Arts & Entertainment News

Cincinnati area parks a growing community asset

Cincinnati is known for its great park system. The Cincinnati Park Board boasts 70 neighborhood parks, five regional parks and 34 nature preserves. This doesn’t include the additional 16,000-plus acres of parks (80+% are dedicated natural areas) in the Hamilton County system.

Over the years both systems have seen a strong usership of the parks, and have gradually expanded their respective systems in quantity and available uses. Hamilton County has begun implementing mountain bike trails in their parks. Cincinnati in the mean time is building what will become the crowning jewel (Central Riverfront Park) for the already impressive Cincinnati Park System.

The Central Riverfront Park will then be connected with the nearly 1.5 miles of existing riverfront parks that stretch from Downtown through the East End. These parks will then soon be connected into the Ohio River Bike Trail that will introduce a dedicated bike trail from Downtown all the way to the Little Miami Scenic Trail (aka Loveland Bike Trail).

Ohio River Trail Map (click for larger version) – Provided

In 2008 more Hamilton County residents used the county’s parks than in any other year in the past two decades. In the recent University of Cincinnati study, 96% of respondents said that they or a member of their family had visited a park in the Hamilton County Park District in the past year.

The two systems combined make for one of Cincinnati’s strongest assets. They are great resources for the region and offer a wide variety of outdoor activities for people and nature preserves for the environment. In that same survey the most popular Hamilton County park was Winton Woods.

  • You can help make the Ohio River Bike Trail reality by making a secure, tax-deductible donation to The Ohio River Way on their website. $12m of the $16m needed has been identified to bring the trail from Newtown to Lunken Airport. The remaining $4m is needed to complete the final leg from Lunken to Downtown.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.