Outdoor Ohio: Metro Parks Tour
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
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.
6975 E. Livingston Ave., Reynoldsburg
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.
4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd., Westerville
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.
8445 Winchester Rd. N.W., Carroll
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.
185 Clear Creek Rd., Rockbridge
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.
9801 Hyland Croy Rd., Plain City
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
9466 U.S. 23 N., Lewis Center
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
Need help growing herbs? Professional horticulturalists will answer questions during the Sunny Sundays series, running weekly at 1:30 p.m. through August.
7680 Wright Rd., Canal Winchester
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.
3225 Plain City-Georgesville Rd., West Jefferson
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.
395 W. Whittier St., Columbus
6911 Cleveland Ave., Westerville
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
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.
3860 Bixby Rd., Groveport
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.