Hidden Gems: Mt. Airy Forest

We’re in the throes of winter in Ohio, but outside remains the safest place to be. And if you’re over all of the usual outdoor suspects, you’re not alone.

If you’re looking for a (literal) breath of fresh air, look no further than Mt. Airy Forest.

At 1,500 acres, Mt. Airy Forest is Cincinnati’s largest metropolitan park. It was established in 1911 out of several unproductive farms in the area, and was the first municipal reforestation project in America.

At the center of Mt. Airy Forest is the eponymous treehouse. Mt. Airy Treehouse is 14 feet tall and connected to 12 trees within the forest. It has whimsical, fairy-tale features, such as a winding (and wheel-chair accessible) ramp; a swirly, shingled roof; and windows comprised of crooked tree branches. Dubbed “Everybody’s Treehouse,” Mt. Airy Treehouse is as charming, unique and accessible as the Queen City herself – and admission to this beloved attraction is always free.

On the other side of the forest, you’ll find Mt. Airy Arboretum, a 30-acre collection of trees, foliage and flowers that’s truly magnificent. While Mt. Airy Forest is generally known for its hiking trails and epic treehouse, the Arboretum is perhaps its greatest attribute. The Arboretum features the “best of the best” in terms of foliage and plant life, and reminds us just how glorious and lush Cincinnati truly is.

Mt. Airy Forest is a true Ohio treasure that’s definitely worth bundling up and exploring with your kids — cold and all.

5083 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati | cincinnatiparks.com/west/mt-airy-forest

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