Central Ohio Parks: Finding the ideal park for you

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

For the yogi

It's completely normal to practice your sun salutation in the great outdoors at two Metro Parks-Battelle Darby Creek and Blendon Woods. The parks host free afternoon and evening classes taught by certified yoga instructors throughout the summer. Some are themed (including a kid-friendly class that incorporates learning about plants and animals) while others are traditional hatha-style classes meant for relaxation and rejuvenation. metroparks.net

For the"Lord of the Rings" fan

J.R.R. Tolkien's Rivendell comes to life on Thursday evenings (5 p.m. to dark) at Griggs Reservoir Park. Chainmail, shields and spears (the latter two made of foam) adorn those who choose to take part in full-contact battle in "Lord of the Rings" tradition. The games are organized by Rivendell, the Columbus chapter of Dagorhir, a global group of gamers who combine combat simulation with elements of live-action role-playing. The group welcomes newcomers and prioritizes safety (hence the foam weapons).dagorhir.com

For the young angler

Grown-ups keep out. The 11-acre lake at Sharon Woods Metro Park is for anglers ages 15 and under. The lake is stocked with bass and catfish, with bluegills aplenty for an easy catch. Its four wide decks allow for learning angling basics without getting muddy. Safety is a key for Westerville's Cherrington Elementary School, which chooses the park for its fishing club because the platforms are confined and far from busy roads. metroparks.net

For the serious hiker

Located just south of Lancaster, Clear Creek Metro Park feels like a state park. With a combination of steep hills, mature trees, overlooks and trails, the park is an ideal location for people looking for a more strenuous hike, especially among those who want to avoid the traffic of the Hocking Hills. Bonuses include restroom facilities, colorful autumn foliage and Clear Creek, which the state stocks with trout, popular among fly-fishermen. metroparks.net