best bike trails in cincinnati for kids

Best Bike Trails in Cincinnati, Ohio for Kids

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Bike Trails in Cincinnati for Kids

Along the peaceful Ohio River lies a midwestern hidden gem that will keep any biking family busy exploring for years! Family bike rides have long been a popular pastime, but in recent years the amount and accessibility of trails have rapidly grown and we are here today to introduce you to the best bike trails in Cincinnati for kids and the whole family.

There are a plethora of family bike trails in Ohio to discover these days. Thankfully, the Cincinnati metro area is no exception.

Cincinnati is one of those cities that feels like a big hometown- large enough with plenty to see, eat and do, while maintaining a friendly, small-town atmosphere. I enjoyed exploring this area when I lived here a few years ago and look forward to coming back to visit again soon.

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Reasons to see Bike Trails in Cincinnati for Kids

Because of an abundance of parks and green spaces and a pedestrian-friendly downtown riverfront, it is easy to find the perfect spot to hone those bike skills while enjoying precious family time. Both the downtown and quaint suburbs have ample opportunities to entice riders from toddlers to accomplished mountain bikers.

Because of its temperate climate and low snow amounts (14.9 inches on average yearly), you can go biking in Cincinnati almost year-round. The spring and fall are probably the best times as the temperatures are more moderate. Also, spring brings fresh green and cheerful flowers while in the fall families can enjoy the colorful landscape and golden light this time of year brings.

kids road biking

Another bonus for families- except Lunkin Airport Trail and Lebanon Bike Park has bike rentals and (most importantly!) restrooms nearby. Here are a few of the best bike paths in Cincinnati for your crew to explore:

Recommended Read: Family Bike Trails in Florida

Cincinnati Bike Trails for Kids

AreaName of TrailTypeLengthDifficulty
DowntownOhio River TrailPaved 1 MileEasy
Northside Sharon Wood Trails Paved 2.6 Mile Easy
Pioneer Park TrailPaved 1/2 MileEasy
Summit ParkPaved 1 MileEasy
EastsideLoveland TrailPaved 70 MilesEasy
Lunken airport/Otto Armleder ParkPaved5-7 Miles Easy-Moderate
Lebanon Bike Park Dirt/Gravel75-77 MilesEasy-Difficult
WestsideMiami White water ForestPaved1.4-7.8 MilesEasy-Moderate
SouthsideDevou ParkMountain Biking/paved8-10 MilesModerate

Downtown Cincinnati Bike Trails for Kids

Ohio River Trail Smale Riverfront Park to Sawyer Point Park

Type of Trail: Paved 

Length: ~ 1 mile

Difficulty: Easy

Biking in Cincinnati is easy to do and you can start right downtown along the riverfront as you cruise past many iconic landmarks and landscaped.  And as a bonus, there are playgrounds at either end. The trail continues beyond these two points, but this mile-long stretch will give young bike riders a taste of the area and allow for time to swing, slide, run through the splash pads at the parks and just enjoy the atmosphere, activity, and people filled part of the city. 

Northside Cincinnati Family-Friendly Bike Trails

Sharon Woods Trail*– 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, OH 45241

Type of Trail: Paved

Length: 2.6 miles                             

Difficulty: Easy

Easy trails near Cincinnati can be found in many areas, but there are some good ones found in the northern suburbs.

A perfect example is Sharon Woods, which has many activities in addition to biking that will entice youngsters and adults alike. Besides the flat, paved, 2.6-mile path around the beautiful lake, there is a nature center, trail, snack bar, indoor/outdoor playgrounds, water feature play area, and lake activities to keep everyone happy.

Recommended Read: Best Road Bikes for Kids

Pioneer Park Trail– 10505 Deerfield Road, Montgomery OH 45242

Type of Trail: Paved

Length: ½ mile

Difficulty: Easy

Another trail perfect for beginner riders is found in this peaceful Montgomery City park. A perfect escape from the crowds, park goers will find a babbling brook, a paved trail that winds around a fishing pond, along with wooded and prairie environments. There are also lovely bench swings on the dock to sit and relax in after the journey. 

Summit Park– 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash, OH 45242

Type of Trail: Paved

Length: Less than a mile

Difficulty: Easy

Just north of Cincinnati lies the community of Blue Ash, and it has many wonderful parks to choose from.  Summit park is no exception, especially if you are looking for beginner bike rides with kids. The many short, winding, paved paths create a “choose your own adventure” experience.

The path that circles the great lawn entices kids to race around the center for even more fun. One quick note of caution- park vehicles may be present around this area, but just keep an eye open for them. Afterward, there is a playground, cafe, and even an observation tower to survey the paths you just explored.

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Best Cincinnati Bike Trails on the Eastside

Loveland Trail– 211 Railroad Avenue, Loveland, OH 45140

Type of Trail: Paved

Length: 70 miles

Difficulty: Easy 

This popular trail, also called Little Miami Scenic Trail, goes along the Little Miami River through the towns of Loveland, Milford, and Lebanon. Because of this, there are plenty of options for a break and getting food and treats. A good place to start is downtown Loveland near the playground and then ride as far as your family likes.

Maps on the website direct you to family-friendly routes and fun places like playgrounds and ice cream shops. It can be crowded at times, so you will want to keep a close eye on little ones, but it’s popular for a reason!

Lunken Airport/Otto Armleder Park– 262 Wilmer Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45226

Type of Trail: Paved

Length: 5 miles (Lunken Airport) 1.9 miles (Otto Armleder), with a mile connector

Difficulty: Easy/ moderate 

With this trail, you get two bike experiences in one and also see some planes in action as well!

Lunken Airport is a long stretch that loops around the airport, while a mile-long connector path takes you to Otto Armleder Park for views and experiences, including a 1.9-mile loop trail, a playground, dog park, river overlook, and canoe access to the Little Miami River. The loop around Lunken Airport has little shade so remember to bring sunscreen!

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Lebanon Bike Park– 475 E. Turtlecreek Union Road, Lebanon, OH 45036

Type of Trail: Dirt and gravel

Length: .75 mile perimeter trail, 2 miles mountain bike trail, numerous skill routes

Difficulty: Easy to Difficult

This fairly new addition has it all including some great mountain bike trails for kids near Cincinnati. It almost needs its own category. Within its 95 acres, you will find two paved pump tracks, jump lines, a 75 gravel perimeter trail, a mountain bike skills area, and 2 miles of mountain biking trails, with more on the way.

All features are designed to include riders of all ages and abilities. Anyone interested in gaining and improving bike skills, while having a lot of fun, should find something here. They even included a cyclo-cross course where they host events for this sport.

If you have never heard of cyclocross, it’s a cross between road biking and steeplechase, where racers must sometimes dismount and haul their bikes over steep hills and obstacles before climbing back to continue short laps around a course that may contain grass, dirt, pavement and wooded trails.

While no eating facilities or restrooms are located in the park at this time, the small town of Lebanon is just down the road, with restaurants and shops a few minutes from leaving the park entrance.

Best Bike Trails in Cincinnati, for Kids on the Westside

Miami Whitewater Forest (Shaker Trace Trail) *– 9001 Mt Hope Road, Harrison, OH 45030

Type of Trail: Paved

Length: 1.4 mile inner loop, 7.8 mile outer loop

Difficulty: Easy/ Moderate (some gradual incline on inner loop)

Not all easy bike trails near Cincinnati are found on the north and east sides. Your family will find lots of activities including hiking, camping, boating, horseback riding, playgrounds, disc golf, and more in the largest of the Hamilton County Parks. Bikers get a couple of paths that meander through both prairies, wetlands, and small areas of woods and streams. Keep in mind that the prairie and meadow areas are fairly exposed to the sun, so make sure you have sunscreen.

Best Bike Trails in Cincinnati, for Kids on the Southside

Devou Park– 1201 Park Drive, Covington, Ky 41011

family mountain biking yellowstone

Type of Trail: Mountain biking, Paved.

Length: Eight miles of mountain biking routes from short to long, various paved paths

Difficulty: Moderate

For some terrific mountain bike trails for kids near Cincinnati, you should cross the Ohio River just over the border into Kentucky where you will find 700 acres of mountain biking bliss and paved paths to provide something for every member of the family. The trails are suited for beginners and the more experienced alike, with ride around for technical areas that might be too challenging for younger or less experienced riders.

There are also other fun diversions such as the Behringer-Crawford Museum, highlighting the area’s history and culture in a nineteenth-century mansion as well as an overlook with arguably the best view of downtown Cincinnati. Also, a playground and bar and grill where you can rest and refresh after all the excitement of the trails.  

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Hopefully, this gets you excited to try some of the best bike trails in Cincinnati that kids and parents will both enjoy. The city and its suburbs have many different environments to explore and there are plenty of easy bike trails near Cincinnati to begin a healthy biking hobby with your family that will likely continue for many years to come.

*Hamilton and Butler County parks require a day or yearly pass (ranging from $5-$16) to park. These can be purchased online or at the entrance. 

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