Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk

Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk is part of the Hoover Nature Preserve operated by the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department. It is one of the best birding sites in central Ohio. In the fall the city lowers the water level in Hoover Reservoir, so it’s more hospitable to migrating shore birds. The area around the boardwalk is also used for fishing and launching kayaks, and I’ve seen crew teams training here. Beyond that, the site is just lovely.


This is how it looks after the water level has been lowered for the migrating shore birds.

Bird watching during fall migration

A migrating shore bird (a Greater or Lesser Yellow Legs)

Migrating egret

Migrating cormorants



Fishing in the rain

A storm approaching

Dramatic Clouds

Wispy clouds

Blue heron fish here all summer

Red-breasted Merganser migrating through in the spring

Migrating coot

Spider web between railings of boardwalk

Ring-billed gulls

One of the big, birding attractions of the summer is a mated pair of osprey who nest on a platform near the boardwalk. If you stop by to watch the osprey family, it helps to bring binoculars. Sadly the nesting platform is a bit too far away for me to be able to capture crisp photos of the family here, but here are a couple to just give you an idea of what you can see.

Osprey taking off

Osprey perching in tree

Canoe / kayak launching has been prohibited from this location.

The Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk is in Galena, Ohio. Nearby there are two dining establishments on Old 3C Hwy: the Galena Diner, and the Mudflats Bar and Grill. The diner is a nice place to stop by for breakfast. In the evening, the bar and grill periodically features live music.

Cyclists can ride most of the distance between Galena and Westerville on a dedicated bike path. From Galena, take Old 3C Hwy west to Wiese Road. Weise Road terminates at the northernmost end of the bike path. The bike path will take you to northern Westerville.

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© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and TrekOhio.com 2012 to 2017

13 thoughts on “Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk”

  1. Katrina Schmidt says:

    The boardwalk is open now, was just there. What kind of fish migrates there?

    1. Bob Platt says:

      I don’t think there’s any migration, but we were on the boardwalk just after a storm and people were hauling in large catfish.

  2. Gail says:

    Nice website. Thanks for such a beautiful blog. Any updates on the opening of the boardwalk? I love this area.

    1. Deb Platt says:

      Gail, your welcome! I wish I could tell you when the boardwalk is going to be open to the public, but I don’t have a clue. It’s really nice when it’s open.

  3. Polly D'Eredita says:

    When will the boardwalk be done with repairs?

    1. Deb Platt says:

      The city of Columbus owns and manages this preserve. The park’s management has said that they will repair the boardwalk this spring, but they haven’t specified any dates for beginning or completing these repairs.

  4. Sartenada says:

    Again a high quality post with awesome photos!

    1. Deb Platt says:

      You are very kind, Sartenada. 🙂

  5. Carol Welsh says:

    Hi Deb! I’ve nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award! Here’s the link ~ http://carolwelsh.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/beautiful-blogger-award-5/. I hope I did it right this time! 🙂

  6. sheriffsmith says:

    Great post …. lots of super pictures. The Yellowlegs looks like a Lesser to me. The bill on a Greater usually has a dip towards the end aand this guys is pretty straight! Thanks for sharing!! Tom

    1. Deb Platt says:

      Thanks, Tom! I didn’t realize that the bills on the two species of Yellow Legs were somewhat different. I’ll keep that in mind. I only get to see them during migration, but that makes them seem even more special.

  7. marviiilous says:

    awesome place! awesome shots!

    1. Deb Platt says:

      Thank you, marviiilous. I love this place. 🙂

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