October Fun at Highbanks Metro Park

Highbanks Park Ranger

Pool family grave stones at Highbanks. Photo Liz Christian

October is the best month to explore gorgeous fall colors and spooky natural surprises at Highbanks Metro Park in Lewis Center, Ohio. You can hike on your own to the Pool Family Graveyard or take advantage of one of our numerous guided hikes for an array of ages, featuring fun Halloween themes.

Nestled into the forest, just off the Overlook Trail, you can find what remains of the Pool Family graveyard. In 1812, Joseph and Sally Pool departed from New York to settle in Sharon Township in Franklin County, where they owned property that now comprises a portion of Highbanks. The family was quite large, having 13 children, which was typical of the time. They farmed the land and were among the area’s earliest pioneers.

The Pool Family Graveyard is actually a re-creation of the last known pioneer family graveyard in the vicinity. While the headstones are authentic, the location of the actual graves are unknown. The headstones were found off-site, stacked on land just south of the park. They were moved to their present location in 1981. The original cemetery is thought to be located at a private residence on the west side of US Route 23, just north of Flint Road.

While visiting our local cemetery, you’ll likely take notice of the amazing colors gracing trees flanking the Overlook Trail. In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac states that October 5th through the 21st marks the time of optimal fall color in Ohio. If taking in the woodland spectacle on your own isn’t for you, join other guests on a naturalist-guided hike on the Overlook Trail for our “Date Night” adult hike on Friday October 20. Proximity to the Pool Graveyard might also give you an excuse to hold your anxious date’s hand.

A bridge crosses a tributary stream of the Olentangy River on the Dripping Rock Trail at Highbanks. Photo Tom Ziegler

October at Highbanks isn’t just for adults. Join our naturalist, Donald, on Saturday October 21 for a family hike on the Dripping Rock Trail. While this is another fantastic trail for admiring the turning foliage, prepare to keep an eye out for our resident creepy-crawlies! You’ll be looking for spiders, millipedes and all manner of creatures that call this park home.

Here at Highbanks, we also like to be mindful of our four-legged family members. On Sunday October 29 we are hosting a Howl-o-ween Dog Hike. Pups are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween finery for a walk along the Scenic River Trail and Big Meadows area.

A visitor walks her dog on the Coyote Run Trail at Highbanks. Photo Virginia Gordon

Whether you prefer to explore the park alone, as a group, or as part of a guided program, Highbanks has many late-October offerings to tickle your Halloween fancy. Bring the family to observe spectacular fall color, or enjoy Date Night with a Pool Family history lesson. Whatever your preference, Highbanks has it all.