Seth Walsh and Erin Hinson have been asking people, “What’s your favorite thing to do in Cincinnati?” Whatever the answer is, they do. This is one of their adventures.
The Mt. Airy Treehouse is located in the heart of all of the action Mt. Airy Forest offers, with trails starting and ending there, Frisbee golf around the corner, geocaches hidden throughout the location and fossils down the trail.
Seth: I’m pretty sure we broke the rules on this one. Erin loves treehouses, and I read an article one day about a treehouse in Mt. Airy Forest. After sending it to her, she began asking when we could go #UnlockCincinnati at the Mt. Airy Forest Treehouse. As you may recall, our friends Henry and Jaclyn told us their favorite thing was to hike the Stone Steps, and as we parked to begin our adventure with them, we noticed the treehouse. When fate intervenes, you have to go. Kudos to Erin for recommending an adventure.
Erin: Getting to the treehouse is a bit difficult as there is not a direct address. We recommend the same instructions from the Stone Steps feature:
“Drive past Putz’s and turn right at the first stop sign. It’ll be a little ways off, so don’t worry. Then turn right again at the first opportunity. Keep driving and you’ll be in the park. You can park by the shelter and play Frisbee golf, or continue until you hit a fork in the road. Keep right to get to the treehouse and the start of the hiking trails. There is plenty of parking around those spots.”
We found it easiest to park in the small lot surrounding the treehouse, but if there aren’t spots available, park on the shoulder of the extra-wide road just past the treehouse. If you plan to go geocaching from the treehouse, like we did with Seth’s dad, wear shoes you don’t mind getting muddy -- and bring plenty of water and bug spray. (Remember: You are in a forest.) The treehouse has a ground-level entrance, so there’s no climbing necessary.
Seth: The Mt. Airy Treehouse is actually named the Everybody’s Treehouse. It is the only free, wheelchair-accessible and public treehouse in the Tri-State area.
We have to give credit to WCPO, Cincinnati Parks, Forever Young Treehouses and the Rotary Club of Cincinnati for taking on this ambitious challenge and making a fun environment for all people to use their imagination and live among the trees.
Everybody’s Treehouse, completed in 2007, is connected to 12 living trees in Mt. Airy Forest. It took more than $500,000 in donations and 4,000 hours of volunteer work to make Everybody’s Treehouse a reality, but their hard work has paid off.
Erin: I always have loved treehouses, so I was excited to visit. This accessible fortress is a great place to take cover from the weather and to get a higher perspective of the roots we tripped over during our hike -- they seemed so much bigger from the ground!
Fun fact: This treehouse also makes a perfect backdrop for a photoshoot: a little bit of nature and a little bit of civilization, with treetops making a green aura around the wooded background.
The treehouse is set in a picturesque location where you can enjoy the sounds of nature or have a picnic overlooking Mt. Airy Forest. We first explored the treehouse with Henry and Jaclyn after our hike and later with Seth’s parents when they were in town. This beautiful gem is a peaceful home away from home set in a forest in a major American city. Isn’t that incredible?
Why go: Mt. Airy Forest contains some of the more unique gems in our city, and with the treehouse being one of the few accessible treehouses in the nation, it is fun for the entire family. Pack a picnic and deck of cards, or grab some hand-held magnifying glasses and go exploring. Take lots of pictures with that beautiful backdrop and let us know what you think!
We invite you to follow this journey in real time online at www.unlockcincinnati.org, on Twitter (@UnlockThe513, @SethTWalsh and @erinhinson2), Instagram (@sethtwalsh and @erinhinson2) and Facebook, or by following #UnlockCincinnati. Or you can email us at email@example.com.