Helpful Winter Hike Hints

The turn of the new year is an exciting time in our metro parks. The Winter Hike series is in full swing, with large turn outs at Blacklick Woods, Sharon Woods and Prairie Oaks.  Here are some tips before heading out to enjoy the hikes.

Do not leave valuables in your car.  While crime is low in your Metro Parks, vehicle break-ins are a problem in parks throughout Central Ohio.  These are crimes of opportunity.  This may seem like a simple idea, but let’s not give them the opportunity!  More often than not, when we take reports of this type of crime, valuables were left out in plain view. Bring a backpack or fanny pack to carry anything that does not fit in your pockets.  If a purse is a must, do not hide it under the seat or under a blanket, thieves know this trick.   Put it in the trunk, but prior to getting to the park.  Thieves may be watching, and nearly all vehicles have a trunk release latch.  A quick smash of the window, hit the latch, and they have the trunk open in no time.

Be patient. The Winter Hike series is popular and attendance is very high the day of the hike.  While we are ecstatic so many wants to get out and hike with us, this can cause traffic slowdowns entering the park as well as parking issues. Most parks have an alternative parking plan for the day, and rangers work hard to efficiently park people. Please be patient, and you can help by carpooling with friends.  This helps us, helps the environment and helps you by not needing to find your friends in the crowds.

Have Fun. The Winter Hike series is a fun way for people to get out and enjoy the parks during a time many tend to spend indoors. Use the opportunity to visit parks you may not have visited before.  Take plenty of pictures and tag us on social media. Enjoy the food post-hike, we encourage you to bring your own reusable soup mug.   Stay afterwards to check out things that may not have been on the hike route, like playgrounds or nature centers.  If we ever get some snow, make a snowman or snow angels along the hike route.  Just have fun!

Don’t forget to bring personal hygiene items, which will go to the Mid Ohio Food Bank, and receive a collector coffee mug. We hope to see you at the 2020 Winter Hike Series!