Bass Island In Cincinnati
Explore Cincinnati,  Travel

Bass Island: Tips For Visiting This Cincinnati Hidden Gem

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A hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts in Cincinnati is Bass Island in Newtown. Bass Island is a large island in the Little Miami River, perfect for creek stomping, floating, rock throwing, and exploring.

Bass Island in Cincinnati
Bass Island in Cincinnati

Visitors can get to Bass Island by taking the Bass Island Trailhead right off Newtown Road. So grab your creek shoes, sunscreen, and net, and let’s explore this hidden gem.

How Do I Get To Bass Island

If you drive over the bridge on Newtown Road, you may look over to see people in the middle of the river on a rocky island! That, my friend, is Bass Island. Not to be confused with South Bass Island, the actual name of the isle Put-In-Bay up north in Lake Erie.

Where Do I Park?

Bass Island has its own designated parking lot. A Great Parks Motor Vehicle Permit is required since Great Parks owns the Bass Island Trailhead, or you can pay a daily rate.

A perfect creeking adventure is Bass Island in Newtown, Ohio
A perfect creeking adventure is Bass Island in Newtown, Ohio

Navigating The Bass Island Trailhead

The trailhead for Bass Island can be very confusing with multiple trails. If you are carrying creeking gear, the last thing you want to do is take the wrong path!

The trail that will take you to Bass Island is near the port-o-potty in the parking lot. There is another one with a chain across; that is not it. It is a fairly wide trail with gravel.

Bass Island Trailhead
Bass Island Trailhead

As you go down the trail, you will come to a crossroads. Take the path to the LEFT to get to the island. Follow the trail to the end, where it leads down a slope to the island.

The fork in the road where you should pick the trail on the LEFT to get to Bass Island!
The fork in the road where you should pick the trail on the LEFT to get to Bass Island!

Tip: Once you go left on the crossroads, there are many other sloppy areas to get to the riverbank, but they are steep. The best one to go down, especially with kids, is where the trail ends.

Slopes to get to the riverbed from the trail
Slopes to get to the riverbed from the trail

Things To Do At Bass Island

Bass Island Park can be an outdoor playground depending on how adventurous your crew is. Here are a few of our favorite things to do:

Go Creeking

Bass Island has tons of shallow areas and pools, making it a great place for creeking. If you haven’t already, check out our CREEK WEEK guide, it gives tons of great activities to do with your kids at the creek and other helpful resources.

Spend The Day At Bass Island
Spend The Day At Bass Island

Grab Your Creeking Supplies

WE ALWAYS BRING A GARBAGE BAG TO CLEAN UP THE CREEK/ RIVER WE VISIT. Not only is this being a decent human, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to teach children about pollution and how they can make a difference.

You will want to bring a few items for creek stomping.

  • Rainboots (These are my favorite kid’s yellow rain boots) or water shoes
  •  Bug spray
  •  Outdoor Kids Exploring Kit or I prefer to go to the dollar store to buy nets, shovels, magnifying glasses, and little clear containers.
  •  Change of clothing
  •  Towels
  •  Sun Screen
  •  Snacks or pack a picnic
  •  Hand Sanitizer
  •  Bottled Water
  •  Sun hat or sunglasses
  •  Lifevest or floaties
Creek Scavenger Hunt
Creek Scavenger Hunt

Snag your Creek Scavenger Hunt Below:

Float Down The River

Get a tube and float down the Little Miami River ending at Bass Island for a good time. Park at the Avoca Trailhead (7949 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45227) and start your float there. The float will be a short one but perfect for families. Once you go under the bridge, end your float on the island.

Tip: Make sure you and your family have life jackets, as the river has a current that can be strong when the river is high.

Kayak / Canoe

Bass Island makes the ideal stopping spot for any canoe or kayak trip! Mainly because it is within walking distance of 50 West Brewery Company and Burger Bar. Need a canoe or kayak? Consider getting one of the inflatable kayaks for easy transport.

Kayaking along the Little Miami River
Kayaking along the Little Miami River

You can check out this excellent list of Canoe Access Points To The Little Miami from Ohio Adventure below.

Cast A Line

Fishing is another popular activity. Try your luck to see if you can catch a largemouth bass or get out the nets to see what other creatures lay beneath the water. It is a great spot for kids to get out the fishing pole and try to catch a fish!

Little Miami River
Little Miami River

Pack A Picnic

While no picnic areas are along Bass Island Trail, many guests bring a blanket and spread out at the water’s edge. There is a small grassy area with a bench near the parking lot, but I found bringing my picnic gear to Bass Island more enjoyable.

Other Great Things To Do Near Bass Island

The Bass Island Trail is located right off the Little Miami Bike Trail, making it easy to hop on the trail to get to various nearby attractions.

Fifty West Brewery Company and Burger Bar

After a fun day on Bass Island, grab dinner or a beer at Fifty West Brewing Company! Stroll on the Little Miami Bike Trail to the entrance, a little past the Fleet Feet. Juicy burgers, crispy chicken tenders, and cold beer make a great end to an exciting day outdoors.

Planning Tip: Bring sand toys, as many of the tables are in the sand, which the kids love to play in!

Fifty West Brewing Company
Fifty West Brewing Company

Little Miami Golf Center

Right next to Bass Island is the Little Miami Golf Center offering a 9-hole, par 35 (2,950 yards) regulation course and a 9-hole, par 3 (1,015 yards) course. Many golfers enjoy the covered and heated year-round driving range.

Address: 3811 Newtown Road, Newtown, Ohio 45244

Little Miami Scenic Trail

The Little Miami Scenic Trail is the fourth longest paved trail in the United States, running 78.1 miles through five southwestern counties in the state of Ohio. Connecting bike trails include Creekside Trail, Xenia-Jamestown Connector, Ohio to Erie Trail, and Simon Kenton Trail.

Little Miami Scenic Trail near Loveland
Little Miami Scenic Trail near Loveland

Stroll along the scenic Little Miami River for a leisurely walk, or hop on your bike for an enjoyable, primarily shaded ride!

Many locals call the Little Miami Scenic Trail the Loveland Bike Trail, as a trail cuts through the heart of downtown Loveland. Rent bikes at the Loveland Bike Rental and then travel south to Bass Island.

Free parking, picnic shelters, restrooms, and easier access to coffee, ice cream shops, breweries, restaurants, and entertainment have made the stretch of the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail from Loveland to Newtown a popular biking destination.

Where Is Middle Bass Island?

Middle Bass Island is part of the Ohio Islands in Lake Erie. Guests must take ferry boats from Port Clinton to and from the different islands. I share all the tips for visiting Middle Bass Island after a recent girlfriend getaway trip!

Where Is Middle Bass Island
Middle Bass Island is quite different than Bass Island.

On the hunt for more great things to do in Cincinnati? Check out these related articles:

Three Reasons To Visit The Stanely- Rowe Arboretum 

Discover The Art Scene in Cincinnati

35 Fun Things To Do In Cincinnati With Kids 

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Tips on visiting Bass Island In Cincinnati Ohio