A Guide to Kelley Nature Preserve

It’s no secret that Cincinnati is home to an incredible variety of parks, gardens, and nature preserves. One of our favorites on the east side of the city is Kelley Nature Preserve.

Located in Miamiville, the preserve spans 42 total acres and offers easy access to the Little Miami River for kayaking and canoeing, as well two miles of hiking trails.

The preserve itself was donated by Mrs. Virginia Kelley to the Clermont County Park District in honor of her late husband, Walter Kelley in 1986.

Kelley Nature Preserve

Upon entering the preserve, you’ll notice a large parking lot and a shelter area with some picnic tables.

From the parking lot, you can access hiking trails that wind through a wooded area and loop around to an open meadow area with plenty of native wildflowers.

Kelley Nature Preserve in Cincinnati, Ohio

The trails are well maintained and offer an easy hike.

Kelley Nature Preserve in Miamiville, Ohio

Kelley Nature Preserve

As one sign in the preserve points out, you can occasionally spot a bald eagle in the area during the winter, as they search for fish in the Little Miami River.

There are also a variety of other birds commonly found in the area, which makes it a good spot for birding watching.

Kelley Nature Preserve hiking trail

In a couple different places along the trail there are spots where you can observe the river as well.

Kelley Nature Preserve

The preserve also offers easy access to the Little Miami River for kayaking and canoeing, with a gravel path that leads directly from the parking lot into the river.

Canoe and kayak at Kelley Nature Preserve

Kayak put-in at Kelley Nature Preserve in Cincinnati, Ohio

This is a popular spot for locals to put in their watercrafts and head out for a day on the river.

Kelley Nature Preserve river access

Whether you’re interested in going for a short hike, doing some bird watching, or dropping in a kayak or canoe in the river, Kelley Nature Preserve offers the perfect spot for all of these activities.

Visit Kelley Nature Preserve

You can visit Kelley Nature Preserve at 297 OH-126, Loveland, OH 45140.

The preserve is open year-round each day of the week from dawn to dusk and is free to the public.

There is a parking lot with plenty of parking spots where you can easily access the trailhead for hiking along with the river for dropping in kayaks and canoes.

If you visit after a rainy day, be sure to wear appropriate shoes as the trails can get a bit muddy.

Looking for more great nature areas around Cincinnati? Check out our Complete Guide to Cincinnati’s Parks, Gardens, and Nature Centers.

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