HARRISON, Ohio -- Are you ready to take in the great outdoors? Great Parks of Hamilton County is offering free admission to all parks for Thursday, June 1.
Once in the park, people can enjoy paved paths, walking trails, harbors, bicycles, playgrounds, splash pads, canoeing, paddle boarding ... the list goes on! For a complete list of all Hamilton County Parks, head to the website here. There you can discover what's available at each park along with site maps.
Meteorologist Jennifer Ketchmark went out to Miami Whitewater Forest on Wednesday to check out what that park has to offer. Here's a look at her experience:
"I grew up in a rural area that was adjacent to a small, man-made lake. Upon pulling into Miami Whitewater Forest, it was like a slice of home in the Buckeye State. Paddle boats lined the harbor, bicycles were ready to be rented by park-goers and you could already hear the giggles of children on the playground high above the harbor. This was a land away from the distractions of daily life and stress. It was a place to make memories and have fun!
We met up with two representatives from Great Parks to record a few elements for WCPO and in the process, I started mentally jotting down everything I wanted to do. I could see my family in this park. Mike Brech, the harbor manager, even shared that the fishing on their man-made lake was superb and that it's a great place to take the kids fishing.
Mike then introduced me to stand-up paddleboarding, because, why not?! I was hesitant to get on at first, only because I had to come back to work for the noon show and really didn't want to fall in. But the paddleboards that are at the park are large, wide and very stable. So we pushed off from the dock, got out about 30 feet and easily stood up on our paddleboards. It felt like you were walking on water as we went gliding along the lake. Mike mentioned that, on the weekend, the paddleboards are very popular. You can rent them for $12 for one hour, which would be more than enough time to explore the lake in my opinion. The paddingboards had recently been replaced and upgraded, and it really provided a great user experience.
From there we checked out all the small bikes for rent. There were even bikes for families with small children to use. I could totally see my 8-month-old son on the front seat, enjoying a ride through the smaller inner loop path.
The final thing we checked out by the harbor was the kids playground. The dry structure was rather large, and the splash pad next to it had a maritime theme. While it was quiet that morning, I imagine it would be THE place to be on a hot summer day."