Cincinnati, OH: Woodland Mound Park

Itching to get outside into nature after several days of rain and grey skies, Eric and I took a short drive to Woodland Mound Park for the first time to check out the trails and views. We picked this particular park because it is less than a 20 minute drive from our house, and it was already 5pm by the time we left. It gets dark a lot earlier in Cincinnati than it did in Bloomington, and with the cloudy sky in mid September, we basically had a 2 hour window to both drive and hike while it was still light.

This park is managed by Great Parks of Hamilton County, which maintains around 20 parks and other areas throughout the county. There is typically an entrance fee of $3 daily for residents or $10 pass for the year.

Although we came to hike, there is also an 18 hole disc golf course here, as well as an outdoor water playground (that was closed for the season) called Parky's Wetland Adventure. There is also a campground, but it is currently closed for renovations.

We did two hikes, both short but well maintained. The first was the Hedgeapple Trail, less than 0.6 miles according to my Fitbit with hike tracker on. It follows a trail through trees and goes by two ponds covered with what I'm pretty sure is duckweed, the same aquatic plant afflicting the lake at Sharon Woods.

The trail is not too steep and is relatively flat for all but the very beginning/end.

The trail is named for these osage-orange fruits, colloquially-named hedgeapples. They ripen in September and October and fall off the trees, so it's good to be careful while doing these trails in the fall. They are dense and heavier than they look.

We also passed by what I think is a pawpaw tree.

The second trail we did was the Parcours trail, which is basically a bunch of exercise equipment set up outside for anyone to use. This trail is nearly a mile round trip, though some of it is not accessible right now so our hike was closer to 0.7 mile.

Several wildflower/weeds were in bloom, adding a little spot of color to an otherwise dreary landscape.

There are a couple of overlooks with views of the Ohio River. One is at the Weston shelter, where these photos were taken from (turn right as soon as you enter the park, and it's the first shelter and parking area you see).

The other is on a shared use trail next to Parky's Wetland Adventure, where the photo below was taken.

My plan is to come back to these overlooks in a couple of weeks to see the colors changing. In the meantime, let me know of other hiking or outdoor recreation areas you like within 30 minutes or so of Cincinnati, especially if the trails are still okay after a lot of rain!

Quick Facts:
What: Woodland Mound Park, a nature park in Cincinnati, east of Coney Island
Parking: Included with admission cost
Admission Cost: $3 daily resident of Hamilton County or $10 yearly pass
Hours: Trails open dawn till dusk; the attractions have their own hours
Date I Visited: September 23, 2018
Cincinnati, OH: Woodland Mound Park Cincinnati, OH: Woodland Mound Park Reviewed by Maria on 3:57:00 PM Rating: 5

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