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Prairie Oaks (2,136 acres)
Open 6:30am to dark
39.98824    -83.26421
OverviewFacilitiesProgramsTrails

Prairie Oaks features nearly 500 acres of lush prairies and grasslands. In late summer and early fall, visitors can see fields of beautifully flowering ashy sunflower, royal catchfly and purple coneflower against a backdrop of big and little bluestem and Indian grasses.

The spectacular and lush scenery of the Big Darby State and National Scenic River, which flows through the park, provides a beautiful backdrop for outdoor adventure.

The Sycamore Plains Trail system offers a spectacular trek along Big Darby Creek through a mature wooded floodplain.

Prairie Oaks operates a Carry In - Carry Out program to help conserve natural resources. Visitors are given bags and asked to take their trash home, helping to reduce, reuse and recycle.

 
  • Hiking trails  
  • Pet trails
  • Picnicking
  • Nature programs
  • Biking
  • Rollerblading
  • Natural Play Area
  • Fishing
  • Canoeing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Bridle trail
  • Darby Bend Lakes
  • Boating (non-motorized)
  • Dog swimming




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    PRAIRIE OAKS 
    3225 Plain City-Georgesville Road
    West Jefferson, OH 43162
    (western Franklin & northeastern Madison counties)

    To main park entrance (3225 Plain City-Georgesville Road):
    From I-270, take I-70 west to Plain City-Georgesville Road/S.R. 142 exit and go about 0.8 miles north. Entrance is on the right.

    To Sycamore Plains Trail Access (2009 Amity Road, Hilliard):
    39.98887    -83.23883
    From Route 142 (Plain City-Georgesville Road) go about 0.25 miles south of I-70 exit. Turn left on High Free Pike. Go about 1 mile to Roberts Road and turn left. Go about 1 mile on Roberts Road to Amity Road and turn left. Entrance is on the left.

    To Darby Bend Lakes (2755 Amity Road, Hilliard):
    40.00294    -83.24881
    From I-270, take I-70 west to the West Jefferson / Plain City exit, turn right onto Plain City-Georgesville Road / State Route 142. Go about 2.25 miles to Lucas Road (passing the main park entrance) and turn right. Go across Big Darby Creek and turn right at the stop sign onto Amity Road. Entrance is about 0.5 miles on right.

    To Beaver Lake (8921 Lucas Road, Plain City):
    40.00949    -83.25552
    From I-270 take I-70 west to West Jefferson/Plain City exit, turn right onto Plain City-Georgesville Road/State Route 142. Go about 2.25 miles to Lucas Road and turn right. Entrance is about 0.25 miles on right.

    To Upper Darby Canoe Access (4275 Amity Road, Hilliard):
    40.03692    -83.25113
    From I-270 take I-70 west to West Jefferson/Plain City exit, turn right onto Plain City-Georgesville Road/State Route 142. Go about 2.25 miles to Lucas Road (passing the main park entrance) and turn right. Go across Big Darby Creek and turn left at the stop sign onto Amity Road. Entrance is about 2 miles on left.

    Darby Bend Lakes is a water recreational area, featuring three beautiful lakes. Visitors can enjoy trails, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, non-motorized boating and picnicking. There is even a dog-swimming area for your pet. Fishing and non-motorized boating is also available at the 15-acre Beaver Lake, south of Lucas Road on the west side of Big Darby Creek. The park's Natural Play Area surrounds the lake.

    Darby Bend Lakes features two picnic shelters. There are also shelters at the Whispering Oaks and Prairie View picnic areas, and three picnic tables at the Sycamore Plains Area.

    Natural Play Area: Kids and adults can go off-trail and interact with nature in a more direct way than usual, by climbing trees and rocks, digging in the dirt, playing in streams and generally having fun.