Naturalists share their mindfulness meditative spaces in Metro Parks

Naturalist, Three Creeks Metro Park

Little Darby Creek is the perfect spot to take a break, relax and breathe in the fresh air as you watch the waters rush over the rifles. Photo/Mac Albin

We have all experienced it before. The stress peeling off your shoulders feeling you get after taking a deep breath while gazing at something so beautiful that you cannot help but to stop and pause to just take in that moment. It’s no secret that nature has the power to heal and transform our moods into a calmer, more relaxed state. Mindfulness meditative spaces are those which cause us to take intentional moments for ourselves to reconnect with what is most important to us right now. Whether you have taken the Cobb Shell Trail or the Riffle Run Trail down to the creek at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, as soon as you start to see and hear the water running over the rocks, your mind and body start to feel the powerful energy of the water that has been running there for the past several hundred years.

A few of our naturalists were asked to share their favorite mindfulness meditative spaces with us. Here’s what they said:

Highbanks Metro Park River Bluff Area features two wooded trails that lead down to the Olentangy State Scenic River. Photo/Timothy Palosaari

Highbanks Naturalist Jen Moore
Standing on the bluff overlooking the Olentangy River at the River Bluff Area is an immediate soothing experience. Trees swaying in the wind and birds riding the thermals above the bluffs help you forget and block out the hustle and bustle that lies just across the parking lot on SR 315. Walking down the hill toward the Olentangy River and the young sycamore trees, you might catch the slightly sweet, distinctive whiff of the water. The quiet is broken only by the sounds of the water crashing over the rocks and the occasional sound of a kingfisher hunting for lunch. Mossy green banks tower as you sit on the sprawling tree roots of a sycamore tree and dangle your feet out over the water and relax.

Sharon Woods Naturalist Allison Shaw
Halfway along the Spring Creek Trail is a small overlook area with a picnic table. Sitting here on a sunny evening, with the sun streaming through leaves, brings instant relaxation. Children can be heard playing in the creek below in the Natural Play Area. Many birds can be seen and heard from this vantage point, flitting among the large sycamore trees in the valley below.

Steep ravines, shady hemlock groves, rocky terrain and ridges topped with hardwood trees make Clear Creek’s remote Fern Trail an ideal spot to recharge and connect with nature. Photo/Andrew Boose

Inniswood Metro Gardens Environmental Educator Jen Snyder
Clear Creek Metro Park is not only a shining jewel in our beloved Metro Parks but arguably one of Ohio’s most fertile ecological gems. I have always enjoyed the Hemlock Trail at Clear Creek. There is just something about hemlocks. I have on many occasions seen salamanders on that trail and any place with salamanders is my happy place.

Blendon Woods Naturalist Larissa Swonger
I find that I always feel very peaceful when I sit in the west viewing blind at Thoreau Lake near sunset. With a warm, light breeze on your face, the sounds of waterfowl splashing and swimming in the water and the beautiful colors of the setting sun on the lake, it’s hard not to feel at ease.

No matter where you might be overtaken by the beauty of nature, there are many experiences to be had while visiting Metro Parks that transform your mood and bring peace of mind body and soul to you. The next time you come to one of our parks know that just around the corner could be a magnificent moment to take in and remember for days when you need a little reminder that all is right with the world.


One thought on “Naturalists share their mindfulness meditative spaces in Metro Parks

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