Summer paddles you don’t want to miss

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Paddle Big Darby Creek at Battelle Darby Creek to see beautiful scenery and look for a variety of birds and other wildlife. Photo Annette Boose


There’s nothing like paddling the pristine waters of Big Darby Creek on a warm summer day. The sunlight filters through the trees and turns the creek into a large mirror where everything above is reflected onto the water below. The breathtaking scenery is sure to delight your senses as you canoe or kayak downstream.

This State and National Scenic River at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park is home to a myriad of wildlife as well. You may see fishing spiders on a log, warblers and herons soaring above or catfish and minnows darting through the water. Wildlife spills into every bend of the creek.

Big and Little Darby creeks are great for paddlers of all experience levels. Put in and enjoy a leisurely float or work up a sweat on a longer trip. The main launch area is located at 8465 Alkire Road, Galloway, OH 43119. You can bring your own canoe or kayak or rent one from Trapper John’s Canoe Livery. Don’t forget to bring your personal flotation device (PFD) and a sense of adventure.

In addition to bald eagles, paddlers may also see warblers, woodpeckers and waterfowl along the Olentangy River. Photo Gil Sears


Head over to Highbanks Metro Park to experience the majesty of the Olentangy River. Towering sycamore trees line the banks as sentinels of the river and you can see concretions opening their eyes along the 100-foot shale bluffs as you paddle past.

Bring your binoculars to see an eagle or two flying above or look for beavers and river otters along the river. You can also see various birds or even a snake sunning itself. Wildlife abounds along the Olentangy.

The best time to paddle is in early summer after a beautiful thunderstorm passes through. If there’s not a lot of rain this season, you may be creeking more than paddling.

The main access is at the River Bluff area, located at 8400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43235.

Happy paddling!