Posted in Hiking, Park review, Southeastern Ohio

Clear Creek Metro Park

Clear Creek Metro Park is part of the Columbus / Franklin Metro Park system, but is located an hours drive from Columbus in the Hocking Hills region.


The entrance to the park is off of route 33. You’ll pass a cliff, a large slump block, and a log cabin and reach a parking area in a valley containing the Clear Creek that gave its name to the park. Numerous hiking trails are available in the combined 5,260 acre metro park and the adjacent 4,729 Clear Creek State Nature Preserve. Amenities include parking, picnic areas, and rest facilities. A visit to Clear Creek can be combined with the nearby Cantwell Cliffs or Wahkeena Nature Preserve.

Passing a slump rock on the way in
Quaint, old log cabin

Fishing is permitted in Clear Creek at select access points with a valid Ohio fishing permit.

When we were there this past weekend, we started with the Cemetery Ridge Trail. This trail begins as a dirt path with a steep ascent to the ridgeline of the hills here. Once you reach the ridgeline the trail turns into something of a gravel road that probably facilitates maintenance vehicles. I’m not a big fan of this sort of trail since there’s less shade, and the gravel becomes a bit tiresome to walk on. However as compensation for this, you at least get to take a look at an interesting relic.

Going up to the ridgeline
Walking on gravel

On the top of the ridgeline there is an old barn that was built in 1837. It was built in the “Pennsylvania-style” of the era from hand-hewn posts and beams. There is now a modern, metal roof on the barn to keep the interior dry, but it’s kind of fun poking around the interior. Since this whole area is now forest, it’s also interesting to think back to when the ridgeline must have been cleared of trees to so the fields could be farmed and the animals pastured.

The Williams Barn

Once you have traversed the ridgeline on the Cemetery Ridge Trail, you start to descend and the path turns to dirt. You pass through some a deciduous forest with quite a bit of undergrowth.

On the way down from the ridgeline

At some point we turned off the Cemetery Ridge Trail, and walked the 1.5 mile Hemlock Trail. This is my favorite trail in the park. There typically isn’t much undergrowth in a hemlock forest, and without undergrowth there also seem to be very few bugs. It also seems much cooler because of the deep shade.

Bob on the Hemlock Trail

As the trail continued descending, we started seeing a number of rocky outcroppings like the one at the top of this post. We also started seeing quite a few ferns.

Love those ferns

Besides seeing a number of the flowers that appeared in April Wildflower Extravaganza, we also spotted many butterflies, a mysterious fungus, and a raptor feather.

Red Admiral Butterfly
Peck’s Skipper (Polites peckius)
Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly (Everes comyntas)
Unidentified fungus
If anyone has any idea which bird shed this feather,
let us know in the comments!

We combined trails to hike six miles in total, but it’s easy to hike fewer or more miles. The trails vary in difficulty so you really can customize your outing here.

Additional Information

  • Address: 185 Clear Creek Road, Rockbridge, Ohio 43149
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.5943057,-82.5889854
  • Google Maps: View on map or get directions

More on the Hocking Hills

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

7 thoughts on “Clear Creek Metro Park

  1. The slump rock in one of your pictures above is known to locals and campers at Camp Wyandot as Leaning Lena, There is a smaller rock near it called Sinking Sam.

    1. The Nature Center at nearby Wahkeena Nature Preserve had a collection of feathers I could look through. The naturalist there did show me a turkey feather, but it seemed to be much more brown. However, I’m not sure about the Goose.

  2. All of those photos are beautiful, but I really loved the photos of the butterflies. You must spend a lot of time outdoors? If so, you’re very lucky to be able to visit so many beautiful places. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Carol. We are lucky in that both of us enjoy spending time outdoors. All the photos on today’s post were from this past weekend, but in other posts we’ve picked through photos that have been taken over several years to select a few to illustrate the post.

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

Complete the following sentence by typing either real or spam:
My comment is ...