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Marjorie P. Lee Senior Living Blog

A Guide to Senior Lifestyle in Tristate Greenspaces

Jun 14, 2014 10:24:00 AM

cincinnati parks logoThere are few things more enjoyable on a warm summer day than walking or picnicking in one of Cincinnati's gorgeous parks.

There are plenty of greenspaces in and around the Queen City, and though this list is by no means comprehensive, we’re listing for you our picks and rankings (out of 5 stars) in each of these categories: Beauty, Greenery, Accessibility, Safety and Activities.

Devou Park

  • Beauty: 4
  • Greenery: 4
  • Accessibility: 5
  • Safety: 5
  • Activities: 5
  • Overall: 4.6 out of 5

Across the river from downtown Cincinnati, overlooking Covington, is Devou Park — a sprawling 704-acre space with an 18-hole golf course, trails, ball fields, picnic shelters, a fishing lake and even a museum!

The Behringer-Crawford Museum on the grounds in the Devou family’s former 19th Century mansion is a dedicated to “the collection, presentation, study and enjoyment of [Northern Kentucky’s] natural, cultural, and visual and performing arts heritage.”

For Tri-Staters with a Covington Parks membership, Devou also features a pool and water park. In the summer, Devou’s amphitheater hosts the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Concert Series.

Eden Park

  • Beauty: 5
  • Greenery: 3
  • Accessibility: 4
  • Safety: 4
  • Activities: 5
  • Overall: 4.2 out of 5

Nestled atop Mt. Adams, Eden Park is a jewel among outdoor spaces. With extensive grounds and gorgeous overlooks of the Ohio River, Eden is the park that locals often take out-of-towners to see.

Though the hills may be a bit rough for seniors with limited mobility, there are plenty of flat spots with picnic tables, so a stroll need only be as strenuous as you want it to be.  The walkway circumscribing Mirror Lake, a large reflecting pool in the middle of the park, is particularly popular with older walkers.

And the grounds aren’t Eden’s only attraction.

Krohn Conservatory, which sits within the park’s grounds, hosts over 3,500 species of exotic and rare plants. It is just $4 for open admission on Tuesday-Sunday 10 am – 5 pm most weeks, but makes sure you stop in during the extended hours of the acclaimed Butterfly Show.

Adjacent to the park are the Cincinnati Art Museum and the restaurants of Mt. Adams Village, as well as the Tony Award-winning Playhouse in the Park, so a quick stroll can quickly turn into an all-day affair.

California Woods Nature Preserve

  • Beauty: 5
  • Greenery: 5
  • Accessibility: 4
  • Safety: 3
  • Activities: 2
  • Overall: 3.8 out of 5

East of Cincinnati, just off US 52, sits 113 acres of forested preserve home to 53 species of trees and a plethora of wildlife that can’t be seen many places within the city’s limits.

California Woods has many hiking trails and is located next to the Magrish Preserve. Many birders seek out the park to spot hard-to-find kingfishers and other ornithological specimens.

Although you won’t be able to take Fido along— dogs aren’t allowed in the park as they can disturb protected wildlife— there are sheltered picnic areas where you can stop for a rest and enjoy the scenery. For a beautiful stroll in the woods, California is hard to beat.

Ault Park

  • Beauty: 5
  • Greenery: 5
  • Accessibility: 2
  • Safety: 4
  • Activities: 3
  • Overall: 3.8 out of 5

Marjorie P. Lee residents can take in amazing views, stellar hiking trails, a beautiful Italian Renaissance central Pavilion and fantastic cascade fountain—practically in our own backyard.

Dedicated in 1930, Ault Park’s Pavilion was a public event center for weddings, galas and high-society events. By the 1970s, the park had fallen into disrepair and neglect; the Pavilion was at one point even condemned by the city and slated for demolition. But in the 1980s, Ault Park experienced a renaissance. A group of concerned citizens banded together to fund restorations; today, the fountain is again flowing and the Pavilion is open to the public and available for private events—including Cincinnati Parks’ largest public fireworks display on the Fourth of July.

The wooded hiking trails can be a challenge for persons with mobility issues, but there are plenty of sidewalks, green space and picnic areas for less active seniors to enjoy.

Little Miami State Park and Scenic Trail

  • Beauty: 5
  • Greenery: 5
  • Accessibility: 5
  • Safety: 2
  • Activities: 1
  • Overall: 3.6 out of 5

Known to locals as the Loveland Bike Trail, Little Miami State Park boasts the fourth longest multipurpose rails-to-trails project in the United States, running over 68 miles .

Running beside the Little Miami River, the trail was built along an abandoned rail right-of-way. The trail is well-paved and mostly flat, so walkers or joggers need not worry about strenuous climbs.

Safety is a concern only in that the distances between towns can stretch several miles, so it’s best to take your cell phone or walk and bike in groups. Otherwise, the Little Miami Scenic Trail can’t be surpassed for quiet exercise and closeness to nature.

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Bryan Reynolds

Written by: Bryan Reynolds

Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

Topics: activities for seniors, life after retirement, senior lifestyles, Senior Life, senior living, Cincinnati

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