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Highbanks (1,159 acres)
Open 6:30am to 10pm April through September /
6:30am to 8pm October through March
40.15283    -83.01837

Highbanks is appropriately named for its massive 100-foot high shale bluffs that tower over the Olentangy State Scenic River.

Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines extending into the eastern part of the park.

Ohio and Olentangy shales, often containing outstanding examples of large concretions, are exposed on the bluff face and sides of the ravines. This area has been designated a National Natural Landmark.

Visitors will see outstanding examples of oak-hickory, beech-maple and flood plain hardwood forests as they hike the park's 11 miles of trails Highbanks is also rich in Native American history. The park contains two Adena Indian burial mounds and a prehistoric earthwork. Eagles have nested at Highbanks since 2010. The nest can be seen from the observation deck at the end of the Overlook Trail.

  • Picnicking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Sledding hill
  • Nature center
  • Nature programs
  • Pet trail
  • Natural Play Area
  • Hiking trails
  • Canoeing
  • Fishing (Olentangy River)
  • Edward F. Hutchins State
         Nature Preserve
  • Wetland viewing shelter


    9466 US Rt 23 N
    Lewis Center, OH 43035
    (northern Franklin & southern Delaware counties)

    From I-270, take U.S. 23 north about 3 miles. Entrance is on the left, just before Powell Road.

    Two reservable picnic areas and shelters

    Edward F. Hutchins State Nature Preserve: Visitors can see the prehistoric Cole earthworks and enjoy a spectacular view of the Olentangy River in this 206-acre dedicated state scenic nature preserve.

    Streamside Study Area: This area can be reserved free-of-charge by schools or organized groups. School children can explore the river's aquatic life with a naturalist.

    Nature Center: Your gateway to outdoor discovery. Ask a naturalist questions, discover nature through displays and view wildlife from the nature center's windows. (Hours)

    Dragonfly Day Camp: Organized youth groups can reserve this day camp area by calling 614.508.8111

    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.