Walking Is Easy And Interesting At Union Township Veteran’s Memorial Park

Union Township Veteran’s Memorial Park, aka The Helicopter Park, is conveniently located at 906 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH, 45245, one of the busiest intersections in the Eastgate area, making it an easy place to stop for a quick walk, but not necessarily a nature walk. We were pleasantly surprised, however, as we discovered some unexpected treasures along the path, and left feeling refreshed by a brief commune with nature.

picture of walker
View of park

We walked the trail on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. The temperature was 42 degrees, with a slight breeze. Even though the park is filled with amenities, like playgrounds, a basketball court, and shelters, the cold temperature kept people away, and we were one of very few small groups. The paved walking trail is flat, in excellent condition, and surrounds the amenities, including fields for playing baseball and a pond. If you start walking at the front of the parking lot, you can gauge your walking distance by markings on the path showing several distance points until reaching a mile as the path circles back to the beginning.

Near the beginning of the path is the Veteran’s Memorial area with a Vietnam era helicopter, which was an interesting distraction from the heavy traffic on the road beside it. Two sides of the square-shaped park run along the road, and fortunately the other two sides are beside wooded areas. Soon after passing the memorial area, there is a lovely pond with benches, ducks, and geese. It was soothing to look at, and marked the turn in the path away from the road. Walking along this far side of the park is where we finally felt a connection with nature, even on this cold February day. Besides hearing song birds in the woods beside the trail, the ducks and geese had gathered on the baseball fields near the trail, making it feel like you were in a bird sanctuary.

picture of geese
Geese are also fond of the park

Restrooms: There was a men’s and women’s restroom in a brick building at the center of the park. They were open and heated, clean and nice.

picture of restroom
Nice restrooms

Traffic Noise: Heavy traffic noise. It’s better on the far side of the park, but you can see and hear traffic continually.

Interesting Features: It has a great combination of sports features like tennis courts, exercise stations, and shelters available to rent, together with features like a pond and wildlife. You get a little of both urban parks and nature parks.

Historic Point of Interest: The park memorial is dedicated to the people of Clermont County who had served in the Vietnam War.  This memorial is crowned by a surplus Huey helicopter that had actually flown combat missions in the war.  Lt. Andrew Haglage’s name is inscribed on the helicopter.  The 25 year old resident of Batavia, Ohio, was a Marine Corps pilot killed in 1969 while flying his helicopter in Vietnam.

picture of the memorial
Vietnam Memorial

Overall Rating: We can’t promise you a quiet nature walk on a warmer day when the park is filled with people enjoying the amenities, but we can promise you a pleasant walk in a convenient park, making your weekend outing easy and fun, a walk in the park!

Wonderful Walking At Sycamore Park

In our opinion, Sycamore Park in Batavia, OH, is an excellent place to walk. It is easy to access at 4082 St. Rt. 132, but because it is in a valley, it is secluded. You are immediately surrounded by trees, a river, and a wooded area, so you feel miles away from civilization. There is a paved path along the East Fork of the Little Miami River for an easy walk as well as dirt path in a wooded area with scenic views of the river.

We walked at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. The temperature was 61 degrees with a mild breeze. The asphalt path around the perimeter of the park and picnic area meanders along the river, some areas more wooded than others. There are distance markers periodically, so it is easy to gage your walking distance. It was the perfect nature walk, enabling you to easily observe nature, and lose yourself in its glory.

FirstPavedTrailThe dirt trail also surrounds you with the sights and sounds of nature, but it was harder to maneuver, and is something that requires some preparation. The beginning of the trail was pleasant with some information signs and scenic resting areas, but was narrow and muddy after a short distance. Further down the trail, you enter the Frances Wilson Preserve trail which becomes even more muddy and narrow, and crosses several creeks. We turned back when we got to the second creek where there was no easy way to cross it, with slippery rocks and a muddy hill to climb, it was just too dangerous to attempt.

CreekCrossingRestrooms: There is a restroom building in the parking lot, but it was closed. There was one port-a-potty at the building to use.

Traffic Noise: You can hear cars on State Route 132 when you walk on the portion of the paved trail along that side of the park, but it isn’t very loud, and you cannot see the road from any of the trails.

Interesting Features: There were some enormous Sycamore trees along the trail, and informative signs telling about them. Their beautiful white bark reflected the sun, and some of them had large cavities at the base of the trunk, so large you can stand in them. Besides these amazing trees, there is playground equipment for children, and shelters with picnic tables and grills to use or reserve for occasions.

SycamoreTrees03Historic Points Of Interest: Across the river on the paved paths can be seen the old foundation for the Batavia Roller Mills.  The spot had been selected in 1795 as a water powered  sawmill site and a few years later was in operation milling corn as well.  This mill ran for decades before it burned down.  The mill went through several iterations and was called the Batavia Roller Mill when it finally closed in 1961.  The building eventually fell in, leaving only some machinery and the stone foundation.

Foundation of the Batavia Roller Mill
Foundation of the Batavia Roller Mill

Overall Rating: We give it an excellent rating for walking. You have a choice of types of trails, all of them surrounding you with trees and a river view. Perfect for walking alone as well, where it’s easy to feel the peace of nature as it touches your soul, giving you a calming break from the busy world around us.

Brisk Walk At Batavia Township Community Center

The Batavia (Ohio) Township Community Center at 1535 Cough Pike, has a newly finished path around the parameter of the center area. We walked at noon on Nov., 22, 2015, temperature 31 degrees with a breeze. The path was wide, newly paved, mostly concrete with some black top areas, flat, surrounding the community center building and picnic areas. The outer edge of the trail was lined with some trees, backyards of houses, and Cough Pike road. Because the area is mainly a flat open field, there is nothing to break the wind, and it can blow hard depending on which direction you are walking, and since it was 31 degrees, the wind was quite cold at times. There is also a small pond with geese near the beginning which left the trail there covered with goose poop. The trail measured one mile from beginning to end.

Bat003Restrooms: The community center building was closed, so the only restroom was one port-a-potty.

Traffic Noise: The side of the trail along Clough Pike was noisy, with some traffic.

Interesting Features: There were several permanent exercise stations along the path with excellent outdoor equipment. This was interesting, but of no use to us walkers.


Historic Point of Interest:  The Humvee military vehicle displayed at the entrance to the community center is a memorial to Gulf War veterans.  After being demolished, it was refurbished to working order and donated by BAE systems of Fairfield, Ohio.


Overall Rating: It was good, but not excellent. A nice easy walk with some interesting features, but since the trails went around the perimeter of a field, it was lacking areas that were completely immersed in nature. It felt more like a walk around a subdivision than a nature walk.