Riverside Drive in Covington, Kentucky has one of the best-unobstructed views of the Cincinnati, Ohio Riverfront.
You can learn more about 7 significant people in the Cincinnati Metro’s history during a scenic self-guided Riverwalk Statue Tour.
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Riverwalk Statue Tour Map
You can view the 7 bronze life-like statues in any order but I would suggest starting at the J. A. Roebling Statue first. 6 of the 7 statues are within close proximity to Riverside Drive.
1. J.A. Roebling Statue
John A Roebling was the architect of the Roebling Suspension Bridge that spans between Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio.
Fun Fact: John Roebling also designed the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Roebling Bridge gets bragging rights as the first suspension bridge that John designed even though the Brooklyn Bridge is more well known.
The Roebling Bridge is my favorite bridge in Cincinnati. It’s also called the “Singing Bridge” because of the sound it makes when vehicles travel across it.
You can also walk across the bridge on the pedestrian walkways on both sides of the bridge into Smale Riverfront Park.
The inscription by the statue is the hardest to read of all of the markers on the Riverwalk Tour.
If you take pictures of it and zoom in you might find it a little easier to read.
Civil War Significance
Did you know that the largest gathering of Civil War troops that did not end in battle happened on the borders of Northern Kentucky and Ohio?
I’ll admit that I didn’t know that until I learned about it from the creator of a documentary on the subject.
You can learn more about “The Siege of Cincinnati” in the documentary by Paige Malott.
2. Simon Kenton Statue
Simon Kenton is known as a “leading figure in the opening of the West.”
He was admired for his leadership as a frontiersman and bravery in battles as solider in the Revolution, the Northwest Indian War, and the War of 1812.
Fun Fact: “Simon Kenton” is a local Northern Kentucky high school and “Kenton” County is named in Simon Kenton’s honor.
3. Captain Mary B. Greene Statue
Captain Mary B. Greene married a boat captain and was one of the few women to become a licensed boat master and river pilot.
Captian Mary also continued running the Greeneline Steamers Company, which included 28 paddle wheelers, after her husband’s death.
Little Free Library in the Park
George Rogers Clark Park is the home to two of the statues on the Riverwalk tour and a unique Little Free Library.
The paddlewheel boat-shaped library is located next to Captain Mary’s statue.
4. James Bradley Statue
James Bradley was a former slave who bought his freedom in 1833 with money that he had saved over a 5 year period.
He enrolled at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati in 1834 was the only ex-slave who participated in debates on slavery and abolitionism.
5. Chief Little Turtle Statue
Chief Little Turtle fought to protect the Indian hunting grounds of Kentucky from American settlers.
He won two victories against American armies in 1790 and 1791.
In 1795 Chief Little Turtle joined the signing of the Treaty of the Green Ville.
The area near this statue provides great views of Cincinnati, Newport, Kentucky, and the Licking River that feeds into the Ohio River.
6. John James Audubon Statue
John James Audobon is a well-known artist and popular painter of birds. In 1819 he came to the Northern Kentucky area and made a lot of drawings during this time
He also transitioned from an amateur artist to a professional during his time in the area.
7. Daniel Carter Beard Statue
The last bronze statue on the Northern Kentucky Riverwalk is the only one that is not near Riverside Dr. that is closer proximity to the Licking River. (You cannot see the Licking River while looking at the statue.)
You can easily access the Daniel Carter Beard Statue by walking on the alley off of 2nd Street located between Garrad and Kennedy Street.
Daniel was the founder of the “Sons of Daniel Boone.” The organization was formed out of his passion for helping inner-city boys to connect with the outdoors.
That organization later merged with others in 1910 to become the Boy Scouts of America. Daniel is affectionately remembered as “The Father of Scouting.”
Where to Park for the Riverwalk Statue Tour:
You can park on the street for free at Riverside Dr. or on Garrard Steet. Make sure that you pay attention to the street signs to avoid areas designated for residential parking.
Licking Riverside Historic District
Architecture fans will also enjoy viewing the outsides of the homes in the Licking Riverside Historic District.
The walking tour gives you lots of opportunities to pass by many beautiful homes during your self-guided Riverwalk tour.
I especially love walking around this area in the spring and the fall.
The Licking Riverside Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Many homes in this district date back to the mid-late 1800s.
If you love true crime or ghost stories, make sure that you take the Covington Haunted & Historic Tour by American Legacy Tours.
Interactive Riverwalk Statue Tour Scavenger Hunt for Kids
You can help your kids get more excited about the tour by making it an interactive scavenger hunt. You can print the image or save the image pictured above to your phone.
If you save the scavenger hunt on your phone, you can use that image by uploading it into Instagram stories.
Next, use the function (near the yellow arrow pictured above) at the top of Instagram stories to cross off the circles when you find what’s pictured.
Bonus points if you share your images on social media too.