Finding the perfect home isn’t just about locating a fantastic neighborhood, but locating yourself in a community that offers amenities that fit your lifestyle. For many people, spending time outdoors, exploring nature, and being active are essential to their personal well-being and happiness, as well as providing an opportunity for the family to bond. The Central Ohio region is fortunate to have a number of Metro Parks throughout the area that offer a variety of preserves, habitats, and activities for residents to enjoy. Homewood Homes understands the value of these parks to quality of life. Many of the neighborhoods in which Homewood builds are conveniently located near some of the area’s most popular Columbus Metro Parks, each uniquely designed to encourage recreation without disturbing the local flora and fauna.
With miles of hiking trails, Blacklick Woods Metro Park is the perfect place to explore the beech-maple forests, wetlands, and riparian forest corridors along Blacklick Creek. This Metro Park offers one of the best remaining beech-maple forests in Central Ohio along with a buttonbush swamp. Plus, it is a popular place to sled in the winter. Be sure to enjoy the Blacklick Woods Golf Course for yet another way to enjoy the outdoors.
Battelle Darby Creek
Located in Galloway, this 7000-acre park stretches along 13 miles of the Big and Little Darby creeks, both State and National Scenic Rivers. Battelle Darby Creek is ideal for hiking, fishing, sledding, and nature observation. Don’t miss the bison that have been reintroduced to the park, and that roam freely within two enclosed pastures.
Offering spectacular stream-cut ravines with exposed ripple rock sandstone and open fields surrounded by beech-maple and oak-hickory forests, this 653-acre park is a great place for bird watchers. The 118-acre Walden Waterfowl Refuge, with its 11-acre Thoreau Lake, provides a sanctuary for hundreds of birds, ducks and other wildlife. Blendon Woods also offers a natural play area that has several activities designed to encourage natural, imaginative play for children big and small.
In Carroll, Chestnut Ridge is the first ridge in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It spans about 4,500 feet and rises to about 1,116 feet. Black oak, shagbark hickory and northern red oak trees grow on the upper slopes of the ridge and enhance the woodland beauty of the 486-acre that make up Chestnut Ridge Metro Park. Sugar Maples and American Beech are plentiful on the lower slopes, and there is a Mountain Bike Trail that cuts through the Ridge, as well.
Named for glacial debris left behind from the retreat of the glaciers up to 17,000 years ago, Glacier Ridge most recently was covered with farmland. Now visitors to the 1,037-acre park can traverse a boardwalk through the Honda Wetlands Area or climb a 25-foot observation tower to see waterfowl and other animals.
Heritage Trail and Homestead Park
With 87 acres, Heritage Trail connects with Homestead Park via their trail systems in Hilliard. The Hilliard Rail Trail is a 6.1-mile paved, multi-purpose trail converted from abandoned right-of-way and is great for hiking, biking, running, or walking your leashed pet. Beginning in Old Hilliard and continuing toward Plain City, the Trail winds through the park and also connects to the three-quarter mile trail to Homestead Park.
Named for its massive 100-foot-high shale bluff towering over the Olentangy State Scenic River, Highbanks features 1,200 acres. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines in the eastern part of the park creating scenic views and a number of hiking trails. The nature center is open year-round and is a popular destination with its large, indoor play area. Since 2010, Highbanks has been home to a pair of bald eagles, which can be seen from the new River Bluff section of the park.
Nestled within a scenic nature preserve, the 123-acre Inniswood Metro Gardens is a source of inspiration for all ages. Offering more than 2,000 species of plants, specialty collections and several theme gardens, Inniswoods is bound to put a smile on your face as you stroll through the paths any season. The Three Sisters garden offers a variety of activities for children and most of the trails are accessible for all abilities.
With a combination of seasonal ponds and rich wetland vegetation, Pickerington Ponds is a premier spot for birdwatching. More than 260 species have been seen, including a migrating waterfowl, shore birds and land birds. Deer, beaver, fox and other wildlife can be seen near the ponds and adjoining woods and fields of this 1,608 acre park.
Featuring more than 1,000 acres of woods and fields, Rocky Fork includes a bridle trail, dog park and off-leash dog trail, a paved trail and nature trails plus a picnic shelter and wetlands. Located in Westerville, Rocky Fork features more than 3 miles of walking trails to enjoy the outdoors.
This 620-acre park along the Scioto River has an abundance of mature forests and scenic bluffs overlooking the river. Scioto Grove features more than seven miles of trails, two picnic areas with shelters, tables and grills, a kid’s play area and several overlook decks. The connected trails allow for a quick trip or a long hike in the fresh air.
Here you will see a variety of habitats ranging from the open areas of grasslands, wetlands and meadows to the forested areas of beech, oak, hickory and sugar maple. Plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities are available in the 1,705-acre Slate Run Living Historical Farm, including Sandhill cranes who have nested in the 156-acre wetland.
Wherever you are, at least one of these Columbus Metro Parks is nearby. Be sure to stop by one of our models when you are out exploring; you can contact a sales representative or browse all of our communities and start planning your dream home today.
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