Nature Centers & Preserves
See What Our Nature Centers Have to Offer
Cincinnati Parks offers programming and education for all ages at its five nature centers located around the city. Krohn Conservatory, our beautiful showcase of a greenhouse in Eden Park, also features special programs for the general public and for schools. Our archives and library are located at the Bettman Natural Resource Center. Reserve a Nature Center! See below for more information regarding special features and programming at all of these unique facilities:
Avon Woods Nature Center 4235 Paddock Road
Ph: (513) 861-3435
The Avon Woods Natural Area/Preserve is located only four miles from downtown Cincinnati. It features rolling hills, hiking trails, a stream-cut valley and community gardens. The trails are easy to locate and rated as moderate hiking. Avon Woods' programs serve participants citywide and are designed for preschool age through senior citizens.
Caldwell Nature Center 430 W. North Bend Road
Ph: (513) 761-4313
These parklands have a long history, going back to Cincinnati's earliest days. Today Caldwell has approximately 3.5 miles of nature trails and a variety of wildlife (including a flying squirrel population that can be spotted gliding among the treetops in the evenings) and wildflowers. Near the Nature Center is an amphitheater and an Access Trail so that even wheelchair users can venture into the woods. A deck along the Access Trail overlooks the ravine and creek, providing a lovely view in all seasons.
California Woods Nature Center 5400 Kellogg Ave.
Ph: (513) 231-8678
This park is set on 113 acres of pristine forest that includes 53 tree species as well as dozens of plant and flower species; Lick Run Creek runs through this nature preserve, and is home to wildlife that is a treat to see, such as kingfishers or snapping turtles. On one of California's hiking trails, look for pileated woodpeckers and even great horned owls at home in among the tall sycamores. There's also a butterfly and hummingbird garden located directly in front of the nature center.
Trailside Nature Center Burnet Woods
Ph: (513) 751-3679
The Trailside Nature Center is located in Burnet Woods Park, adjoining the University of Cincinnati and one of Cincinnati's oldest parks. It includes a children's museum, a handicap-access meeting room for nature education programs, and a fishing lake created in 1875. While you're at Burnet Woods, check out the schedule for the newly reopened Wolff Planetarium, and the H. H. Richardson Monument, an 84-ton sculpture of pink granite arranged in Stonehenge fashion.
LaBoiteaux Woods Nature Center 5400 Lanius Ln.
Ph: (513) 542-2909
LaBoiteaux offers harried city-dwellers a true retreat into nature and local history. The hundreds of acres that make up LaBoiteaux Woods are home to deer, red and gray fox, mink, hawks, owls and turtles, and those woods are accessible via four miles of hiking trails. A rustic nature center houses nature displays, animal mounts, live animals, and a small nature library.
Krohn Conservatory on Eden Park Drive
Ph: (513) 421-5707
You'd have to travel a good distance from Cincinnati to visit a rainforest and a desert – or come to Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati Parks' historic, nationally recognized showcase of more than 3,500 plant species from around the world. Our "world" changes throughout the year with special exhibits and programs, but you can always visit the rainforest waterfall and exotic plants on permanent display in the Palm, Tropical, Desert and Orchid houses.
Bettman Natural Resource Center at 4 Beech Lane
Ph: (513) 321-6070
This is where Cincinnati Parks houses its rich collection of books and other materials regarding its history as well as nature education. Bettman also has a small nature preserve that is wheelchair accessible. The library and archives are open to the public by appointment; our volunteer staff is available on Mondays from Noon to 3pm. Please call 513.321.6070 for an appointment.
Buttercup Valley Preserve at 1558 Stanford Drive
The Board of Park Commissioners in 1973 received 21.21 acres of land at the east end of Stanford Drive and Northview Drive and a .63 acre tract at the corner of Craven Avenue and Fergus Street in the community of Northside for use as a nature preserve. The natural preserve, to be known as Buttercup Valley, was a gift from the Greater Cincinnati Tree Council, conservationists, thousands of school children, the Park Board, and others. Buttercup Valley was dedicated on Arbor Day, April 26, 1974, with many children from schools attending since they had participated in the collection of funds to acquire the land. Through a further donation of funds in 1974 by the Greater Cincinnati Tree Council and a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant from the Federal Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, additional acreage was purchased for a current total of 25.667 acres. These funds also provided for development of a hiking trail. The Buttercup Valley Trail was designated as a National Recreation Trail by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1979.
Fox Preserve 5801 McCray Court
Fox Preserve is a heavily wooded area located at the south end of McCray Court in College Hill in the vicinity of Bradford-Felter Tanglewood. Patricia Cass and Edward A. Fox gave 14.298 acres for the preserve in 1975. An additional gift by Mr. and Mrs. Fox in 1981 brings the total of the present acreage to 15.103.
Magrish Riverlands Preserve - 5000 Salem Road
The James Magrish Riverlands Preserve is a rich river bottom habitat situated along the National Scenic Little Miami River. The present tract exists as a result of the efforts of the city, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Little Miami Inc., and the Cincinnati Park Board. Substantial funds were donated by Edith Krohn Magrish, in memory of her husband, James, a strong supporter of Little Miami Incorporated, to make the beauty of the area more accessible to the visiting public. The occasional flooding of the preserve provides an environment suited to the needs of an interesting variety of water-adapted wildlife. Wood Duck, Blue-Winged Teal, Willow Flycatchers and various species of frogs, as well as longed-legged wading birds, like Great Blue and Green Herons reside here. Fox, deer and muskrat can often be seen, as can signs of Beaver activity. The riverside location of this preserve also offers ideal vantage points for viewing river wildlife like painted and snapping turtles, Kingfisher and Osprey. The park features hiking trails, a scenic river overlook and a canoe launch.
Rawson Woods Bird Preserve - 3701 Middleton Avenue
In 1923, Joseph Rawson, Frances Helen Rawson and the heirs of Edward Rawson "In order to preserve some of the woodland in Clifton in its present primitive state" donated to the City of Cincinnati for park purposes the first acreage of Rawson Woods Bird Preserve. An additional gift in 1928 brought the total acreage to 10.659. The area is kept in its natural state and is only open to the public through arrangements with Park Board naturalists. Rawson Woods Bird Preserve is located at Middleton and McAlpin Avenues. Rawson Woods, Mt. Storm Park and Edgewood Grove all border each other.