The only family-owned and operated incline in Cincinnati was also the sole transport carrying both freight and passengers up the hillside. Price Hill Incline was the city's second oldest incline, dating from 1874 - 1943. It also had the most intact remnants that we discovered on our Cincinnati Incline Climb. Founded by the Price family, the namesake pioneers for Price Hill, the incline carries poignant folktales from the era.

Price Hill Incline via

At the very top of the incline was Price Hill House, a resort highlighted by a summer garden and a stunning view of the city. Unlike the other resorts that served alcohol, the Price family was "dry," otherwise known as supporters of Prohibition. Locals referred to the Price Hill House as Buttermilk Mountain, as this was the strongest drink the bar would serve customers.  Of course, this gave way to a landslide of opportunity at the foot of Price Hill, where drinkeries leading up the the incline were named First Chance Saloon, Next Chance Saloon, and Last Chance Saloon.

In 1906, catastrophe struck Price Hill Incline as a cable broke on one of the freight cars. Just six feet away from the hilltop terminal, it ripped free and began to plunge downward. Aboard the platform were two workmen, one carrying a load of sand and the other a load of manure. Each buried themselves in their load and when the cars crashed to the ground, both miraculously survived. As the platform and horses lay in a twisted metal mess, the workmen walked away a bit smelly, but unscathed.

Price Hill Incline Wreck via

Our journey to the top of Cincinnati's steepest incline began in an inconspicuous vacant lot at the corner of 8th Street and Glenway Avenue. Marked only with a billboard, it was hard to imagine the site once being a bustling venue of commerce and transportation on the West Side. Along the way, we snapped pictures of the remnants, including stone walls, wooden stringers, concrete with structural imprints, sheave wheels, and even old rail!


Hike Difficulty Level: ★  
Length: 800 feet
Height: 350 feet
Steepness / Grade:

We found lots of discarded items from the decades past.
Noel found a piece of rail leftover from the incline!
At the very top was this gorgeous view!
I found a sheave leftover from the incline!
A sheave guides the cable that mobilizes the incline platform.