Outdoor Ohio: Metro Parks Tour

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

One of the greatest things about life in Columbus is having a handful of nearby green spaces that offer places to relax, opportunities to learn and abundant resources to enjoy. Here's a map of the 15 Metro Parks and some great nature classes to catch while you make your way to each one.

Battelle Darby Creek

1775 Darby Creek Dr., Galloway

Acres: 6,798

Wade Big Darby Creek, one of the healthiest ecosystems in the country, in search of freshwater mussels. The Mussel Beach romp starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8.

Blacklick Woods

6975 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg

Acres: 643

They might seem scary, but bats are one of man's best summer friends. During Going Batty, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11, watch these creatures catch a meal on the fly.

Blendon Woods

4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville

Acres: 653

Explore a birding hot spot during an Audubon Bird Hike. At 7 a.m. Saturday, July 25, naturalists will be on hand to point out nests, songs and signs of breeding.

Chestnut Ridge

8445 Winchester Rd. N.W., Carroll

Acres: 486

The park's beautiful namesake ridge holds numerous Ohio trees. Pick them out during Summer Tree I.D., 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. The hike will run 1.5 miles.

Clear Creek

185 Clear Creek Rd., Rockbridge

Acres: 5,255

This hilly, secluded preserve offers prime viewing for the Perseid Meteor Watch, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12 (weather permitting). Bring something to sit on.

Glacier Ridge

9801 Hyland Croy Rd., Plain City

Acres: 1,037

Learn an ancient survival skill during Archery, 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9. Pro shooters will teach the ins and outs of a simple compound bow.

Heritage Park and Trail

7262 Hayden Run Rd., Hilliard

Acres: 87


9466 U.S. 23 N., Lewis Center

Acres: 1,159

At the most popular park in the system, enjoy the glow of firelight on water during the one-mile Lantern Hike, which runs along the Olentangy River at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8.


940 S. Hempstead Rd., Westerville

Acres: 123

Need help growing herbs? Professional horticulturalists will answer questions during the Sunny Sundays series, running weekly at 1:30 p.m. through August.

Pickerington Ponds

7680 Wright Rd., Canal Winchester

Acres: 1,616

Beekeeping isn't something to pick up by yourself. First, check out Basics of Beekeeping, 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, where you'll sample honey and examine hives.

Prairie Oaks

3225 Plain City-Georgesville Rd., West Jefferson

Acres: 1,782

During a short walk, nature's flashlights will guide your path. The Fireflies walk starts at 8:45 p.m. Friday, July 24. You can bring a jar to catch some and study them.

Scioto Audubon

395 W. Whittier St., Columbus

Acres: 71

Sharon Woods

6911 Cleveland Ave., Westerville

Acres: 761

A great way through these beautiful woods is a fast-paced 3.5-mile hike after dusk. The Adult Full Moon Hike begins at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Slate Run Farm and Park

1375 S.R. 674 N., Canal Winchester

Acres: 1,705

Professional flinger Mike Gates will run through elementary skills during Basics of Disc Golf, to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 on a three-hole mini course.

Three Creeks

3860 Bixby Rd., Groveport

Acres: 1,053

Explore the Central Ohio Greenways trail system during a leisurely bike ride along a relatively flat, paved path. Let's Go Ride a Bike sets off at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 28.