BRANDON NOVOTNY, Prairie Oaks Ranger
Canoeing and kayaking are two of the best ways to see your Metro Parks. From magnificent wildlife, to breathtaking sunsets and scenic views, a float down the river won’t disappoint.
You’re bound to see ospreys and bald eagles flying the river corridor at Battelle Darby Creek, Prairie Oaks, Scioto Audubon, Scioto Grove and Three Creeks. Paddle Big Darby Creek, Scioto River and Alum, Big Walnut and Blacklick creeks to see these incredible birds.
You can also find minks and beavers throughout the parks, but you have an especially good chance to see them if you are paddling Big Darby Creek at Prairie Oaks.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot a river otter in Big Darby Creek at Battelle Darby Creek. It’s rumored that the small but growing population, about 8,000 in Ohio, have been seen in a few Central Ohio rivers. Although rare, they’re worth looking out for.
Sunrises and Sunsets
For the most incredible sunsets, float out at Darby Bend Lakes at Prairie Oaks. The sunsets are killer.
Paddle along the Olentangy River through Highbanks and marvel at the huge, 100-foot high shale bluff for which the park is named. It’s an awesome view and you can see the eagles nest from a different perspective. Park up in Big Meadows and float down to the new river bluff property. It will take you through the park, past the bluffs and by the eagle’s nest.