Winter hikes have always been a favorite around here.
This year, trails at Battelle Darby Creek, Blacklick Woods, Highbanks, Homestead, and Inniswood will be beautifully decorated with holiday lights.
A great time to check out the lights is by participating in the Metro Parks Winter Hikes program. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Winter Hikes series.
Visitors can hike any trail any time from December to February as part of the series, although the holiday lights will only be up through the end of December. Each month will feature different parks where you can take a walk, get your hike card stamped, and maybe join a group for a walk.
In January and February, there will be hot drinks and treats, as well as a treasure hunt of sorts for a collectible winter hike medallion.
Here are the Winter Hikes card basics:
1. Visit the parks highlighted each month and hike any trail during the designated month.
2. Have a staff member stamp your Winter Hikes card.
3. Hike 7 parks to earn your Metro Park Winter Hikes patch.
4. Join Metro Parks at the celebration on February 26, 2023, to receive your new Winter Hikes patch.
5. Visit Friends of Metro Parks to find out how to earn hike medallions and additional swag!
If you’re looking for a unique illumination experience, head out to Chestnut Ridge for special evening lantern walks and hot chocolate on Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10.
For those wanting to explore the twinkling winter wonderlands, you can visit the parks between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. each night throughout December.
For more info about visiting the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, you can visit their website right here.