visitors can access the park via its main entrance at Bruce and Haight Avenues or use additional trailheads at Crawford Avenue. Children's playground equipment is offered at the park, which preserves many of the original trees contained on the Parkers' original 226-acre farm. Wildflowers line the park's beautiful open spaces and trails, which connect the park to the adjacent Buttercup Valley Nature Preserve.
Buttercup Valley, Cincinnati, OH 45223
16.Rapid Run Park
Rapid Run Park spans approximately 50 acres throughout Cincinnati's Price Hill neighborhood, originally coined as Lick Run Park in reference to the region's indigenous populations and the early European trade route Lick Run Valley, located at the site of the city's present-day Queen City Avenue. The park is anchored around a picturesque shallow lake, which makes a great spot for sailing toy boats throughout the warmer months. An historic picnic pavilion, constructed in 1941, was designed by Tietig and Lee and features an open arcade central area and lower wings structured in a U shape. Hiking paths traverse the park's hilly terrain, including paved walkways. Other park amenities include a children's playground, baseball diamonds, and day-use picnic sites.
4450 Rapid Run Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45205, Phone: 513-357-2604
17.Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman's Cove
© Paul Lemke/stock.adobe.com
Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman's Cove span a stretch of Cincinnati's downtown riverfront shoreline, best known as the site of the annual Bunbury Music Festival. The park, which is located on the site of Griffin Yeatman's former historic 1793 tavern, the city's first tavern. A large bronze statue at the park depicts Roman statesman Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, the city's namesake, who is often compared to George Washington and was chosen to represent the city for his ideals of civic virtue and patriotism. The park's Serpentine Wall, constructed in 1976 for the American Bicentennial, serves as a flood wall and showcases a series of steps descending to the riverfront. Each year, the park serves as a popular gathering spot for watching the city's Riverfest Labor Day festival.
705 E Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202, Phone: 513-357-2604
Sayler Park is the namesake park of Cincinnati's neighborhood of the same name, located along the west side of the Ohio River. The park and neighborhood are named in honor of early area settler and civic leader Nelson Sayler, stretching over two acres near the neighborhood's Monitor and Gracely Avenues. In 1911, the park was transferred to the care of the city after the annexation of the prior Village of Sayler Park as a city neighborhood. Following a severe 1974 tornado that caused significant damage to the park's trees and developed areas, the park was thoroughly renovated with a wide variety of new tree plantings and a number of new public amenities. Today, the park is home to lovely interior walkways, floral bed displays, benches, lighting features, and other amenities for visitors to stroll and relax.
6600 Gracely Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45233
19.Smale Riverfront Park
Smale Riverfront Park is one of Cincinnati's most-acclaimed downtown attractions, originally opened to the public along the city's beautiful Ohio River waterfront in 2012, with additional park features added in a second phase in 2015. The 45-acre park was developed by KZF and Sasaki Associates and is intended to connect the city's downtown district with other existing riverfront parks operated by the Cincinnati Park Board. It integrates a number of floodplain terraces for accommodating seasonal downtown riverfront flooding. Prominent landscape features at the park include the Duke Energy Garden, which offers shade pergolas and giant swings, and the P&G Vibrantscape Playspace, which is home to a giant foot piano and talking tube sculptures. Other attractions include the Fath and Main Street Fountains, which feature lighted water jet elements. The Schmidlapp Event Lawn and the Anderson Pavilion accommodate a variety of public special events at the park throughout the year.
166 W Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202, Phone: 513-352-6180
20.The Avon Woods Nature Center and Preserve
The Avon Woods Nature Center and Preserve is a lovely nature preserve and public park in Cincinnati's North Avondale neighborhood, located approximately four miles from the city's downtown district. The preserve is home to rolling hills, landscaped garden areas, and a meandering stream and valley area. A variety of nature trails traverse through the park, including the 0.7-mile moderately-easy Avon Woods Nature Trail, which serves as an excellent family-friendly opportunity for visitors to hike and wildlife watch. A nature center at the park is open to the public throughout the year, featuring educational natural programming for participants of all ages, including summer children's day camps.
4235 Paddock Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45229, Phone: 513-861-3435
21.The Frederick H. Alms Memorial Park
© science photo/stock.adobe.com
The Frederick H. Alms Memorial Park, commonly referred to as Alms Park, is a lovely 85-acre public park in Cincinnati's Mount Lookout and Columbia-Tusculum neighborhoods, owned and overseen by the Cincinnati Park Board. The park was originally donated to the City of Cincinnati by the widow of Frederick H. Alms in 1916, located on land that was originally owned by influential Cincinnati patriarch Nicholas Longworth. Original park landscaping was completed by Cleveland-based landscape architect Albert Davis Taylor. Today, the park is home to a beautiful Italian Renaissance-style centerpiece pavilion, which was designed in 1929 by architects Charles Wilkins Short, Jr. and Stanley Matthews. A bronze statue also showcases the embodiment of songwriter and "My Old Kentucky Home" author Stephen Foster, facing toward the city's southern border with Kentucky.
710 Tusculum Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45226, Phone: 513-357-2604
22.The James Magrish Riverlands Preserve
The James Magrish Riverlands Preserve protects a lovely natural river bottom habitat along Cincinnati's National Scenic Little Miami River, preserved through efforts by the Cincinnati Park Board, Little Miami Incorporated, and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. The park showcases a wide variety of environmental areas for water-adapted wildlife, ranging from long-legged wading birds such as great blue and green herons to wood ducks, willow flycatchers, and a variety of frog species. Fox, deer, muskrats, and beavers are also spotted frequently at the park by wildlife watchers. Park amenities were developed as a result of funds donated by Little Miami Incorporated supporter Edith Krohn Magrish in honor of her late husband James. Visitors can access the park's scenic hiking trails, view water panoramas from its river overlook, or use its canoe launch for paddling exploration of the surrounding waterway.
Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45226, Phone: 513-831-5552
23.The Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park
The Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park is one of Cincinnati's newest public park facilities, dedicated to the public in 2003. The park, which is located along the city's eastern Ohio River waterfront near its downtown district, is named in honor of the city's first African American mayor, who served from 1972 to 1976. It is located along a narrow green riverfront stretch and has won awards for its impressive sculpture and flora design, which is meant to mimic the pattern of a children's friendship bracelet. Flora elements also mimic the shape of five continents, serving as a tribute to the ideas of global unity and understanding. Two intertwining pathways traverse through landscaped gardens, accessible to walkers and cyclists.
1135 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45202, Phone: 513-352-6180
Washington Park spans six acres throughout Cincinnati's hip Over-the-Rhine district, located on the site of a former cemetery interring remains for regional Episcopal and Presbyterian church congregations throughout the 19th century. The park, which was acquired by the City of Cincinnati in 1863, served as the location for the 1888 Centennial Exposition of the Ohio Valley. Preserved exposition structures within the park include an old-fashioned bandstand, while other historic attractions include cannons preserved from the American Civil War. A half-acre children's playground features interactive elements, while the 3,000-square-foot Southwest Porch is home to a wide variety of giant lawn games available for play, including giant cornhole, chess, and Connect Four. During the summer months, parkgoers can cool off at the park's 7,000-square-foot interactive water park, which offers cascading water play areas and synchronized water jets.
1230 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202, Phone: 513-621-4400
24 Best Cincinnati Parks
- Annwood Park, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Ault Park, Photo: Paul Lemke/stock.adobe.com
- Betman Nature Preserve, Photo: Danny Hooks/stock.adobe.com
- Buttercup Valley Preserve, Photo: Robin T. Cowen/stock.adobe.com
- Eden Park, Photo: nat693/stock.adobe.com
- French Park, Photo: bouybin/stock.adobe.com
- Glenway Woods, Photo: rocketclips/stock.adobe.com
- Hyde Park Square, Photo: vasin/stock.adobe.com
- Kennedy Heights Park, Photo: Jenny Thompson/stock.adobe.com
- Mt. Airy Arboretum, Photo: puhimec/stock.adobe.com
- Mt. Storm, Photo: martahlushyk1/stock.adobe.com
- Olden View Park, Photo: Iliya Mitskavets/stock.adobe.com
- Otto Armleder Memorial Park, Photo: ablokhin/stock.adobe.com
- Owl's Nest Park, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Parkers Woods, Photo: DonLoucas/stock.adobe.com
- Rapid Run Park, Photo: lovelyday12/stock.adobe.com
- Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman's Cove, Photo: Paul Lemke/stock.adobe.com
- Sayler Park, Photo: schankz/stock.adobe.com
- Smale Riverfront Park, Photo: aceshot/stock.adobe.com
- The Avon Woods Nature Center and Preserve, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- The Frederick H. Alms Memorial Park, Photo: science photo/stock.adobe.com
- The James Magrish Riverlands Preserve, Photo: alexkich/stock.adobe.com
- The Theodore M. Berry International Friendship Park, Photo: Benjamin/stock.adobe.com
- Washington Park, Photo: Stephanie/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: aceshot/stock.adobe.com