Passport to my favorite park

Lisa Williams, Guest Blogger

View from high to low shows the surface area of the 53-foot living stream in the nature center at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
The 53-foot living stream is stocked with creatures living in the nearby Big Darby Creek. (Lisa Williams)

I completed the Metro Parks passport program in 2018, and I saved my favorite park, Battelle Darby Creek, for last. I visited a couple of times on a weekend because—dang—this place is BIG!

My first stop was the nature center. It has classrooms, educational resources and access to cameras that follow the bison. But the best part is the 53-foot living stream with lots of creatures that can be found in Big Darby Creek.

A long-nosed gar feeds in the 53-foot living stream in the nature center at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
A long-nosed gar at feeding time in the 53-foot living stream in the nature center at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. (Lisa Williams)

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park has hundreds of acres of restored wetlands and prairies filled with native grasses and wildflowers and the birds and animals that have returned.

Two bison come close together, as if for a quiet conversation, in the prairie enclosure at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
Two bison come close together, as if for a quiet conversation, at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. (Lisa Williams)

Bison! They currently have eight bison hanging out in the prairie. I could go on and on about the bison but I have only so much room. Check here for programs about the bison and lots of other educational/entertaining programs.

A group of photographers were attracted to Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park when news began to spread that a Kirtland's warbler had been seen at the park
A group of photographers were attracted to Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park when news began to spread that a Kirtland’s warbler had been seen at the park.

On Saturday, I found a group of people who were watching for a rare Kirtland’s warbler visiting the area. He made an appearance on the fence along the trail and posed nicely for some photographs.

A Kirtland's warbler, a rare species for Central Ohio, sits on a fence rail along a park trail at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
A Kirtland’s warbler, a rare species for Central Ohio, sits on a fence rail along a park trail at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. (Lisa Williams)

My favorite things to do are wandering the trails and dipping my toes in Big Darby Creek. The peacefulness of this place is good for the soul.

A view down a steep decline on the narrow Terrace Trail at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, with shows of fall color in the trees bordering the trail
The beautiful Terrace Trail at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park has some steep inclines. (Mike Fetherolf)

The park has over a dozen trails that range from ADA accessible to OMG that was difficult.

There are several picnic areas, reservable lodge and shelters, natural play area, canoe access, hunting, sledding hill, ice skating, cross-country skiing and dog-friendly trails.

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Tell us about your favorite park in the comments below, or send a photo to mediagroup@metroparks.net

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