Nestled in the southeast pocket of Cincinnati, California Woods is a nature center that offers one of the best places in the city to completely immerse yourself in nature.
With over 113 acres of forest and wooded areas, the preserve is open year-round every day through the week from dawn to dusk and is completely free to visit.
The nature center offers a variety of year-round nature educational programs, a unique butterfly and hummingbird garden, and a nature center where park rangers are happy to answer any questions you might have about the preserve.
While these features are great, our favorite part about California Woods is the variety of hiking trails.
You only have to walk for a couple minutes on any of these trails to feel like you’ve entered a completely different universe. Best of all, because the woods are so dense it’s naturally an incredibly quiet and peaceful to walk.
In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place in the city to experience this type of quiet and solitude, which is one factor that makes the area so appealing to people.
Bonus: Check out this pdf from Cincinnati Parks that shows the trail map for California Woods.
There are around 4 miles of total trails, but you can go for as long of a hike as you want by taking different interweaving paths through the trails.
One of the first things you’ll notice as you begin your hike is the sheer diversity of scenery you’ll come across. The preserve is home to over 50 different species of trees and over 200 species of plants, which makes the hiking that much more scenic.
Most of the trails are well maintained with several wooden and stone steps built in to certain portions of the trail to make the hiking a bit easier.
Lick Run Creek also runs directly through the heart of the woods, which means it’s not uncommon to observe kingfishers, turtles, mallards, beavers, and plenty of fish swimming around.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to read a book, a peaceful forest area to go hiking in, or just a place to go and immerse yourself in nature, California Woods offers the perfect place to do all of these things.
Visit California Woods
You can visit California Woods at 5400 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45230 year-round during any day of the week from dawn to dusk.
Visit the Cincinnati Parks Website to keep up with announcements, upcoming events, and happenings at California Woods.
Looking for more great outdoor places to visit around Cincinnati? Be sure to check our our Complete Guide to Cincinnati Parks, Gardens, and Nature Centers.