Need an excuse to discover another part of town?
The west side of Cincinnati has a lot to offer from beautiful parks, downtown shops, and great restaurants to discover.
I’m sharing more about our day trip adventures in Harrison, Ohio.
This article is written in partnership with Cincinnati Experience.
Enjoy the Outdoors at Miami Whitewater Forest
9001 Mt. Hope Road, Harrison, OH
There is so much to do at Miami Whitewater Forest for all ages!
There is plenty of room to spread out and choose your own outdoor adventure during your visit.
Miami Whitewater Forest is a 4670 acre park that has the following features:
- Paved trail 7.8 miles
- 1.4-mile fitness trail
- 1.7-mile Badlands trail
- 0.8-mile Oakleaf
- 0.6-mile Tallgrass Prairie trail
- Visitor Center with nature displays and gift shop
- 2.1-mile Timberlakes nature trails
- Two Horseback riding trails
- 18 hole golf course
- Miami Whitewater Forest Soccer Complex
- 9-hole disc golf course
- 46 site campground
- Snack Bar
- Picnic areas
- 11-acre dog park with playfields, an all-season area, and a dog agility course.
Get Moving on the Trails
I love riding my bike and Miami Whitewater Forest has great bike trails. We brought our e-bikes and enjoyed the scenic Shaker Trace Trail.
You could also walk the outer loop but be prepared that it could take a while. The approximate walking time is 2.5 hours.
The 7.8-mile bike loop takes you through prairies and wetlands.
The trail is relatively flat with a few areas that have a gradual incline.
Stop to Observe the Wildlife
Along the Shaker Trace Trail, there is a wildlife observation area that I would recommend stopping at. They do request that you walk, not ride the gravel path that leads to the observation area.
This platform is a great spot for birding. There are several viewing windows of various heights so that younger kids can easily observe too.
Bike Rentals at Miami Whitewater Forest
There is an assortment of options when it comes to bike rentals at Miami Whitewater Forest. You can try a traditional bike or mix it up with one of their unique bike rental options.
Bike Rentals at Miami Whitewater Forest:
- Pedal Carts Three-Wheel Carts
- Taga Stroller Bike
Enjoy Scenic Views of the Lake at Miami Whitewater Forest Harbor
There are several benches and chairs located around Miami Whitewater Forest Harbor. This is a popular area for park guests to relax and enjoy the scenic views along the water.
Relax on the Water
The harbor area overlooks a beautiful 85-acre lake and offers access to fishing and boating, a snack bar with an outdoor dining area, trail access, and more.
After giving our legs a workout on the bikes we opted to exercise our arms on the water. Actually, I opted to have my husband row while I watched, which was even better!
We observed wildlife on the water including a lot of turtle sunning on logs in the water.
Boat Rentals Available at Miami Whitewater Forest
If you don’t own the equipment it’s not a problem. There are a variety of rental options for all comfort levels.
You can choose to get active or let the boat do the work.
Miami White Forest offers the following rentals:
- Mini-Pontoon Boat
- 4-seat Pedal Boat
- Swan Pedal Boat
- Hydro Bike
- Stand-up Paddleboard
Go Fishing at Miami Whitewater Forest Harbor
You can opt to fish on the water or on the banks. If you forgot anything, there is fishing gear and bait available for purchase at the boathouse.
*An Ohio State Fishing License is required to fish at the park.
*Electric and gas motors up to four horsepower are permitted to be used with rental boats or private canoes and kayaks.
Frisbee Golf at Miami Whitewater Forest
If you prefer some friendly competition, play a round of disc golf on the 9-hole disc golf course.
There are frisbee discs available for purchase at the Visitor Center if you don’t have the equipment or want to upgrade your discs.
Explore the Shops in Downtown Harrison
In downtown Harrison, you’ll find charming shops, restaurants, and other small businesses.
Also, be on the lookout for the beautiful architecture and neon signs on repurposed buildings.
Coffee Stop at The Coffee Peddlar
112 Harrison Ave, Harrison, OH
If you need a pick-me-up in between shops, stop by The Coffee Peddlar.
You’ll find an assortment of coffee, tea, and pastries. There are lots of great unique latte flavors and you can opt to have your coffee hot, iced, or frozen.
Try a “New to You” Restaurant
Mix things up by visiting a “new to you” restaurant for the first time. You’ll find lots of great options near downtown Harrison.
Dining for 21 & Up at Heist + Co.
108 Harrison Ave, Harrison, OH
Our first visit to Heist + Co. will definitely not be our last!
Heist + Co. is a 21 and up establishment so leave the kids at home and enjoy a kid-free environment.
This restaurant inside of a former bank checks all of the boxes for a great experience.
Unique building story, cool decor, and vibe
I love repurposed buildings and it’s even better if I get to eat inside of one.
You’ll notice several nods to the building’s former life. The bank safe has been repurposed into an intimate seating area. I would recommend checking it out while you are there.
If you prefer outdoor dining, there is a spacious patio with plenty of seating.
Inside there is plenty of dining space on the lower level and at the bar with additional seating on the second level.
Incredible food with unique twists
I’m going to start by saying that I would EQUALLY recommend the three menu items we tried.
We decided to share everything so that we could try more…and we knew we could always box up the leftovers.
Summer Veggie Flatbread
This flatbread is made with garlic confit + mozzarella + caramelized goat cheese + shitakes + summer squash + red onions + artichokes + white balsamic + arugula.
It’s a unique combo but the flavors work together beautifully.
Made with Korean short rib + chili shrimp + citrus braised pork. These tacos are very popular for a good reason.
Loaded Fingerling Potatoes
Roasted Yukons + house sausage + cheese curds + crispy jalapeños + creamy green goddess sauce.
The menu noted that the chef recommended the potatoes “poutine style.” After tasting them, we couldn’t agree more!
Great craft cocktails
Squalay made with grapefruit + rose botanical vodka + orange liqueur + cranberry + lime + pale ale (pictured on the left)
Silent Alarm made with jalapeno-infused tequila + lime+ agave +orange liqueur (pictured on the right)
Friendly staff that truly make you feel authentically welcome, safe, and guide you through the menu
We seriously had the nicest bartender/server. Her recommendations were absolutely perfect.
Challenge Yourself at Sweet Escape Adventures
129 Harrison Ave, Harrison, Oh
Do you like a challenge?
The Sweet Escape offers both Escape Rooms and Axe Throwing for guests.
You need to make an appointment during the week and reservations are encouraged on the weekend to get your desired time of choice.
Ax throwing is for ages 8 and up and the 60-minute escape rooms are for ages 7 and up. There is a junior escape room for ages 4-12.
This can be a great family adventure, date night, or fun adventure with friends. Sweet Escape Adventures can also be booked for birthday parties and team building.