Winton Woods to host day of hiking for blind, visually impaired

Blind and visually impaired guests will have the chance to hike along a creek in the woods, thanks to a collaboration between Great Parks of Hamilton County, Luke5Adventures and the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Orientation mobility specialists will help hikers explore the Kingfisher Trail in Winton Woods on June 10.

“Every day, we focus on the simple idea of going hiking with people who can’t hike by themselves,” said Kevin Schwieger, founder of Luke5Adventures. “This hike at Winton Woods will build confidence, offer a chance for these hikers to walk on new terrain and expand their skill using a cane. It’s a reminder for us, too, because there is usually no way for these individuals to see or experience 99 percent of the creation that the rest of us take for granted.”

Kevin Schwieger of Luke5Adventures

Luke5Adventures, based in Mason, introduces the outdoors to people who may not have the physical ability to enjoy it on their own. In 2020, its first season, the organization did more than 120 hikes with children and adults in seven states.

The group was attracted to the Kingfisher Trail because of its variety and moderate trail level. The 1.1-mile trail includes both a lower section along Kingfisher Creek and an upper section through a forest. Hikers can experience the smells, sounds and feel of being on a trail, and can also choose to touch the running water of the creek. The Kingfisher Trail passes over small wooden bridges and is wide enough so families can easily accompany hikers. It does not include extreme hills.

Luke5Adventures and CABVI will create a base camp at the Kingfisher trailhead. Music therapists will work with CABVI students before and after each hike.

Kingfisher Creek at Winton Woods

Also, CABVI is inviting community members who are blind or visually impaired to join via Zoom for a Coffee Talk 10-11:30 a.m. on Friday, June 4. Coffee Talks are free, open events for anyone affected by vision loss to learn more about related topics. Learn more about how computers and other devices can be adjusted to provide more ease and efficiency as Mandy Van Cleave, access technology specialist, shares what she has learned while working with clients who are visually impaired.

Hurry! RSVP: 513-221-2182 or by Tuesday, June 1. The Zoom link or phone number will be provided prior to the event.

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