Sharon Woods Metro Park is part of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Park system in central Ohio. This Metro Park is 761 acres, and that's including the 320-acre Edward S. Thomas State Nature Preserve that's tucked inside it. The park features a 3.8-mile, paved, multipurpose loop trail. There's also an additional 3.35 miles of hiking trails. The trails pass through a variety of habitats, including woodlands, ravines, meadows, prairie and wetland.
Sharon Read more ➜
Walnut Woods is the newest Columbus area Metro Park. This 1,032 acre park is located southeast of Columbus near Groveport.
We visited the Metro Park in March and again at the end of summer. The park is divided into three sections. The middle section is currently unimproved, with no trails. It has several lakes and ponds and a segment of Big Run Creek. It will eventually have a trail and areas for bird watching. The other two sections - the Tall Pines Area and the Buckeye Area have Read more ➜
Located in Franklin and Delaware counties, Highbanks Metro Park is 1,159 acres in size with over 10 miles of hiking trail, including a 3.5 mile, mowed path that's available for dog walking and cross-country skiing. The park is bounded on one side by the Olentangy River, and it's crisscrossed by small streams flowing in ravines.
One of our favorite attractions is an observation deck that's perched on a shale bluff 110 feet above the Olentangy river. For a number of years a pair of eagles have nested Read more ➜
Lockville Park is a 6 acre park in Fairfield County containing the ruins of three locks from what was once the Ohio & Erie Canal. The park also has a covered bridge that was constructed in 1888.
If you look at a map of Ohio, you'll see Lake Erie on the northern edge. The irregular southern edge is formed by the Ohio River. The Ohio River feeds into the Mississippi River which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Both the Ohio River and Lake Erie provided convenient water transportation Read more ➜
The Stratford Woods State Nature Preserve is privately owned and operated by a non-profit organization, the Stratford Ecological Center. Education is the primary mission of the Center. Seven nearby counties send their children to Stratford on field trips where they learn about nature and farming. In the summer the Ecological Center offers a popular Farm Camp for kids. During the growing season there's also a Nature Club for youngsters in which they learn to tend the Giving Garden. In the first year Read more ➜
Rock Mill is a gristmill that was built in 1824 in Fairfield County. It is currently in the process of being restored. (Note: a gristmill grinds corn, wheat, or other grains into flour).
We visited Rock Mill this past weekend. Rock Mill Road ends near the mill which is now a small Fairfield County park. The road follows the valley formed by the Hocking River (formerly known as the Hock-Hocking River). At the mill, the river plunges over a falls into a small gorge surrounded by 40-foot Read more ➜
Hoover Reservoir supplies the city of Columbus with its drinking water. At eight different sites around the reservoir is the Hoover Reservoir Park. It is a great recreational resource for residents and tourists, and it is important sanctuary for birds as well. Today I'm going to focus on one of the lesser known sites of this park: Hoover Meadows.
Hoover Meadows is 74.77 acres. Although a sign marks its entrance, the place looks fairly nondescript from the road. A row of conifers divides Read more ➜
Bird watching is just one of the attractions of Blendon Woods Metro Park. The park features two observation shelters near Thoreau Lake. In addition the rear of the Nature Center has windows that look out on a number of bird feeders.
A wheelchair accessible trail (Pond Trail) extends from the parking lot near the Nature Center to Thoreau Lake. It's only 0.3 miles long. You are very likely to hear and see woodpeckers on your way there.
In the photo below I'm looking at a bird Read more ➜
Lancaster, Ohio has a population just under 39,000, and it is the county seat of Fairfield County. It has a municipal park known as "Rising Park." The park offers the normal sort of amenities that you might expect: a pond, picnic tables, playgrounds... things of that nature. But what's unusual about the park is its terrain. Rising 250-foot (76 m) above the surrounding plain is a bluff known as "Mount Pleasant." The bluff is made of highly erosion-resistant Blackhand sandstone. From the top of Mount Read more ➜
Gahanna Woods is part city park and part state nature preserve. Let's start by looking at the city park.
Gahanna Woods City Park
The city park has trails that pass through meadow and woodlands. The meadow trail is a mown path; The woodland trail is a wide trail with a mulch base that often follows a small creek. The city seems to be expanding their trail system, especially the mown paths. I encountered more trail branches than the map in the kiosk showed. A few branches off the Read more ➜