Stepping Out in Cincinnati

Have you seen or used the steps found at some of Cincinnati’s 19th century hillsides? There are actually 400 sets of hillside stairways throughout the city. These steps are part of our city’s transportation system providing a pedestrian-friendly connection to various parts of the city. Many of these steps are still used, while others, sadly, have been closed. These steps provide easy access around downtown, Clifton, Eden Park, Mt. Adams, Hyde Park and Price Hill as well as other hilly areas.

Mt. Adams Steps to Immaculata Church

Steps to and from the Cincinnati Art Museum

Some of the more popular steps include:

  • Ohio Avenue Steps in Over-The-Rhine (nearly Findlay Market at the base of Ohio on McMicken) – These steps lead you into Clifton.
  • Gilbert Avenue Steps at the Elsinore Arch (near WCPO) – These steps take you into Eden Park and conclude near the Seasongood Pavilion.
  • Church of the Immaculata Steps – Located on St. Gregory Street in Mt. Adams, these steps are well used on Good Friday for praying pilgrams. These steps offer nice vistas of downtown and Northern Kentucky.

Some people incorporate these steps in their running or jogging routes. In fact there is yearly race called the Stone Steps 50k Trail Run — an “ultramarathon”  — in Mt. Airy Forest that takes you though the paths and many steps in this park.

The City of Cincinnati has developed the City Hillside Step Information System as a means of maintaining an inventory of the steps. This system also notes the nearby businesses, bus stops, parks, schools, residences and other places of interest. (To view this pdf, read the SoapBoxMedia blog about Cincinnati Steps.)

The Cincinnati Steps blog maps all of the step locations and features many photos of the steps.

Interested in learning more? Read Walking The Steps of Cincinnati book.

Note: This author used the Mt. Adams steps daily in the 1980’s. Living on Paradrome Street in Mt. Adams, I worked in downtown Cincinnati and did not own a car. I walked. I would take the steps down the hill from Mt. Adams and then cross over I-71 via a walking bridge into town. It was really great exercise and I stayed in great shape!