It was an unusually cool and windy day in Southern Ohio today. Perfect for a hike in Old Growth Woods.
Today we had it all. We’ve often visited one of Cincinnati’s most beautiful urban parks – Ault Park – for family picnics or weddings. It’s a gorgeous park with rolling hills, stunning views, and quite a history. It was once a vineyard, then a beautiful pavilion was built, then no one cared for it and it all fell apart. It has made quite a comeback. Just look at these two pictures for comparison, borrowed from their website.
Really, you can’t ask for more out of an urban park. You can bring your kids to one of the playgrounds, host a wedding or big fancy party, stroll through formal gardens, have a picnic, get your zen surrounded by Mother Nature, or even climb some trees.
What I didn’t know you could do until today was hike some trails.
You know how I mentioned stunning views? That’s because the park that I knew about is on top of a hill. Turns out you can hike down the side too.
Word of caution if you’re grabbing your shoes and heading out to Ault Park – the maps are a little wonky. Boy child (right) took a short cut straight down the side of the hill.
It’s a pretty challenging hike with its ups and downs, but since it rained yesterday it was a bit muddy too. We made our way to the edge of the park to an old train trestle. It’s hard to tell how far the tracks go because of the overgrowth, my brother tells me that they are part of the planned Wasson Way Project – a bike trail that will eventually cross the state of Ohio.
I think we’ve all seen enough movies to know that old train trestles are nothing but trouble. And once that thought gets in your mind, it’s hard to shake. That’s why this gal stayed behind to take pictures. Does this not scream “MIDWEST” to you?
Ok, maybe midwest and impending doom, but everyone made it back mostly unscathed.
After coming back up that big dang hill, we met up with my brother, walked the formal gardens, took in the scenery, and invented a new Olympic sport that involved racing across a large jungle gym. Let’s just say that had those 8 year olds not shown up, they would have all broken the coveted 6 second mark. Or my husband might have chipped a vertebrae.
We each had our own favorite parts, but with a park with so much to offer, everyone got a little something they liked. Except my daughter, who really wanted some Chipotle. Next week, we will strongly encourage her to bring a snack.
Oh, and this!