A wonderland of wilderness awaits you in northeastern Franklin County

PEG HANLEY
Public Information Manager

The bedrock in the parkland is made up of Ohio and Bedford shale. Flowing water over thousands of years has cut through the rock to form an intricate ravine system. Photo/Park staff

With deep ravines running to Big Walnut Creek and cliffs 100 feet tall, Metro Parks acquired a piece of land several years ago that is similar to how Ohio looked prior to European settlement and the rise of logging. Located in northeast Franklin County just north of Blendon Woods Metro Park, this 150-acre old growth forest is so awe-inspiring that it has several monikers, but no official name. Some say Big Woods, others say Blendon Ravines and it’s even been dubbed the 100-Aker Wood. Regardless, it is a place to experience the grandeur of nature and create your own woodland name.

The mature forest is dominated by oaks and maples, some more than 200 years old, interspersed with black cherry, birch and shagbark hickory. Photo/Park staff

As you venture into the woods, look for anemone, may apples, and trout lilies and other spring wildflowers. In spring and particularly in fall, you’ll find hen of the woods growing in clusters at the base of some of the trees. Other fungi you may see are turkey tail, puffball and chicken of the woods.

The creek is a wonderful place to cool off in or just sit beneath the shade trees and watch the water flow by. Photo/Park staff

Head to the stream and look for eagles flying overhead in search of food as a pair have been reported from along Big Walnut Creek from Hoover Dam south through Little Turtle. You can also see concretions embedded in shale.

Metro Parks intends to keep this a primitive area, so there are no trails or facilities. It’s a place where you can find a moment or two of serenity in the wilderness and get away from the crowds. The address is 5220 Cambria Way, Westerville, OH 43081 and there is a small pull-off or you can park on the street.

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