Thursday, September 1, 2011
Sharon Woods - Sharonville, Ohio
Sharon Woods park was a fun outing. There are many small waterfalls sprinkled throughout this rather large park. We started out our trip with some play time at the playground near the harbor on Sharon Lake. It was a very nice park. There is an area for big kids and a play area for the toddler crew. There are baby swings but not swings for the big kids here. My oldest found this a little disappointing. There is however a small rock wall and an area that looks like rock that has places to climb up & tunnels to climb through. There is a snack bar right by this park. In the summer there are fountains here but we went in spring before they were up and running. After some play time we decided to check out the harbor and lake. There is a boat house located here where you can rent boats. It was much to cold out for us to even consider a few hours on the water. I also must warn you that boat rentals are not cheap!
There was another path on that side of the road that lead up into the woods. It had a large sign. I walked over to see what it said. It looked like something we could do. It was 0.7 of a mile one way through the woods. It lead to the other side of the park and was marked as moderate so we thought we would be able to get the stroller down it. We began down it and figured if we got to a place where we couldn't get the stroller through we would simply turn around. It thankfully never came to that. The path was very nice. It followed along the water. There were many waterfalls along the way. There were also educational signs to read beside the path. At one point it crosses the water. The cliffs here are quite a sight. Since it was spring we didn't encounter a lot of people on the trail. There was a few places we had to work a little to keep the stroller moving but it wasn't bad at all.
When we got to the other side there was another path running along the road we followed. It passes a couple small waterfalls. These are neat and very easy to access because they are right along the road. One even has parking by it. My only complaint about these was the fact that they put concrete around the falls to keep them from washing out. While I can understand wanting to preserve the beauty of the falls, I am simply a purest. I think that people should let nature take its course on things like this. When people do this to a natural site it feels more like a man made item. Still pretty but it loses a little something.
When we got a little further down there was a large bridge leading across the water. On the other side there was a large park with a little log cabin. This park is one of the large wooden ones. Ivy was happy because there were swings nearby. Two large picnic areas are close by as well. There is a huge building by here. It's the Sharon centre. There is a free nature area inside. We took advantage of this. The girls favorite part was a large aquarium with a "log" running through it. The kids climbed inside to watch the fish and turtle swim around. It was very neat. I had one problem with this as a mom of a toddler. The outside edge of the "log" is concrete and you have to really keep an eye on them. They could fall and hurt themselves but more likely is a child running their head into the top of it when trying to climb inside. It is made to crawl through but my toddler could just stand in it. There is an area at the back with chairs for the adults to take a much needed break. The whole back wall is made of windows that look out on a nature area. While we were there we saw birds, chipmunks and a raccoon. In this room there is an area to stick your hands in and guess what you are grabbing. This would of been much easier if they actually all had stuff in them. About half of them were empty. There is also a table with crayons and papers for the kids. As you walk toward the door leading out there is a great photo op wall and a tree to walk through.
There is something called the "Heritage Village" here too but we did not go. You have to pay to get in. It was looking like it was going to rain so we just headed back toward our car. It looked neat so I would like to go back sometime. We were almost back to the lake when it started to sprinkle. By the time we made it back to the car it was raining. I was glad we didn't have to be out in the rain for to long.
There are a few other things to do at this park including an 18 hole golf course (not sure of pricing) and an indoor play area that costs $2.50 a child.
There are ample picnic areas and tables throughout the park. I would also like to give some credit where credit is due. The restrooms were some of the nicest I've ever seen in a park. They were clean and well stocked with toilet paper, soap and paper towels. I was honestly shocked by this! Quite impressive!
Heritage Village is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for children ages 5-11, Children under 4 are free.
Admission to the park was $3.00 for the day.
Location: 11450 Lebanon Rd. Sharonville, OH 45241