Whether you’re looking for a quiet, woodsy spot for contemplation or you want to take a deep dive into winter sports, Blendon Woods Metro Park is the place for you.
This stunning park has stream-cut ravines with exposed ripple rock sandstone and open fields surrounded by beech-maple and oak-hickory forests. In total, the park covers 653 acres, including the 118-acre Walden Waterfowl Refuge. The refuge includes Thoreau Lake, which is 11 acres and serves as a safe home for hundreds of birds, ducks, and other wildlife.
The park is located at 4265 E Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43081 and it has so many incredible spaces full of interesting things to do, so let’s dive right in and start exploring.
As we mentioned above, the park is home to quite the sanctuary for birds. Visitors can expect to see all sorts of waterfowl, songbirds, and even a flock of wild turkeys. There are two elevated observation shelters with spotting scopes for viewing the birds, making it super easy to sit and enjoy nature.
Cross Country Skiing
If you’re visiting in the winter, you can take advantage of the 2-mile Sugarbush Trail. When conditions are suitable, the trail is reserved for use as a cross-country ski trail. You have to bring all your own gear but it’s a beautiful trail.
If you visit the park, you may see a variety of Scout Troops. Troops can reserve the 45-acre Day Camp for both day camping or overnight camping. Additionally, organized sports and youth groups can reserve the area for day camping as well.
There’s an 18-hole disc golf course at Blendon Woods where you can bring your own discs to throw around. If you don’t have time for 18-holes, you can hit up the 9-hole course which is perfect for practicing your putting.
The Nature Center at Blendon Woods is open every single day. It’s a great spot to visit when the weather is less than awesome, showcasing the natural beauty of the park, both in displays and through the windows that overlook the stream.
In addition to cross-country skiing, winter visitors can also take advantage of the 0.4-acre skating pond. It’s 18 to 24 inches deep and open seasonally, when the weather cooperates. Like skiing, you’ll need to bring your own gear.
Natural Play Areas
One of the real highlights of visiting Blendon Woods with the whole family is stopping by the natural play area. This 10-acre area includes a wooded hillside and ravine where kids can safely roam and enjoy unstructured play in nature by climbing trees, playing in the dirt and other fun adventures. There’s also a zip line, a teeter-totter, a basket swing, a cargo climbing net, a tether ball area, and some impressive stepping logs that go over the streams.
If you’re bringing your furry friends to the park, there’s a trail called the Goldenrod Trail that is dedicated to pets. It’s an easy, 1.3 mile trail that passes through meadows that are absolutely stunning when the wildflowers bloom in the spring. Like all Metro Parks, domesticated dogs and cats are also permitted in picnic areas, parking lots, and on roadways. All pets have. to be on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet.
There are seven free shelters available on a first-come first-served basis at the park. The shelters include picnic tables, grills, play equipment, and restrooms. If you want to guarantee a spot, you can take advantage of one of the four reservable shelters on site.
The park has seven hiking trails where you can get metaphorically lost in nature. Most of the trails are rated as easy hikes and they all take you through different unique areas of the park. If you’re looking for more of a hiking challenge, you’ll want to take advantage of the Sugarbush Trail when it’s not in use for cross-country skiing. It’s a moderate, 2-mile hike passing through the woods and offering some incredible bird watching.