If you’re looking for a beautiful natural escape for the family, you’ll find several options around the West Chester area. This part of Ohio is home to a wealth of parks, both large and small. You can retreat to charming grassy areas for a peaceful picnic lunch, take an exciting hike through wild natural landscapes, or take off for an afternoon of fishing at one of the local ponds. The options are seemingly endless in this area. Read on to see our top picks for outdoor fun and entertainment in and around West Chester, Ohio.
Voice of America MetroPark
7850 VOA Park Drive, West Chester, OH 45069
The Voice of America MetroPark covers 435 acres and includes a 35-acre stocked lake, a large natural meadow, and 9 miles of natural and paved trails. On-site facilities include the Wiggly Field Dog Park, Chill Hill Sledding Hill, Voice of America Athletic Field Complex, and Ronald Reagan Lodge Banquet Facility. A cricket field is available at the Voice of America MetroPark as well.
Stretch out on the grass for a picnic when the weather is warm and let the little ones run off some energy. Areas near the Lodge offer WiFi, so you can even take your laptop along to combine work and recreation. The park is free to Butler County residents. Non-residents can visit for $5 daily or pay $10 for an annual pass.
Upper Mill Creek Conservation Corridor
Firebird Lane, West Chester, OH 45069
The Upper Mill Creek Conservation Corridor features a 3-mile paved trail that offers some stunning sights. Ideal for an engaging walk, this stretch, known as the Port Union Canal Trail, passes the foundation of an ice house with former ice ponds, ruins of a canal aqueduct, and waste weir. Natural plant and animal life thrive in this passive wetland as well. The Corridor itself has been carefully designed to protect Mill Creek’s floodplain, reduce the risk of flooding, and improve water conditions.
8682 and 8630 Beckett Road, West Chester, OH 45069
Beckett Park’s 150 acres straddle Beckett Road, providing both an east and west park area to explore. You’ll find two fishing ponds that are free to the public and naturally stocked for catch and release fishing. A boundless playground with a pioneer theme caters to children of all abilities. However, in the age of social distancing, the real highlight of this park is the natural playground on the west side of the park where children can climb and play on the natural features of the area’s terrain.
Beckett Park has both paved and natural walking trails for you to explore, so you can wander off for a stroll. A covered shelter provides the perfect place for a picnic and is available to rent for private events. A concrete water basin beside the park’s shelter and restrooms creates a peaceful ambiance. In winter, this basin becomes an ice skating rink for local thrill-seekers and aspiring figure skaters.
7211 and 7411 Barret Road, West Chester, OH 45069
Spanning 123 acres, Keehner Park is a picturesque gem that’s neatly nestled along Mill Creek’s east fork. The park has a series of easy walking trails branching off of the perimeter that connects to a single, longer trail, so you can take an easy out-and-back route or make a loop from one side of the park to the other. These wooded trails meander along the creek and provide a peaceful retreat.
There’s also a large bike trail that makes a long loop, doing a neat figure eight at one end. The park features pickleball courts, tennis courts, and basketball courts if your family wants to play a game. Several picnic shelters are available to rent if you’d like to host an outdoor event where you can easily social distance. Two playgrounds are on-site as well.
The Square @ Union Centre
9285 Centre Pointe Drive, West Chester, OH 45069
The Square @ Union Centre is an urban escape that offers grassy lawns, an open plaza, and a large pond. Situated in front of the First Financial Bank clock tower, The Square has historically played host to a variety of outdoor concerts. Though live events have been canceled for the time being, The Square still provides a charming outdoor spot to enjoy a coffee or picnic lunch when you want to get out of the house during the day.
11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, OH 45241
You’ll find there are plenty of highlights to enjoy across the 730 acres of Sharon Woods located in nearby Sharonville. The park features a 2.6-mile paved trail that’s ideal for a stroller walk circling the sparkling lake. You can also escape into the woods on the 0.7-mile Gorge Nature Trail or get a workout in on the 1-mile fitness trail. Shelters and picnic areas throughout the property are available to rent for special events.
Sharon Woods also has a visitor center with live nature displays, special exhibits, and a gift shop. A two-story playground inside the center facilitates active play for children aged 2 to 12. These facilities are closed for COVID-19, so you should check the current status before planning a visit to the park’s indoor amenities.
Wetlands Park West
6906 Van Gorden Road, Liberty Township, OH 45011
Wetlands Park East
6950 LeSourdsville West Chester Road, Liberty Township, OH 45011
The Wetlands Park is comprised of two sections that, together, cover 42 acres along State Route 129. You’ll find both paved and chipped trails, both of which provide an excellent place for biking, jogging, and walking. There are four ponds on the property open to those with a State of Ohio Fishing License. This landscape provides an ideal natural habitat for frogs, birds, and fish.
Did we include your favorite parks on the list? If we missed a hot spot for outdoor fun, let us know! For experienced local childcare in the West Chester area, reach out to our team at Crème de la Crème of West Chester Township, OH. We provide preschool, after school care, and child care.