The weather stayed fair and a crowd of more than 1,500 eager park lovers were on hand to mark the opening of the 19th Metro Park last Friday, May 6, 2016.
Scioto Grove Metro Park joined the official canon of parks as 12 kids from the Richard Avenue Elementary School cut the ceremonial ribbon, with help from Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage. In glorious sunshine, the kids went off to explore the elaborate play structures and have fun on the rope climbs, tube slide and swings.
Other folk joined a Metro Parks naturalist on a nature walk along the REI River Trail. The trail was named in honor of our partnership with outdoor retailer, REI, which helped to construct this backpacking trail along the river. The 620-acre park boasts five backpacking sites, where tents can be set up for the night. This feature is unique among our Metro Parks, and will allow seasoned backpackers, or folks just getting into the sport, to experience a quick family overnight close to home.
If you love canoeing or kayaking, or have that insatiable urge to while away the day fishing on the river, Scioto Grove will become a place for you. Located on a scenic bend of the Scioto River, the park has canoe access points at the northern and southern ends. Cast your line into the river and you can catch bass, bluegill, catfish and other native fish. There is also a small fishing pond, which is catch and release.
We invite you to bring your dogs with you, as leashed pets will be welcome throughout the park. No one wants to think about this right now, when we’re craving a little warmth, but come winter we now have another park with a sledding hill. Winter sport enthusiasts will love it. For summer, we will host one of our nature adventure camps at Scioto Grove. Animal Olympians, for grades 1 to 3, will be held from Monday June 27 to Friday July 1, and places are still available. You can register for this, or other summer camps, here.
More than 19,000 people visited the park during its first weekend. Members of the press, House of Representatives, REI and three families from Grove City joined Metro Parks staff at a preview camp-out Thursday night before the grand opening. The lucky families were selected as winners from a social media contest that ran on the Metro Parks’ Facebook page in April.
Scioto Grove Metro Park was made possible thanks to passage of a property tax levy by Franklin County voters, a generous donation of 193 acres of land from the City of Grove City, funds from the State of Ohio Clean Ohio Program, and a partnership with REI Co-Op. It features mature forests and scenic bluffs overlooking the river, more than seven miles of trails, two picnic areas with shelters, tables and grills, a kids play area and several overlook decks.
We hope to see you soon on a visit to our 19th park. If you would like to try backpacking, call 614.949.1078 to reserve your spot, beginning May 9th for the May 13th and 14th weekend. Backpacking will be open every other weekend through October 1 and is completely free. Just bring your tents and your enthusiasm!