What better way to celebrate National Park Week and Earth Day than to spotlight a few of the best parks in Central Ohio and all they have to offer to residents near and far. After all, parks serve as the heart of their communities beyond simply adding green space and opportunities for recreation to the area.
In Central Ohio, we are fortunate to have an amazing number of parks in the region, with each offering something just a little different. The gem of Central Ohio is the Metro Parks System that features 19 natural area parks with more than 230 miles of trails and over 27,700 acres of land in seven Central Ohio counties. Or you can check out one of the 350 parks operated by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department or the untold number of suburban and private parks spread throughout Central Ohio. The choices are nearly limitless!
With that said, here are a few of our favorite parks, each of which is within just a few miles of one of our Trinity Homes communities.
Located in Lewis Center, Ohio, and just down the road from Trinity Homes’ Howard Farms community, Shale Hollow is part of Preservation Parks of Delaware County. It is named for the curve in the tributary to the Olentangy State Scenic River that runs through the park, and for the shale evident in the cliff walls and stream bed. The Shale Hollow stream winds along a twisting corridor lined by 20- to 40-foot-tall shale cliffs, and there are waterfalls throughout the park.
In addition to stunning beauty to enjoy, Shale Hollow offers two trails, the Great Horned Owl Trail and the Overlook Trail, both gravel trails that allow dogs on leashes on at least part of the trail. Visitors also are invited to cross the bridge to get off-trail and explore the floodplain, wade in the creek and touch the shale pieces that have washed down from upstream, and observe the layers of shale that compose the cliffs rising from the creek.
A natural play area is located in the off-trail exploration space. Kids can cross a primitive bridge, play games, and enjoy a snack at the log table, as they explore nature in a whole new way.
Located in Grove City, Ohio, and close to the Trinity Homes communities of Holton Run and the 55+ community at Woodside at Holton Run, Scioto Grove Metro Park is a 620-acre park along the Scioto River with mature forests and scenic bluffs overlooking the river. It features more than seven miles of trails, two picnic areas with shelters, tables, and grills, kids’ play area, and several overlook decks.
The park is located on a scenic bend of the Scioto River and is a great destination for canoeists, kayakers, anglers, and people wanting to see waterfowl and other wildlife. Dogs on leashes are welcome throughout the park, which also features a sledding hill. Backpacking is also available, starting in mid-April, and is available every other weekend, through to the end of October.
Part of the State Park system operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Alum Creek is located in Delaware, Ohio, and is close to a number of Trinity Homes communities, including Howard Farms and Heather Ridge.
Alum Creek State Park is a popular boating and camping destination where visitors can spend the day jet skiing across thousands of acres of water or find a quiet cove to fish or paddle. Perfect for swimming and sunning, the beach is the largest inland beach in the park system.
Visitors can also take advantage of the park’s large campground, which offers a camp store, boating access, and a nature center for campers. There is also a family-friendly mountain bike trail and a half-mile Storybook Trail.
One of the newer parks in the Metro Park system, Glacier Ridge is a 1,037-acre park that was once covered with farmland. Glacier Ridge is located in Plain City, Ohio, near Trinity Homes communities in Dublin, Avondale Woods and Wyandotte Woods. When it first opened, it was pretty flat without much to do or even see. But, that has changed…a lot!
Glacier Ridge has become one of the top places to get out and push yourself physically. There is an amazing challenge course where you can run, jump, climb and crawl your way to a stronger you. In all, the course is 3-acres and has 12 obstacles, surrounded by a 1/2 mile paved trail. Of course, it’s not all work at Glacier Ridge! It also offers a play area that features cedar structures with tall towers, sloping ramps, knotted ropes, wooden ladders, and a zipline.
You can also enjoy one of its four hiking trails, take in a round of Disc Golf, or spend some quality time with your fur-baby at the dog park. And last but not least, the Honda Wetland Education Area is teeming with life and the perfect place to do some exploring. You can meander through the wooden boardwalk or head up the observation tower to get a better view of everything from tadpoles, deer, birds, and waterfowl that call the wetlands of Glacier Ridge home.
At Trinity Homes, we are proud to call Central Ohio our home and hope that you love living here as much as we do!