Thursday, July 31, 2003

Trek right through our region's heart

Walk this way: The riverfront

[IMAGE] A couple make their way across the Purple People Bridge.
(Enquirer photo)
| ZOOM |
A walk can be more than just exercise; it can be an experience. Queen City newbies and natives alike can experience the riverfront and get in their daily steps by trying out a self-guided walking tour in Cincinnati, Newport and Covington. The riverfront is the place to go for the sights and sounds that define this area.

What's so great about it?

There's so much to experience, from the moment you set off on the Purple People Bridge at the Serpentine Wall. In addition to some great views of the Cincinnati skyline, you can people-watch while passing Newport on the Levee and admire the historic buildings of downtown Covington.

What will I see?

You can see three bridges, two rivers and three cities and architecture from classic 19th-century to hip new cafes.

The walk: The riverfront.
Distance: Full loop is about 6,200 steps or 21/2 miles. Crossing back at the halfway point is about 4,000 steps, three-quarters of a mile.
Difficulty: Moderate - paved and mostly flat with a couple of flights of steps in areas.
Features: Lots to see, plenty of places to stop for drinks or a bathroom, public areas.
Best time of year: Summer, when more boaters are on the river.
Note: Safest during the day.
Map of riverfront walk
There's a dynamite view of downtown Cincinnati and the Ohio River. You can check out the Levee, while keeping an eye on the barges and jet skis on the water. From here, if you're pooping out, you can take the Taylor Southgate Bridge back to downtown or continue down the Newport Riverwalk across the Licking River into Covington.

Along Park Place are a few historic buildings from the pre-Civil War era, including the original Covington City Hall. The real spectacle is the Roebling Suspension Bridge, which you cross to Cincinnati. It looks an awful lot like a smaller version of the Brooklyn Bridge because John Roebling designed both.

Once you're in Cincinnati, you can take Second Street, walking past Great American Ball Park and U.S. Bank Arena to get back to your car at Yeatman's Cove.

Do I have to be in shape?

This walk isn't short, but it's adjustable to your exercise habits. If you don't feel up to the full route, you can come back to Yeatman's Cove on the Taylor Southgate Bridge, roughly a 4,200-step walk.

The full circle can be tiring. Even if you're out of shape, you can pause along the way and look around. You'll still get in your steps for the day.

Mandy Jenkins

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