Explore Greater Cincinnati

As the temperatures cool, my desire to get out and explore goes up. Fall in the Tri-state is a great time to take a hike, plan a day trip or visit a historical site. Do you feel the same way? If so, then I’ve got some books for you! The library has a huge collection of Cincinnati-themed books. Here are some that will help you plan your next adventure.

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles by Tamara York

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles, Cincinnati: Including Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana by Tamara York

This guide is organized into four parts: Cincinnati hikes and regional hikes in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. With color photos and detailed maps, author Tamara York provides routes for 60 hikes, ranging from 1-6 miles in length. For every hike, York provides details about difficulty, terrain, hike times, accessibility and other important factors. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about local hiking options, but still found several new places I want to explore based on this book. In particular, I would recommend 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles if you or a companion have physical conditions that impact your ability to hike. This book provides enough detail to help you decide if a featured hike will fit your abilities.

Best Hikes Cincinnati by Johnny Molloy

Best Hikes Cincinnati: The Greatest Views, Wildlife, and Forest Strolls by Johnny Molloy

This book is organized in a similar fashion with hikes divided into four sections: Metro Cincinnati, Southwest Ohio, Southeast Indiana and Northern Kentucky. While this book is a little older, and I know of at least one partial trail closure that has occurred since its publication, it’s still worth a look for its color photographs and good descriptions of natural and historical features on each hike. Each trail entry ends with a turn-by-turn description of the route for easy navigation.

A Tour on the Underground Railroad Along the Ohio River by Nancy Stearns Theiss

A Tour on the Underground Railroad Along the Ohio River by Nancy Stearns Theiss

For a totally different approach to exploring our region, check out this book which tours readers west to east along the Ohio River, visiting Underground Railroad sites. This book is divided into five sections focusing on the following regions: (1) Owensboro and Brandenburg, Kentucky along with Evansville and Corydon, Indiana; (2) Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding areas; (3) Madison, Indiana and surrounding areas; (4) Cincinnati, Ohio and surrounding areas including Clermont County; and (5) Ripley, Ohio and surrounding areas. Each chapter begins with history of the region’s connections to the Underground Railroad, before listing visitor details for related sites. The reader will have to do some of their own legwork to map out a driving route, but this book does a good job of pointing you to historic places worthy of a visit.

Secret Cincinnati by Kathryn Witt

Secret Cincinnati: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure by Kathryn Witt

Check out this book if you want to explore Greater Cincinnati in a more lighthearted manner. You’ll have fun browsing through the 89 featured sites. Each entry includes a little history of the site, as well as basic information on how to visit. This would be a great resource for new residents who want a quick introduction to some of the things that make Cincinnati unique. A number of the sites will be familiar to long-time locals (Carew Tower Observation Deck, American Sign Museum, Behringer-Crawford Museum, Arnold’s Bar & Grill, etc.), but even a Cincinnati-lifer like myself discovered some new places to consider visiting (Play Library, Trolley Park, Henry Farny Park, Jane’s Saddlebag, etc.).

Walking Cincinnati by Danny Korman and Katie Meyer

Walking Cincinnati: 35 Walking Tours Exploring Historic Neighborhoods, Stunning Riverfront Quarters, and Hidden Treasures in the Queen City by Danny Korman and Katie Meyer

For an excellent guide to touring Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky neighborhoods by foot, you won’t go wrong with this book by Korman and Meyer. The authors provide 35 walking tours, with high quality route maps, clearly enumerated points of interest, difficulty levels and even parking and public transportation suggestions. Each walk gets a lengthy entry, providing walking directions, sharing bits of history, describing landmarks and recommending restaurants and shops to visit.

Walking the Steps of Cincinnati by Mary Anna DuSablon

Walking the Steps of Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City’s Scenic and Historic Secrets by Mary Anna DuSablon

Explore Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhoods while getting a great step-climbing workout, by following the 34 walks mapped out in Walking the Steps of Cincinnati. The entry for each hike includes interesting neighborhood history to inform your stroll. Detailed maps, parking suggestions and concise turn-by-turn directions make for routes that should be simple to follow. I’m familiar with some of the neighborhoods described and was able to easily envision the routes based on the authors’ directions.


Check out any of these books from Clermont County Public Library and go on your own local adventure. Where in Cincinnati do you like to go exploring?

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