Battelle Darby Creek-Galloway, Ohio. Battelle Darby features more than 7,000 acres of forest, prairies and wetlands. It stretches along 13 miles of the Big and Little Darby Creeks, both State and National Scenic Rivers. Besides the areas surrounding the creeks, there are also over 200 acres of restored wetlands and prairies. Bison have been reintroduced to the park and roam freely within two enclosed pastures.
Blacklick Woods-Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Blacklick Woods features 643 acres of woods, fields, seasonal swamp ponds, a small prairie and a golf course. It has one of the best remaining beech-maple forests in Central Ohio along with a buttonbush swamp. The forest areas are laced with trails that wind through a swamp forest with oak and white ash along with red maple, elm, shagbark, bitternut hickory and dogwood.
Blacklick Woods Golf Course-Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Forty acres of the course's 235 acres are natural area—a place where birds and birdies peacefully coexist. Audubon International has certified the golf courses as a Cooperative Sanctuary for their comprehensive environmental management and protection of wildlife habitats. Metro Parks has developed the courses with a long-range vision of protection and enhancement of the natural environment.
Blendon Woods-Westerville, Ohio. Blendon Woods contains spectacular stream-cut ravines with exposed ripple rock sandstone and open fields surrounded by beech-maple and oak-hickory forests. The 653-acre park is a great place to see a variety of songbirds, waterfowl and other wildlife, especially the flock of wild turkeys meandering about in search of food. The 118-acre Walden Waterfowl Refuge with its 11-acre Thoreau Lake provides a sanctuary for hundreds of birds, ducks and other wildlife. Open year-round, it features two elevated observation shelters with spotting scopes for viewing waterfowl.
Chestnut Ridge-Carroll, Ohio. Chestnut Ridge is the first ridge in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The ridge spans about 4,500 feet and rises to about 1,116 feet. Black oak, shagbark hickory and northern red oak trees grow on the upper slopes of the ridge and enhance the woodland beauty of the 486-acre park. Sugar maples and American beech are plentiful on the lower slopes.
Clear Creek-Rockbridge, Ohio. Clear Creek Metro Park features 5300 acres of woodland interspersed with blackhand sandstone cliffs, ravines and creeks and is home to more than 2,200 species of plants and animals. Forested areas range from Canadian hemlocks and ferns, to oak and hickory, to Ohio’s last remaining colonies of rhododendron. Home to Ohio’s largest state nature preserve.
Glacier Ridge-Plain City, Ohio. Glacier Ridge was named for the end moraine or glacial debris left behind when the glaciers retreated some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago. Much of the 1,037-acre park was once covered with farmland. Visitors can traverse a boardwalk through the Honda Wetlands Area or climb a 25-foot observation tower to see waterfowl and other animals.
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Heritage Trail Park-Hilliard, Ohio. Heritage Trail features 87 acres and is adjacent to the Heritage Rail Trail, a multi-purpose trail converted from abandoned right-of-way. The 7-mile paved trail starts in Old Hilliard off Main Street and continues toward Plain City.
Highbanks-Lewis Center, Ohio. Highbanks is named for its massive 100-foot-high shale bluff towering over the Olentangy State Scenic River. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines in the eastern part of the 1,160-acre park. Ohio and Olentangy shales, often containing outstanding large concretions, are exposed on the bluff face and sides of the ravines.
Homestead-Hilliard, Ohio. Homestead is a 44-acre park in Hilliard featuring a covered bridge, a replica train station and an outdoor amphitheater. It has a 0.75-mile paved trail which connects to the 7-mile Heritage Trail, which runs along the park’s western border.
Inniswood Metro Gardens-Westerville, Ohio. Nestled within a scenic nature preserve, the 121-acre Inniswood Metro Gardens is a source of inspiration for all ages. Streams and woodlands filled with wildflowers and wildlife provide a majestic backdrop to the beautifully landscaped areas. Inniswood boasts more than 2,000 species of plants, specialty collections and several theme gardens. You can support Inniswood Metro Gardens by becoming a member of the Inniswood Garden Society.
Pickerington Ponds-Canal WInchester, Ohio. Pickerington Ponds is a premier spot for birdwatching, with more than 260 species seen. The combination of seasonal ponds and rich wetland vegetation, with bordering woodlands, serve as a magnet for migrating waterfowl, shore birds and land birds. Deer, beaver, fox and other wildlife can be seen near the ponds and adjoining woods and fields of this 1,608 acre park
Prairie Oaks-West Jefferson, Ohio. Prairie Oaks features nearly 500 acres of lush flowering prairies and grasslands that were restored using seeds native to the Darby Plains. The spectacular scenery of the Big Darby State and National Scenic River, which flows through the 2,123-acre park, provides a beautiful backdrop for outdoor adventure along with several deep lakes.
Rocky Fork-Westerville, Ohio. Features more than 1,000 acres of woods and fields. The park includes a bridle trail, dog park and off-leash dog trail, a paved trail and nature trails plus a picnic shelter and wetlands. Rocky Fork runs through the park, which is a partnership with New Albany, the City of Columbus and Plain Township.
Scioto Audubon-Columbus, Ohio. Set amid a once industrial landscape, Scioto Audubon has been transformed from a blighted brownfield into a green oasis where wildlife and birds thrive and flourish. The 120-acre park is a recreational and educational destination for visitors of all ages. Located along the banks of the Scioto River just south of downtown Columbus, the park resulted from a partnership between Columbus, Ohio Audubon and Columbus Metro Parks to bring nature to the Capital City.
Scioto Grove-Grove City, Ohio. The 19th Metro Park opened in May 2016 and features five backpacking sites as well as seven miles of trails through woods and along the river.
Sharon Woods-Westerville, Ohio. Sharon Woods is a mixture of forests and fields with towering oak, hickory and beech trees and an 11-acre lake. Tucked inside the 768-acre park is the Edward Thomas Nature Preserve, named for the renowned Ohio naturalist and one of the founders of the park system. Many seasonal pools are present and provide critical spring breeding habitat for amphibians and other wildlife.
Slate Run-Canal Winchester, Ohio. Slate Run features a variety of habitats ranging from the open areas of grasslands, wetlands and meadows to the forested areas of beech, oak, hickory and sugar maple. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound at the 1,705-acre park. Sandhill cranes have nested in the 156-acre wetland and the northern bobwhite quail have been reintroduced in the park.
Slate Run Living Historical Farm-Canal WInchester, Ohio. Time has been turned back to the 1880s at Slate Run Living Historical Farm. Experience first-hand what life was like on an Ohio farm. As you stroll through the gardens, barns and farmhouse, you will see the farm costumed staff and volunteers going about their daily chores. Pigs, geese, turkeys, Percheron horses and other heirloom animals can be seen.
Three Creeks-Groveport, Ohio. Three Creeks is named for the confluence where Alum, Big Walnut and Blacklick creeks join. Owls, great blue herons and more than 100 species of birds have been sighted. Visitors may catch a glimpse of beaver, mink, coyote and deer. The 1,100-acre park is a partnership with the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.
Walnut Woods-Groveport, Ohio. Walnut Woods features 1,112 acres of woodlands and fields, bordered by Walnut Creek to the north. The Tall Pines Area features dramatic stands of pines and sweetgum trees, and the Buckeye Area has long rows of old nursery trees such as serviceberry, crab apple and red maples. The park also features restored wetlands and vernal pools.