Cleves is home to one of only 12 canal tunnels ever built in the U.S. A large hill between Cleves and North Bend led to the Cincinnati-Whitewater Canal owner’s decision to tunnel through the hill rather than using a series of locks to move the boats. The tunnel was abandoned and sat in obscurity after the canal closed and railroad use changed in 1884. Today the canal tunnel is a preservation project of the Three Rivers Historical Society.
Cleves, nicknamed “The Heart of the Tree Rivers Valley”, was founded in 1818. Tucked into the extreme southwestern corner of Hamilton County along the Ohio River just minutes from Indiana, the village is a compact community of 2800. Primarily a farming community, much of the industry is contained along the riverfront. An eclectic mix of homes finds ranch homes next to stately riverfront mansions.
Cleves is most accessible by U.S. Route 50, known locally as River Road. East Miami River Road bisects the village. Greater Cincinnati International Airport is across the Ohio River 12 miles, easily accessible by the Anderson Ferry. The Cincinnati West Airport in Harrison 7 miles away offers small plane access.
Cleves fire and EMS service covers the village needs. Two hospitals are close by: Dearborn County Hospital in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and Mercy Franciscan Hospital, Western Hills about 11 miles away.
You will find daily necessities in Cleves, but more in-depth shopping can be found in nearby Harrison, or heading north into Colerain Township’s Northgate Mall.
For such a small village, Cleves is perfectly situated for the sports enthusiast of all types. There are more than 6,500 acres of parks within 15 miles of Cleves that offer fishing, horseback riding, hiking, golfing, and other seasonal outdoor activities. Because of the three rivers access (Great Miami, Ohio and Whitewater River) boating and fishing are active pursuits. Residents enjoy the more than 75 park acres in the village at Harmony Field and Cleves Community Park providing recreational outlets in the village for baseball, soccer and walking trails. Shawnee Lookout Park, one of Hamilton County’s jewels, includes the Oxbow Nature Wetlands where it’s not uncommon to see wild turkey, deer, ducks, geese and native wildlife. For motor sports fans, Edgewater Sport Park, IOK Four Wheelers Race Complex, and Whitewater Racing offer numerous yearlong activities. Golfers will like the proximity to Aston Oaks Golf course, and Miami Whitewater courses.