Shop Online Cart2

The Best of Cincinnati's 7 Hills to Run

We all know, Cincinnati is hilly. All hills in Cincinnati are not created equal. Some are long and steep, some have a faux peak, and some are just right to do a little workout. The question is, what hills in Cincinnati are best for running? Where are the best hills for running in Cincinnati? Here are some of our 7 favorite hills and how to use them best!


Distance: .36 mi.

Gain: 233 ft.

Grade: 11.8%


Straight Street is only one option, pure pain and suffering. Hence why it's one of the few hills in the city that hosts a race on it! The Straight Street Hill Climb is .36mi of all out cramping legs and burning lungs.  

The best approach to this hill is 1) avoid it at all costs and 2) if you do have to run up it, wear the lightest shoes you can find. Here are a few we recommend!


Distance: .18 mi.

Gain: 253 ft. 

Grade: 25.4%


Stone Steps in Mt. Airy Forest bodes the question, do steps count as a hill? If so, these steps are ROUGH. This is one of the steepest climbs you can find in Cincinnati. The best part? There's an ultra-marathon where you get the LOVELY chance to climb these steps 4 times in your 50 kilometers.


If you plan on taking these steps on, we recommend some technical trail shoes. Check out the brand new Altra Lone Peak 7


Distance: .57 mi.

Gain: 295 ft. 

Grade: 10.2%


This monster winds all the way up from under Columbia Parkway to the very top of Mt. Adams. This hill feels like it will never ever end but the view of Cincy from the top is absolutely worth the effort. Stop at the Bow Tie Cafe and grab a coffee after putting in all your hard work to get there. You deserve it.

How to maximize post run recovery!


Distance: .50 mi.

Gain: 105 ft. 

Grade: 3.8%


Delta Ave. is quite a bit more relaxed than some of the other hills on this list. This is your perfect "Hill Workout" type of hill. It's exactly .5mi from the bottom of the hill at Linwood to Observatory. To add a little more you can go to the top at Erie but the .5mi helps with a nice round number at the end!


Wear your favorite workout shoe for this one and hit some Marathon Pace Hills! Don't have a shoe for workouts? Check out the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 for a lightweight, soft, and responsive trainer!


Distance: .43 mi.

Gain: 233 ft. 

Grade: 10.1%


Sycamore is another one of the monster hills that lead you into Clifton. Start from Liberty Street and prep yourself for the long climb ahead. Be prepared for a faux peak as you wrap the corner at the top right by the new Flat Iron Cafe! Enjoy the view over OTR, where the Bockfest route runs, and ask yourself why you just ran up a hill this steep.

Register For Bockfest!


Distance: 1.0 mi.

Gain: 300 ft. 

Grade: 5.6%


This hill is sllloooowwww and steady. The grade isn't terrible, however it feels like you're running uphill for-ev-er. The top of the hill in Alms Park offers an awesome view of Lunken. Stop and take a break at the top and watch some planes take off!

Check out some apparel to help you fly!


Distance: 2.50 mi.

Gain: 320 ft. 

Grade: 2.42%


Everyone knows and loves this one. Part of Cincinnati's beloved Flying Pig Marathon, we show just how tough Cincinnatian's are by throwing in a slow and steady climb in the middle of the half and full marathon. 

The climb isn't all that steep but it feels like it was the steepest hill you've ever run by the time you hit mile 20 of the race. Make sure you warm up on the previously mentioned hills to make this one feel like a piece of cake!

Register for Flying Pig Weekend!


Connect With Us

see the latest from Fleet Feet Cincy