Located on the east side of Cincinnati along the Ohio River, Withrow Nature Preserve offers one of the most peaceful areas in the Queen City to enjoy some nature.
The preserve features 268 acres of forested area, a 1.6-mile nature trail, a small wedding venue area, and is home to a wide variety of wildlife including birds, foxes, deer, raccoons, opossums, and other animals.
Because of its location atop a hill on the outskirts of a mostly suburban area, the preserve offers one of the most quiet and peaceful outdoor areas to go for a leisurely stroll through the woods in all of Cincinnati.
A Brief History of the Preserve
The land that Withrow Nature Preserve currently resides on was once home to Andrew Withrow and his wife Adelaide Withrow.
They built a country home on the property in 1937 and used the surrounding 128 acres of forested hilltop to plant several gardens and nurture a wide variety of wildflowers that now offer beautiful springtime displays.
The couple had long planned for their home and the surrounding lands to become a nature preserve that the general public could enjoy.
Following Mr. Withrow’s untimely death in 1964, Mrs. Withrow and Mr. Eugene R. Farny married and lived happily on the land until 1980 when, according to the plans made years before, Mrs. Farney donated the property to the Hamilton County Park District.
The Park District purchased an adjoining 140 acre tract which included additional trails and forested areas.
Today the preserve features 268 acres of forested area, trails, and wildlife, which anyone and everyone is free to enjoy.
A Visual Guide to the Preserve
The crown jewel of Withrow Nature Preserve is the 1.75-mile Trout Lily Nature trail, which is actually composed of two hiking loops:
- The Hepatica Hill Loop: A .25-mile loop leading through a mature forest area, featuring a dense collection of spring wildflowers.
- The Old Farm Loop: A 1.75-mile loop that leads through a variety of habitats including open farm areas, densely wooded areas, and features an overlook spot that offers beautiful views of the Ohio River and the Kentucky hills in the distance.
The trail is a popular place for locals to go hiking, bird-watching, and dog-walking, but even on the busiest days it can feel like you’re alone in the forest because the trees are so dense and the trail is so winding.
The scenery on the trail can change quickly as well, as some parts are purely dirt trails while other parts are a bit more rocky.
Halfway through the trail there is a scenic overlook that features some nice views in the distance, along with two wooden benches where you can sit and enjoy the views.
While much of the trail goes through a forested area, there is a portion that loops through an open meadow. This offers a nice change of scenery and the opportunity to notice a deer or other small creatures along the edge of the preserve.
Whether you’re interested in taking a leisurely walk through a beautiful nature area, you’re looking to do some bird-watching, or you’re simply looking to get away from city life for a bit, Withrow Nature Preserve offers the perfect place to do all of these things.
Visit Withrow Nature Preserve
You can visit Withrow Nature Preserve at 7075 Five Mile Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45230. The preserve is open year-round from dawn to dusk.
Admission does require a Great Parks of Hamilton County motor vehicle permit. The price of the permit is $10 for a Hamilton County resident and $16 for a non-resident. Daily permits can be purchased for $5 each for Hamilton County residents and $8 for non-residents at park entrance booths.
Be sure to check out the Great Parks of Hamilton County Calendar of Events to stay up to date on any upcoming events taking place at Withrow Nature Preserve.
Looking for more outdoor areas around Cincinnati? Be sure to read our Complete Guide to Cincinnati Parks, Gardens, and Nature Centers.