Posted in Central Ohio, Hiking, Park review

Char-Mar Ridge Preserve

Char-Mar Ridge is part of Delaware County’s preservation park system. It features a wooded trail that passes over gently rolling hills. The trail itself is packed earth and gravel that remains in good condition even when it’s rainy. A 0.25 mile trail connects the parking lot to a loop trail. The loop trail is 1.5 miles and is very popular with joggers who often do multiple laps. Like most of Delaware County’s parks, visitors are allowed to bring their leashed dogs along with them. “Mutt mitts” are provided at the entrance to facilitate clean-ups. I almost always encounter people walking their dogs there, and they have been doing a super job of keeping the trail clean.

Pond at Char-Mar Ridge.

Bridges and culverts keep the trail dry
There’s a little sign on the right announcing what kind of tree it’s next to. These signs appear periodically along the trail.
This gives you some idea of the kind of hills that are present in the preserve.
The low winter sun casting shadows.

The trail goes by a wooden staircase that leads up to a wildlife blind. Depending on your luck you may be able to spot birds, turtles or other wildlife if you approach the blind quietly. Peering through the slots of the blind reveals the pond featured in the topmost photo of this post.

Stairs leading up to the wildlife blind.
Inside the blind.
Looking through the blind at a raccoon on the other side of the pond.
Looking at a Blue Heron through the blind.
The pond in autumn.

You might see other wildlife to the side of the trail as you continue on your way.

Deer peeking at me.

In the spring you are likely to see some wildflowers.

Swamp rose.
Fire pink.

In the winter cross-country skiers are welcome.

Cross country skiing is allowed.

Back at the parking lot there is currently a port-a-john, but the park officials are currently building rest facilities with plumbing. If it is like the ones that I’ve encountered at other Delaware preservation parks, it will have wood paneling on the walls and ceiling, plus provide a water fountain outside.


The park is located in Genoa Township, but it’s also convenient to northern Westerville. By getting on the Genoa Township Bike Path near the Kroger on Maxtown, Westerville cyclists can ride their bikes to Char-Mar Ridge Preserve in less than three miles. If you are going by bike, when you reach the point where the bike path crosses Lewis Center Rd., turn right onto Lewis Center Rd and go a short ways and Char-Mar Ridge will be on your left. Bicycle racks are provided, but don’t take them on the preserve’s trail.

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© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

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