As today was another near 60 degree day in Columbus, we decided to go check out the bison at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. I had heard about them from a few people and thought it was a pretty unique experience for the kids to see bison roaming about in a city park. To my surprise, this park has so much more to offer than that! I thought the three hour time allotment we had would be plenty but now I know we barely even scratched the surface of what the kids and I could experience there. We will certainly be coming back time and again, throughout every season.
We entered and parked at the Cedar Ridge Entrance and basically explored all that we could from that starting point. This is a 7,000 acre park so I am sure that we just skimmed the surface and I will make sure to amend / update this post as we experience more and more of this amazing park.
First thing I noticed were all the picnic areas and the three playgrounds. The playgrounds were also the first things the kids noticed! The playgrounds also seem to vary in order to separate younger age groups so that was nice. We took the short path to the Overlook area and that was a nice introduction to how beautiful and vast this area is. Pretty rocky path, but my stroller handled it very well. I think it would be pretty difficult with a little umbrella stroller however.
The next trail we found was the Cobshell. Since we were exploring without a map I did not realize that this was considered a moderate hike in regards to difficulty and the gravel, hilly trail definitely pushed my limits of stroller pushing comfort. Beautiful trek through the woods and connects to the scenic overlook of Big Darby Creek.
The most comfortable trail with the stroller was Darby Creek Greenway. Very wide to allow for people, strollers, and dog walkers. It is a flat trail through the prairies and woods and intersects the two bison pastures. The kids were very excited to see the bison even though it was from a far distance. We can't wait to go back and catch them roaming a little closer. Near the bison area is also a fantastic Nature Center that you will have to struggle to drag your kids out of. A 53 ft. living stream flows through the exhibits and there is also a stage, puppets, books, and activities. We haven't checked out there preschool events they sometimes have in the mornings, but I am definitely anxious to. The next one is called Eagles and is being held March 8th at 9:30 and 11:00 am.
The kids were obsessed with all the dogs they saw on the trail and we had a lot of opportunities to practice our dog etiquette. Essentially trying to get them to ask the owners if they are allowed to pet, and not just blatantly running up to a dog squealing. Still a work in progress on the squealing. And that is another great thing about this park are all the trails you can bring dogs on. Here is the link to the trails so you know ahead of time which ones are pet friendly.
The most exciting thing about the move to Columbus has been exploring all of these great metro parks and I can't wait to experience them more and more as the weather gets nicer. Not to mention the fact that a day outside saves the living room from being demolished! :)