Explore Metro Parks after dark 

Melissa Turpening
Metro Parks Outdoor Adventure Program Coordinator

This time of year can be challenging for many. Between the sun setting by 6pm and the chilly winter weather, it can be tempting to stay curled up inside. If you’re feeling the winter blues, we encourage you to bundle up and explore a park after dark! Several of your Metro Parks are open daily until 8pm October through March.

Watch the moon rise into the sky during a night hike at Battelle Darby Creek. Photo John Nixon

Enjoy the serenity of a beautiful sunset or watch the moon rise in the sky. If you’re new to exploring the woods after dark, check out these helpful hints from our Metro Parks Outdoor Adventure staff:

  1. Check hours for the Metro Park you’re visiting and park in lots open until 8pm.

  2. Rediscover a trail at night by hiking one you’re comfortable with and that you have hiked during the day.

  3. Take a hiking buddy with you or join us for a Metro Parks after-dark program.

  4. Plan a night hike when the moon is full for some natural ambient lighting or experience a true-dark hike during a new moon.

  5. Bring a headlamp or flashlight with you. Check batteries beforehand.

  6. Hiking at this time can increase your chances of seeing and hearing wildlife.  Shine your flashlight and be on the lookout for two reflective, friendly eyes looking your way.  A squirrel scurrying through crunchy, fallen leaves may sound like a larger animal, but remember, the squirrel is the same size as during the day!

  7. Be proud of yourself for taking the time to recreate and explore nature during the winter.  You’re guaranteed to feel better after the hike.

    Enjoy a night hike with Metro Parks Outdoor Adventure or plan your own after-dark adventure. Photo Cheryl Blair