Canopy Walk is your gateway to the sky

VIRGINIA GORDON
Communications Coordinator

A section of the Canopy Walk, including one of the three rope bridges, for the more adventurous among us. The rope bridges can be bypassed as you take the entire boardwalk loop. Photo Liz Christian

You’ve never seen anything like this at a Metro Park before. Imagine yourself walking through the tree tops, high above the earth, eyeball to eyeball with the canopy-dwelling birds, absorbing the woodland scents, while every step you take unleashes an eye-catching new vista on the surrounding forest, and you might get a first impression of the stunning experience that awaits you on your next visit to Blacklick Woods Metro Park.

The incredible Canopy Walk opened officially on Friday May 17, 2024. Hundreds of people braved the rain and attended our Grand Opening, to become the first visitors to explore the sky-piercing boardwalk, and enjoy canapés on the canopy, plus other refreshments.

If you don’t like the steps, there’s no need to take them. The elevator carries you 40 feet up to the Canopy Walk and is ideal to give wheelchair users access to the fabulous new facility. Photo Liz Christian

The wide boardwalk penetrates the sky thanks to more than 250 50-foot telephone poles, perfectly aligned to support the structure as it winds through the trees on a loop of one-eighth of a mile. The boardwalk stands 40 feet above the forest floor and the buttonbush swamp below, and it takes 72 steps on a zigzag staircase to get up there. But no worries, if that sounds too challenging for you. Mindful of accessibility, the Canopy Walk can also be reached in comfort and ease via an elevator tower. It makes the Canopy Walk freely available to wheelchair users or anyone who would find such steep step-climbing a trial. Atop the elevator tower, accessible only via another 27 steps, stands an observation platform, 55 feet in the air, providing still higher visual perspectives on the surrounding forest and park land.

The cargo net is a great place to play or simply lie back and relax. Photo Liz Christian

The Canopy Walk includes a giant cargo net that can be used for play, or simply to relax in, hammock-style. Lie back and read a book, check your phone messages, or simply chill out and experience a sense of weightlessness in the tree tops. The cargo net can host up to ten people at a time. Kids will love the other play features on the Canopy Walk. As well as the easy to navigate boardwalk, the Canopy Walk includes three rope bridges, providing a little adventure for anyone so-inclined, and also includes a fireman’s pole and a treehouse for young or old to play in.

The treehouse is there to provide shade and also fun for young and old. Photo Liz Christian

The 660-foot boardwalk reaches high into the canopy of trees, which include maples, red oaks, pin oaks, beech, swamp white oaks and shagbark hickory. To keep the birds interested, Metro Parks is installing four special feeders along the Canopy Walk. A pulley system with pivoting extension arms and telescoping hooks will allow us to keep the feeders filled with thistle, sunflower seeds and suet. We expect the feeders will attract large numbers of woodpeckers, warblers, nuthatch, phoebe, tufted titmouse and vireos, amongst many other species of birds.

Here are some birds you might hope to see around the Canopy Walk. Blue-headed vireo (Mike Horn), Blackburnian warbler (Bruce Miller), phoebe (Gil Sears), red-bellied woodpecker (Terry Peck).

Metro Parks contracted with R.W. Setterlin to build the Canopy Walk. Based in Columbus and founded in 1935, Setterlin also served as the single-prime contractor for the building of the nature center at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. This multi-million dollar project arose from brainstorming sessions by park planners several years ago and has finally come to fruition. Following today’s opening, the fabulous Canopy Walk will be open to the public every day from 9am to 7 pm during the months April to August, and 9am to 5pm from September through March. Come and experience the wonder of it for yourself, now and often. It will never feel old!

A section of the Canopy Walk boardwalk seen from above at the observation platform. Photo Liz Christian

 

See our video: Tim Talks: Blacklick Woods Canopy Walk

14 thoughts on “Canopy Walk is your gateway to the sky

  1. Is using a walker possible on the canopy walk? Is the beginning and ending of the walk where the elevator is located?

    1. Yes, you can use a walker on the canopy walk. From the elevator to the canopy walk is flat, with no steps intervening.

  2. I have a service dog. I will bring her. Is that an issue? I saw no animals but you might want to put Service animals are ok?

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