This summer I’ve been trying to find new places to hike with my kids in our area. I’ve been using the 60 hikes within 60 miles of Cincinnati book as a guide, and it’s been great! We’ve found several new places to explore. But last week, we explored an area that I used to visit quite often when I was younger. We hiked in the woods behind Dinsmore Homestead in Boone County. Dinsmore Homestead is the place where five generations of the Dinsmore family lived from the 19th century to the 20th century. The home has been beautifully preserved, and for a fee you can tour the home and see how people lived so many years ago. I remember being amazed as a young girl, because it seems as if the Dinsmores still live there, that’s how well preserved the home is. They have artifacts, antiques and so many items that are rich with history. Unfortunately, when we were there last week we did not have time to tour the home again, but I’m eager to return and walk around. Last week we were there to enjoy the only mild morning we’ve had in weeks with a walk outdoors.
We took the path up the hill to the Dinsmore family cemetery, and walked around for a bit reading the names and dates on these very very very old tombstones. Then we ventured into the Dinsmore Woods State Nature Preserve for our hike. The hike was beautiful. The woods are free of garbage, full of trees and birds singing. There were quite a few hills, some very big (says the mama who carried a baby on her back), but there were no complaints about the uphill hike from my little hikers. The trail makes a loop and is a little less than 2 miles long. The path takes you along a ridgetop, and you can see where the glaciers came through the area and stopped, leaving behind very fertile soil, which in turn has given the woods many wildflowers, trees and even an endangered plant. Running Buffalo Clover, which is a federally endangered species, flourishes in the Dinsmore Woods. The kids also found paw paws from the paw paw trees that are everywhere in the woods, but we didn’t taste any of them. Dad said they weren’t quite ripe yet. The woods behind Dinsmore are filled with many very old trees that are huge and awe-inspiring. And we found the remnants of an old well on the trail as well, which led us to wonder if other settlers lived in these woods close to the Dinsmore family, or perhaps it was the Dinsmore family’s well…either way, the well was a great conversation starter. Max was pretty sure a meteor had landed there. After our walk we explored the grounds of the Dinsmore estate before leaving. There is a wine house, a log cabin, a set of cement stairs for people to use to get into their carraige, beautiful gardens, a gift shop, and more to explore on the grounds. I really do want to head back out there soon to take a tour of the home and spend some more time on the grounds learning about the Dinsmore family. They have several upcoming events this fall, including their Annual Harvest Festival September 24-25th, that would be fun for the whole family.