Many nearby hiking trails will expose you to the plants, animals and the full natural world that surrounds the Greater Cincinnati area.

Greater Cincinnati is known for its urban atmosphere, which spans multiple booming cities. However, there is a second side to Cincinnati – the vast woods, parks and nature preserves that populate the area.

As a student at the University of Cincinnati (UC), many nearby hiking trails will expose you to the plants, animals and the natural world that surrounds our city. Here are some of the closest and best trails near UC’s Uptown campus:

Burnet Woods (0.5 miles from campus)

Burnet Woods, just a short walk from the north side of UC’s campus, has many features designed to enhance your time in nature: a fishing lake, disc golf course, picnic area and planetarium. Burnet also has two hiking trails that cover the entire park. It is also home to many animals – like barred owls, redback salamanders, red foxes and white-tailed deer – which are all viewable during a nature hike. Burnet is also a hotspot for those interested in birdwatching, with native birds populating the park during their migration.

3251 Brookline Ave.

Mount Airy (4 miles from campus)

Located northwest of UC, Mount Airy is the perfect trail to visit for a challenging hike through the wilderness. The park has one large loop that circles the entire area. Just a little over four miles long, walking the trail will likely take over an afternoon – or roughly two hours. Along the route, you will be able to stop and observe the various tree species that tower over the shaded paths.

5083 Colerain Ave.

Rowe Woods trails (15 miles from campus)

Rowe Woods, about a 30-minute drive from UC, is a part of the Cincinnati Nature Center and is home to 10 different trails. The pathway options vary in distance—ranging from 0.7 to 2.93 miles. The environments are also different, depending on your choice of trail, which includes streams, lookouts, dense forests and fields.

4949 Tealtown Rd. Milford.

Long Branch Farms & Trails (19 miles from campus)

The members-only Long Branch Farms & Trails, also a part of the Cincinnati Nature Center, is a 35-minute drive from UC’s campus. The park contains seven different nature trails, which range from 0.5 to 1.5 miles in distance. Long Branch contains many different ecosystems, but the streams and ponds make for a beautiful spot to sit and watch the water. The park is also friendly to hammocking and dog walking, which makes it perfect for a slow-paced trip through nature. Those interested in hiking at Long Branch can sign up for a membership to do so.

6926 Gaynor Rd. Goshen.

Correction: Jan. 3, 2023

The Long Branch Farms & Trails are available to members only, not free to the public.

Life & Arts Reporter

Luke Bisesi has been with The News Record since 2022 as Life and Arts reporter. He has written feature stories for UC's College of Criminal Justice, Education, Community Engagement, Human Services, and Information Technology.