Bender Mountain Preserve is more than fifty acres of wooded hillside between Bender Road and Hillside Avenue.
The principal areas of the preserve are owned by Delhi Township and the Western Wildlife Corridor, who maintain the trails and work to eliminate invasive species throughout the Preserve. Bender Mountain has a range of hiking options from easy to strenuous, and even includes a long-ago-abandoned stretch of Delhi Pike. Bender Mountain Preserve has over three miles of hiking trails, some with a fantastic view of the Ohio River. This is a lovely, heavily wooded, restored nature preserve that supports hundreds of plant and animal species. It’s been described as the “best place in Hamilton County to observe native wildflowers” by Dr. Denis Conover, botanist with the University of Cincinnati. The trails are well-maintained, have Trail markers (signposts), and feature four benches.
Hiking degree of difficulty:
The Bender Mountain trail system ranges from easy strolls to challenging workouts, depending upon the trail. Some sections of moderate and strenuous trails climb steep slopes and include rocky, uneven steps.
How to Get Here:
This preserve has several parking options;
The Bender Road Gravel Lot (north side of the preserve) gives easy access to the Bender Valley Trail and Eagle Scout Trail.
Parking at the dead-end of Delhi Ave (east side of the preserve) gives easy access to the Sister’s Hill Trail. Park at the guard rail barricade, and be sure not to block adjacent driveways.
The Darby Lee Cemetery
During your hike, you may come across the historic Darby Lee Cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place to some of Delhi’s earliest residents with some grave markers over a century and a half old. Please be respectful if you find yourself here.
Things to remember
- Dogs are welcome on the trails, but please be considerate of other hikers and clean up after your pets and keep dogs on a leash.
- Mountain bikes, horses, and motorized vehicles are prohibited on the trails. Foot traffic only.
- Hunting is prohibited for the safety of other hikers.
- Camping is prohibited.
- Camp fires are prohibited.
- Be prepared for varying trail conditions. Many trails (especially the steep South Paw Paw Gap Trail) are slippery in wet weather.
- Trails go up and down steep, rugged terrain and should only be used by persons who are in good physical condition.
- Stay on marked trails.
- Don’t hike alone.
- Dress for the weather, and wear suitable shoes.
- Travel at your own risk.
- Do not remove plants or items from the preserve.
- Do make sure to take your trash with you to dispose of properly.
- No dumping.