A hidden gem in Cincinnati is the Caldwell Nature Preserve. This beautiful 89-acre park is home to gorgeous hiking trails, Mill Creek, forested ravines, and plenty of wildlife. With a variety of ways to experience the great outdoors, it is easy to stop for a quick morning hike or make a day out of exploring the entire park.
Where is Caldwell Nature Preserve
The Caldwell Nature Preserve is centrally located in Cincinnati, Ohio, right outside of Finneytown in Carthage. The park is located in an industrial area and off of a fairly busy street. However, once you are in the forest, it feels your miles away from the city. There is a parking lot with plenty of parking spaces available. It is only a few minutes off I-75 when taking the Paddock Rd Exit.
Address: 430 West North Bend Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45216
The Hiking Trails At Caldwell Nature Preserve Are Gorgeous
The Caldwell Nature Preserve has excellent hiking for all ages and experience levels. A small gorge, a scenic creek, all within an old forest, creates beautiful hikes all year long. The trails are mostly looping with options to expand your hike. There are 3.5 miles of nature trails to discover. On average, an hour is an ideal time to explore the hiking options throughout the park entirely.
Three different trailheads can be accessed through the parking lot. The first is the meadow trail, which connects to more trails in the forest. The meadow trailhead can be found closest to the entrance near the sign, and it starts by taking guests through a meadow.
The second trailhead is found right near the gate that divides the parking lot from the nature center. This trail is well maintained by a scout group and starts as gravel then turns to dirt as your progress further into the gorge. The trail intersects with other trails, and one leads down to the creekbed. The creek is a great spot to explore, especially with kids. Moreover, throughout the park, the trails are well maintained; there are bridges, wooden steps, and trail markers.
The third trailhead is found behind the nature center. It is a level-paved trail that allows wheelchair users to venture into the wood and enjoy nature. Also, it is great for strollers. The paved trail will pass by an amphitheater, picnic tables and lead to an overlook. Near the overlook is another entrance leading down into the forested trails.
The trail markers are ok and can be slightly confusing. Since the park is smaller, it is easy to navigate by using your instinct and knowing that the trails do loop. Bring plenty of bug spray as the bugs tend to love the shadiness of the forest. Sunscreen is recommended, however, the trails are mostly shaded.
Caldwell Nature Preserve Map
Are you looking for more great hiking in Cincinnati? Head over to our article, 7 Nature Preserves That Have The Best Hiking Trails In Cincinnati.
Get Hands-On At The Caldwell Preserve Nature Center
Kids young and old enjoy learning more about the world around them. The Caldwell Nature Center gives visitors detailed information about the local wildlife, terrain, and plants found right in the preserve. Once inside the nature center guests will experience hands-on exhibits, educational displays, and Native American centered exhibits. Park rangers will host events, special seminars, and discussions for all age-groups. They also set up programs for groups, such as schools, home schools, and scouts. Ensure to check over at Cincy Parks for hours of operations.
Explore Mill Creek
Snaking its way through the Caldwell Nature Preserve is Mill Creek. Many of the hiking trails throughout the park lead to the creekbed and run alongside it. Grab those waterproof boots and hop in the creek to find fossils, clay, and other fun nature treasures. Creeking is always on our warm-weather bucket list. Therefore this makes Caldwell Preserve one of our favorite spots. Also, this is one creek that never seems to be teeming with visitors.
Caldwell Nature Preserve