Metro Parks Annual Winter Hike Series

The snow is starting to fall, which means it’s time for winter hikes! Join us for our 46th annual winter hike series starting January 2019. For a full schedule of hikes, see below or click here: Winter Hikes 2019 flyer

Flyer with schedule of Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks winter hikes for 2019























Flyer for Metro Parks' 13 Hikes of Giving (2019 Winter Hikes)
Flyer for Metro Parks’ 13 Hikes of Giving (2019 Winter Hikes)

38 thoughts on “Metro Parks Annual Winter Hike Series

    1. Trish, the dog park at Rocky Fork is still closed. Follow us on Twitter for updates about when it will reopen. Thanks!

  1. Hello.

    Will there be an opportunity to earn a patch or walking stick like last year?

    Thanks for everything you do!

    1. Hi, Kathy. Yes there will be! You can earn a patch by completing seven hikes and Friends of Metro Parks members can get a walking stick or medallions for completing all of the hikes.

  2. I’m very interested in trying, i’ve never hiked but I am a runner that runs in the cold but i’m unsure of what to wear and the type of boots also what should I bring in my backpack that i’ll need?

    1. Hi Carol – a good pair of hiking boots is recommended. Wrap up warm for the cold, and as keeping hydrated is so important, bring water to drink. We hope you can make it out to a few of the hikes and enjoy them. They’re great for seeing the beauty of the parks and for meeting new people.

    1. Hi Mindy, There are paved trails, suitable for walking with strollers, at all the parks except Chestnut Ridge, Clear Creek and Prairie Oaks. These last three have gravel trails that should be good for strollers in dry weather. For more information about trails, go to the separate park pages at

  3. Hi, where do we meet at the parks? Is there a starting point where we will gather at Blacklick Woods?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Diana – Initial gathering spot is the nature center car park. We’ll have rangers and other staff on duty guiding visitors where to park if and when particular parking lots get filled. Enjoy the hike!

  4. Hi! We are hoping to hit all the winter hikes but have a conflict this sat. Bummer. Can we do the hike this Fri instead and count it toward the patch or walking stick, or does it only count if we go during the scheduled times? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Christinia – sorry you can’t make Saturday, but if you do the hike on Friday, we can certainly credit you for the hike. Check at the nature center to see if they have the winter hike cards available. After you’ve done the hike, see a ranger and they can mark credit for the hike on your card.

  5. It’s been a few years since I’ve done the hikes, but back then some were led by staff and later, most were self-guided hikes. How are they being handled this year?

    1. Hi Susan, the winter hikes are self-guided, although you will see volunteers and staff out there on the trails. We hope you can get out to some of the hikes.

  6. I see that you said it was ok to do the hike on Friday. Is it ok to do it Sunday following the same procedure…check in at nature center to see if they have the winter hike cards and have a ranger mark it? Also which trails will be included on Saturday so I know which ones to do on Sunday.

    1. Hi Leila – yes, that would be fine to do the hike on Sunday. I hope you were able to do that. You could do it later too, if necessary.

  7. adding to the “where do we meet?” question- your webpage needs more specifics for us all regarding each hike- for ex. we attended the 1st hike on Jan 5 and brought our dogs (even if we hadn’t we still wandered around aimlessly for 40 minutes)- nowhere did the website say anything about dogs so I went to the park page specifically and it listed trails as walk/bike/dog friendly. When we arrived there, we asked a ranger where the registration table is for the winter hike- she had no idea and then called another ranger who had no idea- then we parked where we could find a spot and saw a Friends of Metro Parks table but it wasn’t the registration one- she then told us the hike was not dog friendly and directed us to Beech Maple Lodge…I like to be prepared and plan ahead as much as possible so unless Friends of Metro parks can give me specific information for each and every winter hike I am not likely to attend any more of them- although we are paying members…

    1. Kimberly, Sorry you had the issues when taking your dogs to the winter hike. I’m glad you saw the flyer (your second comment), which indicates which of the hikes are dog-friendly. Registration isn’t required to do the hikes. Information about the initial meeting places for each hike is in our winter Parkscope magazine (and also on our website programs schedule). Because so many people come to the winter hikes, we often have staff on hand who redirect visitors to other parking spots (when the initial parking lot becomes full).

  8. one more quick comment- I do now see that the flyer has a paw mark on pet-friendly parks but I was going by the email that was sent to me re: first winter hike at Blacklick didn’t mention anything about pets one way or the other.

  9. We did the 4 mile hike at Blacklick Woods last Saturday. We were not able to fid a sign up location or get a card for Ranger to sign. What should we do now?

    1. Hi Alicia – when you go to your next winter hike, you can ask the volunteer or ranger who is guiding visitors to parking spaces where you can get a card (they may have one themselves). Usually the cards are available where food is served. When you get a card, let the staff know that you did the Blacklick Woods hike and we will honor that and stamp your card. Hope to see you at many more hikes.

  10. PLEASE, people, leave your dogs at home!!!! With so many people coming out for the walks they just are a nuisance. Even on trails that are “dog accepting” you will find discarded food, cigarette butts and “scat” (especially this time of year (yeah, shouldn’t, but you will!). The last thing you want is for your pet to get an infection from simple contact with any of those.

  11. A friend and just started doing the winter hike series this year and are intending to go to the Clear Creek location tomorrow. I can only find a “Clear Creek Nature Preserve ” in Lancaster, Oh whose trail is on 2.3mi. Is that the correct park?

    1. That’s terrific! You’ll love Clear Creek. It looks so pretty in winter, with so many hemlocks showing their greenery, and especially with snow.

  12. Do you ever cancel hikes due to ice snow or freezing temps? If so, do you post on FB or other?

    1. Hi Steph – our winter hikes go on in all weathers, we never cancel them. Hope you can make it out to many of them this winter.

  13. Hi were wanting to do the hike tomorrow Feb 17,2019… It’s the 2.5 or 5 mile hike. I have no clue where we go for this. Is there an address??

  14. How long do you have to complete hikes you missed to still qualify in getting a walking stick? Thank you

    1. Hi Kristin, you have until the end of March to complete the hikes and send in your card. Good luck and have fun on the trails!

  15. Hi Steph,
    We adore the winter hike series! We missed a few hikes as my dad had heart surgery. We will make these up on our own. What is the time frame for completing all hikes to eatn the medallion. Where would we pick that up if we aren’t finished by the last hike on Sat ?

    1. Hi Becky, you have until the end of March to complete the hikes and send in your card. Good luck and have fun on the trails!

  16. We may not be able to make the last hike at Battelle Darby Creek. What is the last date we can mail our card in to still receive the medallion. We are members of Friends of the Metro Parks. Thanks.

    1. Hi Wayne, you have until the end of March to complete the hikes and send in your card. Good luck and have fin on the trails!

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