Explorer’s Challenge 2020

FIVE EXPLORER CHALLENGES

Our 2020 Explorer’s Challenge will run from Sept. 19 to Oct. 31, 2020. (See links at the bottom of this page to download the explorer challenge cards, alongside park locations where you can pick up printed copies).

For each challenge, we will award an embroidered patch for the first 200 people to complete it. The first 200 people who complete all four hiking challenges, the Trail Trotter, Pet Trail Prowler, Greenways Go-Getter and Ridge Runner challenges, will receive the Thru-Hiker achievement and will receive a special Metro Parks Explorer T-shirt and limited-edition patch! (You don’t need need to complete the River Rambler challenge for the Thru-Hiker achievement.)

You can start to redeem your cards on Oct. 17, and redeem them for patches through Nov. 8, 2020.

This program was made possible in partnership with Friends of Metro Parks using a Tad Jeffrey Memorial Fund Grant.

RIVER RAMBLER

There’s nothing better than spending an afternoon paddling down a fall-colored river or floating through a late-summer creek! If kayaking, canoeing or paddle-boarding is your thing, grab your gear and head on down to your nearest Metro Park river or creek access point, and paddle away! To complete this challenge, spend 10 hours or more enjoying Metro Parks’ many waterways. We’ve included five in this challenge to help you get started!

(record your hours on the river instead of your miles travelled)

SCIOTO RIVER
Scioto Grove Metro Park
North Canoe Access to South Canoe Access

BIG and LITTLE DARBY CREEKS
Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

OLENTANGY RIVER
Highbanks Metro Park

SCIOTO RIVER
Scioto Audubon Metro Park
Boat ramp north to downtown area

ALUM CREEK to BIG WALNUT CREEK
Three Creeks Metro Park

SUBMIT YOUR DATA FOR THE RIVER RAMBLER CHALLENGE


TRAIL TROTTER(10.9 miles)

Looking to get out and explore what your Metro Parks have to offer? Start here! The Trail Trotter Challenge showcases five of our beautiful hiking paths across the park district. Enjoy beautiful fall color along the Dripping Rock Trail and enjoy sweeping views of the Clear Creek Valley on the Creekside Meadows Trail!

DRIPPING ROCK TRAIL
Highbanks Metro Park (2.5 miles)
Interactive Map: Dripping Rock Trail

SUGARBUSH TRAIL
Blendon Woods Metro Park (2 miles)
Interactive Map: Sugarbush Trail

CREEKSIDE MEADOWS TRAIL
Clear Creek Metro Park (1.7 miles)
Interactive Map: Creekside Meadows Trail

SWEETGUM TRAIL
Walnut Woods Metro Park (2.6 miles)
Interactive Map: Sweetgum Trail

TERRACE TRAIL
Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park (2.1 miles)
Interactive Map: Terrace Trail

SUBMIT YOUR DATA FOR THE TRAIL TROTTER CHALLENGE


PET TRAIL PROWLER(12.3 miles)

Ready to go hiking with your very best friend? Metro Parks has pet-friendly trails throughout the park district, and these are some of our favorites! Wind through prairie fields at Glacier Ridge and Prairie Oaks and pass through the woods of Highbanks and Scioto Grove.

COYOTE RUN TRAIL
Highbanks Metro Park (3.5 miles)
Interactive Map: Coyote Run Trail

SYCAMORE PLAINS TRAIL
Prairie Oaks Metro Park (2.2 miles)
Interactive Map: Sycamore Plains Trail

MINGO TRAIL
Scioto Grove Metro Park (2.5 miles)
Interactive Map: Mingo Trail

IRONWEED TRAIL
Glacier Ridge Metro Park (2.8 miles)
Interactive Map: Ironweed Trail

BEECH WOODLAND TRAIL
Rocky Fork Metro Park (1.3 miles)
Interactive Map: Beech Woodland Trail

SUBMIT YOUR DATA FOR THE PET TRAIL PROWLER CHALLENGE


GREENWAYS GO-GETTER(52.9 miles)

There’s something for everybody on our Greenway Trails; Metro Parks manages nearly 100 miles of paved Greenway Trails in Central Ohio, and we want to help you find them all! Take a stroll through downtown along the Scioto Mile or wind through the woods on the Blacklick Creek Greenway. For this challenge you can bike OR hike. If you decide to hike this challenge, at least 10 miles of Greenway Trail must be hiked. Biking, you should cover the full 52.9 miles. The Greenway Trails are pet-friendly.

DARBY CREEK GREENWAY TRAIL
Prairie Oaks Metro Park (8.3 miles)
Interactive Map: Darby Creek Greenway Trail

BLACKLICK CREEK GREENWAY TRAIL
Blacklick Woods/Pickerington Ponds/Three Creeks Metro parks (16 miles)
Interactive Map: Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail

HERITAGE TRAIL
Homestead Metro Park (6.1 miles)
Interactive Map: Heritage Trail

SCIOTO GREENWAY TRAIL
Scioto Audubon Metro Park (10 miles)
Interactive Map: Scioto Greenway Trail

CAMP CHASE TRAIL
Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park (12.5 miles)
Interactive Map: Camp Chase Trail

SUBMIT YOUR DATA FOR THE GREENWAYS GO-GETTER CHALLENGE


RIDGE RUNNER(10.8 miles)

Looking for more of a challenge? Look no further! Metro Parks has trails for all types of recreation, and this challenge shows off some of our steeper, rougher and wilder trails! Running is not required. Visit the hemlocks and rhododendrons of Clear Creek and the creek beds of Battelle Darby Creek. Don’t forget to bring your walking stick!

CEMETERY RIDGE TRAIL
Clear Creek Metro Park (2.5 miles)
Interactive Map: Cemetery Ridge Trail

FIVE OAKS TRAIL
Slate Run Metro Park (1.5 miles)
Interactive Map: Five Oaks Trail

RIDGE & MEADOWS TRAILS
Chestnut Ridge Metro Park (2 miles)
Interactive Map: Ridge Trail / Meadows Trail

SPRING CREEK TRAIL
Sharon Woods Metro Park (1.8 miles)
Interactive Map: Spring Creek Trail

DYER MILL TRAIL
Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park (3 miles)
Interactive Map: Dyer Mill Trail

SUBMIT YOUR DATA FOR THE RIDGE RUNNER CHALLENGE


THRU-HIKER

We’ve got one more challenge for those of you who just can’t get enough! To complete the Thru-Hiker Challenge, all you have to do is hike them all! Participants who complete all four hiking challenges, the Trail Trotter, Pet Trail Prowler, Greenways Go-Getter and Ridge Runner, will receive a special Thru-Hiker achievement! Please note, if you don’t have a pet you’re welcome to complete the Pet Trail Prowler by hiking the trails alone. The first 200 participants to complete all four hiking challenges will receive a limited-edition Thru-Hiker Patch and T-shirt. The River Rambler Challenge is optional for this achievement. Good luck, and Happy Hiking!


DOWNLOAD YOUR EXPLORER CHALLENGE CARDS

RIVER RAMBLER

TRAIL TROTTER

PET TRAIL PROWLER

GREENWAYS GO-GETTER

RIDGE RUNNER

EXPLORER CHALLENGE CARDS MAY ALSO BE PICKED UP AT THESE PARK LOCATIONS:

  • The bulletin board at Shrock Lake, Sharon Woods Metro Park
  • The naturalist’s office, Sharon Woods Metro Park
  • The entrance area at Inniswood Metro Gardens
  • The nature center bulletin board, Blendon Woods Metro Park
  • The ranger station, Cedar Ridge Picnic Area, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
  • The dog park bulletin board at Rocky Fork Metro Park
  • Two bulletin boards in the Oak Coves area at Highbanks Metro Park
  • Bulletin boards in the Arrowhead Picnic Area and the Hickory Grove Picnic Area at Scioto Grove Metro Park
  • The bulletin board in front of the Nature Center/Barn area of Homestead Metro Park