Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cincinnati Nature Center

Cincinnati Nature Center

Cincinnati Nature Center

Website: http://www.cincynature.org
Address: 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, OH 45150
Phone: (513) 831.1711

Hours: January 8 a.m.–5 p.m., February 8 a.m.–6 p.m., March 8 a.m.–7:30 p.m., April 8 a.m.–8 p.m., May 8 a.m.–8:30 p.m., June & July 8 a.m.–9 p.m., August 8 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., September 8 a.m.–7:30 p.m., October 8 a.m.–6:30 p.m., November & December 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Info: Daily admission for nonmembers: Adults are $8; Children are $3 (ages 4-12); Active Military and Seniors 65+ $6 daily. kids 3 and under are free. Free admission for members daily.

Located east of Milford, Rowe Woods consists of 1,025-acres of fields, forest, ponds and streams. This original Cincinnati Nature Center site has 18 miles of hiking trails for visitors to explore and enjoy. Educational programs for people of all ages take place in this outdoor classroom, teaching the interdependence and diversity of the natural environment. Visitors can easily spend an hour, a day or all four seasons exploring what Rowe Woods has to offer.

The Cincinnati Nature Center is like going back in time to 1898. There are acres of forests with natural mulched trails weaved around the historic Krippendorf home, another log cabin with period artifacts, tadpole & lili-pad frog ponds, daffodiles, and a beautiful indoor nature center.  It is located east of Cincinnati, and the drive out there feels like a time capsal from big city to all natural times preserving the way it was… once upon a time.

Typical Day: The first time we went for a visit to the Cincinnati Nature Center they were re-paving the parking lot in front of the nature center. So, we parked in a stone/dirt parking area off to the side. (In hidsight, I would recommend to find your way to the Nature Center first thing. They have maps and a tree scavenger hunt listing all the numbered trees throughout the trails). We were a little lost to begin with, but we put on our exploring hats and found a good walking stick each and set out to enjoy the beech-maple and oak forests with some oak trees that are more than 200 years old.

We wanted to find the Nature Center, but instead we found an amazing old log cabin with furniture and bowls from the 1800′s and next to this log cabin was the tadpole pond. We walked along the deck over the water and the fish followed our every step. We were concentrating so much on the fish that we were completely startled when the biggest frog we had ever seen jumped over to the side banks of the pond from under the deck. It was much larger than both of my hands. Then the kids proceeded to point out every tadpole and frog they could find. We continued our walk around the picturesque pond when we met a naturalist. Not sure if she always roams the land looking for lost visitors or if she just loves her job, but I asked her where the nature center was, and she took it upon herself to escort us there.

We walked a path through land covered with grass taller than 7 feet, passed another pond with lili-pads and tiny green frogs literally jumping from pad to pad, and soon began to follow little sign posts with arrows pointing to the nature center. We passed a group of ladies painting landscapes andf lowers, and eventually made it there. The naturalist pointed out the many interactive items labeled outside the doors of the center including snack skin, hollow tree trunks, and fossils, and then, she politely went on her way.

The Nature Center had clean bathrooms (which is always a PLUS), snacks and other animals in fish tanks for the kids to “pet” with the supervision of a naturalist, a wooden play area with tons of books to read on nature, and puzzles to play with. There is also a glass wall where they have attached 5 or 6 binocular stations for bird watching, and a fireplace room with leather couches and high-top tables where we had our lunch. There is a nature store too with snacks and drinks, bird houses and books for sale, and much more. One of the employees also mentioned that they have weekly story-time and special activities for the kids.

On the way out of the nature center we grabbed a few trail maps and tree scavenger hunt maps (since all the different trees are numbered), bought some turtle food from the little vending machine, and began our second adventure to hike one of the trails. We picked the “easy” trail which circles around the large Powel Crowsley lake. Right out the doors is a great wooden playground with a little wooden house, a rope spider web, balancing beams, and more. Then we walked to the lake and followed the wooden deck around, feed tons of hungry turtles and fish, and continued our hike around up and down hills and over tiny bridges through thick forest. The kids loved to explore, loved to run, loved to get loud, and discover nature.

The Cincinnati Nature Center and Rowe Woods says on their website, “Our mission is to inspire passion for nature and promote environmentally responsible choices through experience, education, and stewardship to ensure a sustainable future. ” We truly found our passion for the great outdoors here.

Cincy Kids: APPROVE

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