Wetlands burst to life in spring

Tina Fronk
Social Media Specialist

As spring ushers in sunshine and warmer weather, the wetlands burst to life at your Metro Parks. Spring also brings incredible wildlife viewing opportunities as well as serene moments to watch the sun rise into the sky or dip below the trees.

Hooded mergansers are just one of the many types of ducks you can see in the wetlands at Highbanks or Slate Run. Photo/Gil Sears

With more than 3,700 acres of wetlands, you’re bound to see birds, frogs, salamanders, snakes, muskrats and more as you explore the parks. Look for hooded mergansers, northern shovelers, mallards and wood ducks at Battelle Darby Creek and Pickerington Ponds. You might see several wading birds as well, including great blue heron, egrets and the impressive sandhill cranes at Pickerington Ponds and Slate Run wetlands.

Keep an eye out for eastern garter snakes sunbathing. Painted turtles also enjoy basking in the sunshine on warm spring days. You can see these creatures at any of your favorite Metro Parks.

Chorus frogs are only an inch and a half in size, but you can hear their trill from half a mile away. Photo/Dale Miller

Chorus frogs and spring peepers signal spring’s arrival with a loud trill that you’re sure to hear from afar. These frogs may be small, but you can hear them sing out for a mate in late spring. Salamanders also mate in spring and make a long journey to vernal pools and wetlands at night to do the deed at Battelle Darby Creek, Glacier Ridge and Sharon Woods.

During the day, you might see skunks, deer, rabbits and opossum searching for food. Explore the Kuhlwein wet prairie at Battelle Darby Creek, the prairie wetlands at Prairie Oaks and the wetland at the entrance to Scioto Grove to see cattail piles. These piles are built by muskrats and serve as their homes.

Check out the wetlands at Battelle Darby Creek for bright, colorful sunrises and sunsets. Photo/Kerry McGuire

Metro Parks wetlands provide a peaceful backdrop to stunning sunrises and sunsets. Take a moment to watch the sunlight dance across the water or admire the colorful reflections. You might see streaks of pink, purple and orange cut across the sky.

For spectacular sunrises and sunsets, check out the wetlands at Battelle Darby Creek, located at 7980 Kuhlwein Road, Galloway, OH 43119. The Arrowhead and Killdeer trails at Pickerington Ponds lead to observation decks that overlook different wetlands. Soak in the views at Slate Run, located at 11140 Winchester Road, Ashville, OH 43103. The Kokomo Wetland Trail loops around the wetlands and offers three observation decks along the way.

The wetlands come to life as spring unfolds, so lace up your hiking boots, grab your binoculars and head out to your favorite Metro Park.