Opt Outside in a Metro Park on Black Friday

Instead of standing in long lines waiting to buy cheap stuff at discounted rates on Black Friday (November 29), tell the world you’re going to #OptOutside by visiting a Metro Park #cbusmetroparks.

Here are a few fun things to do on Friday in your Metro Parks.

Relax and enjoy the variety of birds and wild animals that abound at the Slate Run Wetlands. Photo/Karl Hassel Jr.

Enjoy an easy 5-mile hike by combining the Kokomo, Wetlands and Bobolink trails at Slate Run Metro Park. As you walk around the boardwalk at the 156-acre wetland look for migrating waterfowl and other wildlife. More than 70 species of birds have been spotted at the wetlands. The Kokomo Trail meets up with the 1.7-mile, one-way Bobolink Grassland Trail. Take the spur off the trail to an observation deck overlooking the wetland. Next to the deck is an impressive 100-year old Osage orange tree that is one of the largest in Ohio.

Spend some time hiking with your dog in a park rather than battling crowds in a stuffy mall! After all, who loves going outside more than dogs? Several Metro Parks have some “pawsome” trails for you and your pup to explore (https://www.metroparks.net/pets/).

Make a dog’s day on Black Friday with a hike on the Coyote Run Trail at Highbanks Metro Park. Photo/Lisa Travis

Your dog will have sensory overload as she sniffs her way along the 3.5-mile Coyote Run Trail at Highbanks. The trail starts off at the nature center on a spur trail that leads into the woods than opens into fields and is an easy trek.

Another great escape from the holiday crowds is to catch a sunrise at Pickerington Ponds while everyone is camped out at a big box store waiting to buy the latest electronic gizmo. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate, grab your camera or phone and watch the sun rise over Ellis Ponds around 7:30 am.

The serenity of watching a sunrise over Ellis Pond at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park sure beats a day shopping.  Photo/John Bonnett

Our REI CO-OP partners began the #OptOuside campaign five years ago as a daylong event to get people outdoors and away from materialistic needs and wants. This year they’re going a step further with the Opt to Act Plan…52 weeks of action to leave the world better than we found it. For more information on how you can get involved, check it out here.

Let us know what you’ll be doing outside on Black Friday. Send photos or videos to mediagroup@metroparks.net so we can share them on social media.