COLUMBUS, Ohio –
Took a trip to Metro Park’s Battelle Darby Creek, southwest of Columbus. This place is a gem! Well groomed – and wide – gravel trails are easy-to-moderate and in great condition. There are views of the Darby Creek, running fast now as we get into Spring. The rails get into some wooded areas and some farm pastures. While in some of the wood areas every crisp rustle of leaves turned out to be foraging squirrels – until one of the rustles revealed a yearling fawn and a doe who were kind enough to stop for a photo. The buck was nearby but deeper into the woods and keenly vigilant. What a beautiful site. Every crackling in leaves afterward turned out to be the industrious squirrels…
Darby is also home to some wide-open grassy areas. I can see a future trip here with a frisbee and a picnic – great fun for families and friends. There are also charcoal grills (in good shape!). Large group functions are still a no-go in the park so this might be a good idea for a family or your friend-pod. Finally, I was also excited to see the amazing bike trails! I’ll be back with the bike and get a wider view of the Ohio–Erie Trail. The short section that I saw was the best paved trail I’ve seen – ever. I’ll note that all of these trails will be awesome in the winter with a few inches of snow on them if you’re into cross-country skiing. The width and gentle grade changes will make a good outing in winter too.
See www.metroparks.net for more information.
As an additional note – and this is a fun project – I’ve made two trips so far to Columbus’ Park of Roses in the Clintonville section. This is a cool garden. It has many great ideas for plants and garden hardscapes. There’s also a wooded trail along the river and the park connects to the Scioto River bike trails. The garden foundation bills itself as A Garden for All Seasons and I’m certain that it is – every season has something to tell us in nature. In these two visits, I’ve been able to see the beginning yearly maturity of the blossoming witch hazel. They have a half-dozen varieties with varying colors and some are well-scented. I’m collecting a mental picture of the rest of the garden so as to see the “time-lapsed” progression of this natural garden for all seasons. If you’re looking for a Sunday walk or a sunset evening stroll – this free admission garden is the place for you. It’s a quick drive down to Old North and Short North for an ice cream cone, coffee shops, or to a restaurant (I get takeout…). See www.parkofroses.org for more information.
More soon – So much to see in the area and the weather is getting excellent!