I can’t believe I’ve lived in Columbus since college and haven’t visited Battelle Darby Creek before. I’ve missed out all of these years but I’m sure glad I know about it now. It is perfect for people in all stages of life and varying interests. I saw many people running and biking the trails, out walking with their binoculars, taking their dog for a stroll, families and couples hiking and people fishing.
Battelle Darby Creek is Ohio’s largest Metro Park with miles and miles of activities. We started our day at the Cobshell trail near the Ranger Station. Here I grabbed a guide that included a map of the trails with details such as difficultly level and length. Since I was with my 3 and 5 year old I didn’t want to be overzealous and get too far out on a trail only to have one of them utter the words, “carry me”. We took the path down towards the creek and enjoyed watching the creek gush on by. There was a ranger walking around and my son was interested in asking him what kinds of animals lived in the area.
My kids had spotted a few swing set areas when we initially pulled in so they wanted to go play on those for a bit. Kids who were attending celebrations at the nearby shelters you can rent also wandered over for some playtime.
Then we hopped in the car and drove about 1 mile down the road to another entrance (1415 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, Ohio 43119). As we drove in we saw lots of bison in the field. We went over to the fenced area and watched these creatures as they roamed around.
Nature Center (FREE!!)
Next up was exploring the Nature Center, which was FREE. Also this center stays open later into the evening so it really gives you a lot of options to fit this into your schedule. There were so many hands on opportunities to learn about animals and habitats. My children loved sticking their hands in the large water area and getting to touch a turtle and a frog. There were lots of animal skins sitting on tables so you could feel the different textures. Another large room had a huge projection screen area to view short videos, pretend wooden tree for puppet shows, animal magnets you could maneuver on a wall and screens with buttons to push to learn more information. This room is where they do story times a few times a month so we will have to head back for that. My children and I were intrigued and were really surprised at all there was to do there. The facility was new, clean, well managed and engaging so that is always a plus in my book.
We finished our day by heading to a natural play area where you were encouraged to go off the path and explore in the woods. The signs said feel free to dig in the dirt, build a fort with sticks and investigate the natural environment.
What could be better than a day exploring Mother Nature’s beauty, spending time with my family and getting some exercise? Not much. Consider spending a day at one of Columbus’s wonderful Metro Parks!
Click on the link for a list of activities upcoming activities at various Metro Parks. Link: Metro Park Activities