Bur Oak Trail
The Bur Oak Trail is named for one of the largest trees in southwestern Ohio, a centuries-old bur oak with a 17-foot circumference that stands near the trail. Along the trail to the east of the tree, park visitors maintain wooden teepees and other shelters constructed of fallen tree branches. Ault Park's best stand of spring wildflowers is located in the vicinity of the teepees. The western portion of the trail winds through more dense woods and can be muddy after heavy rains during the spring thaw.
Where the Ridge Trail parallels the Bur Oak Trail, the path follows the right-of-way of an early 19th century road that connected Cincinnati with Chillicothe. Modern-day hikers make creative use of the fallen timber on this trail to fashion natural architectural elements, including a peaceful labyrinth.
This trail follows the path of an early roadway between Observatory Avenue and Old Red Bank Road. Mature forest vegetation dominates the valley slope along the trail's north side while younger trees and shrubs cover the sewer right-of-way along the trail's south side. The abandoned railroad bridge spanning the trail carried trains running between Cincinnati and Portsmouth, a route established in 1878. This trail follows the eastern run of the Ault Park Brook, which was restored in 2012 in partnership with the Cincinnati Park Board, the Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Metropolitan Sewer District.
Kids Tree Trail
Experience a little adventure and imagination in this old growth forest once occupied by Native Americans. Do you know your trees? Learn about the 9 tree species on this trail which are marked by numbers on their trunks. Click here to view a slideshow about the trees. The trail distance is short and is a great activity for families to enjoy together. Check out the nice playground that's near the trail should you want to spend more time at the park.
This trail crosses and parallels Ault Park Brook, a stream populated by frogs, salamanders, crayfish, aquatic worms and insects. The rocks on the stream bottom consist primarily of pieces of limestone, the bedrock of the Cincinnati region. However, there are also some rounded, non-limestone rocks that a continental glacier carried into the area about 250,000 years ago.
There are 23 tree species along this trail which are all identified by labels posted on the tree trunks. Enter the trailhead at the service road north of the Pavilion, follow the green "T" on the direction posts along the trail. Click here to view a photo gallery about the tree species seen on the Tree Trail
IMPORTANT: Tree Trail has seasonal closures on its eastern portion for deer hunting. Signs alerting trail closures are posted by Cincinnati Parks.
Forest Loop Trail
This trail leads through woodland that is repeatedly studied by scientists as an excellent example of the Western Mesophytic (moist) Forest. It is one of the seven types of deciduous forest found in Eastern North America. The Forest Loop includes the longest of Ault Park's many trail bridges, almost all of which were constructed as projects by Eagle Scouts.
IMPORTANT: Forest Loop Trail has seasonal closures on its eastern portion for deer hunting. Signs alerting trail closures are posted by Cincinnati Parks.
This trail is name after Cliff Avenue, the road planned for this hillside before the property was purchased for Ault Park. The Cliff Trail includes two bridges that span steep, intermittent tributaries of Duck Creek. The wire fence along the middle portion of the trail marks Ault Park's boundary with the Columbia Parkway right-of-way. Be advised, the Cliff Trail is muddy during wet periods.
IMPORTANT: Cliff Trail has seasonal closures for deer hunting. Signs alerting trail closures are posted by Cincinnati Parks.
The north-south portion of the trail follows an abandoned section of Shattuc Avenue. The stone wall bordering this stretch of the trail is built of limestone blocks quarried from the Ault Park hillside. The steps on the steep, east-west portion of the Shattuc Trail likewise are constructed from limestone that was cut from the hillside. Look for marine fossils in the 450-million-year-old limestone blocks.
IMPORTANT: Shattuc Trail has seasonal closures for deer hunting. Signs alerting trail closures are posted by Cincinnati Parks.