Activities

Take a relaxing bike tour of Columbus and outlying areas on the Central Ohio Greenway Trail System . Through the trails, you can connect downtown with some of the beautiful parks and nature preserves throughout Columbus. The Columbus Whetstone Park of Roses is a unique 13-acre garden setting within a park featuring over 11,000 rose bushes and specialized gardens, including Herb and Perennials. It is one of the largest municipal rose gardens in the country. If flowers peak your interest, plan a stop at the Franklin Park Conservatory . The 83,000-square-foot park and conservatory sits within historic Franklin Park.

Central Ohio Greenway Trail System

The Central Ohio Greenways is an extensive series of trails that wind through picnic areas, boating and fishing facilities; and family-friendly parks. The trails create a unique experience by joining the natural wonders of our scenic rivers with the diverse neighborhoods and attractions of the city. Whether you are a biking enthusiast or an avid nature lover who prefers to walk in the park, the trails are divided into sections that will appeal to your personal taste. One of the key benefits of the trails is their convenient location near many day-to-day destinations such as shopping and recreation centers. If you're going, why not take the trail and "go green"? So pack a lunch, grab the dog or strap on rollerblades and head to the path that is sure to inspire you with the natural beauty that is central Ohio.

DARBY CREEK TRAIL

This trail runs on the west side of Big Darby Creek, a State and National Scenic River. The trail extends across the Creek and connects with Darby Bend Lake.
Length: 8.0 miles
Type: crushed Gravel

HERITAGE TRAIL

Follows an old abandoned rail line and extends from Main Street in Hilliard to Cemetery Pike near Plain City. On the western end of the trail is a 3.3 mile section operated by Metro Parks made especially to accommodate horses.
Length: 6.0 miles
Type: Paved Surface

Scioto Trail

This greenway trail stretches through the heart of downtown Columbus following along the Scioto River. This trail is great for commuting into downtown Columbus.
Length: 9.0 miles
Type: Paved Surface

Olentangy Trail

This scenic trail weaves users throughout the Olentangy greenway corridor, connecting the communities of Worthington, Columbus and OSU. It runs between Worthington Hills Park and Confluence Park in Downtown Columbus.
Length: 18.0 miles
Type: Paved Surface

Ohio To Erie Trail

More information on this trail which will eventually span between Cincinnati to Cleveland can be found at www.ohiotoerietrail.org .
Length: 9.5 miles (from Galena, Ohio to Westerville, Ohio)
Type: Paved Surface

Big Walnut Trail

Currently, the longest section of this trail connects Hoover Reservoir to Inniswoods Metro Gardens.
Length: 6.0 miles
Type: Paved Surface

Alum Creek Trail

This trail connects the communities of Westerville, Columbus, and Bexley along Alum Creek. The southern end of the trail reaches the preserved natural areas of Three Creeks Park.
Length: 29.0 miles
Type: Paved Surface

Blacklick Trail

This scenic trail weaves users throughout the Blacklick Creek greenway corridor. Users of this trail can travel to three different Metro Parks: Pickerington Ponds, Blacklick Woods and Three Creeks Metro Parks.
Length: 15.0 miles
Type: Paved Surface

i-670 Trail

The bike trail travels from Fort Hayes, east along I-670, following Leonard Ave., crossing Nelson and Fifth Avenues, terminating at Airport Drive, near Ohio Dominican College . It connects to the Alum Creek trail at Nelson Road.
Length: 4.0 miles
Type: Paved Surface

The Columbus Whetstone Park of Roses

The 13 acre Park of Roses is nestled within the larger Whetstone Park. It contains three
unique rose gardens as well as herb and perennial gardens, annual display beds and
a restored Ohio prairie. Wide, smooth walkways and numerous benches make it easy
to enjoy the sights and smells of 11,500 rosesof more than 400 varieties. There is something for every rose lover here, from tiny miniatures to exuberant climbers covering overhead arbors.

The three rose gardens here represent the evolution of rose species and hybrids,
as well as the past, present and future of rose gardening. People's changing tastes in varieties, colors and cultivation practices can be traced from wild species roses known
since antiquity through the 21st century concept of Earth-Kind roses which thrive on
minimal care.

Columbus Park of Roses is maintained by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, with help and support from the Rose Foundation and the Volunteers.
It is free to all visitors, accessible to strollers and wheelchairs and open from dawn
to dusk year around. Enjoy your visit!

Main Garden

The Main Garden is an Italianate formal design with roses grouped into symmetrical
beds and surrounding a large water fountain. Thick grass lawns divide the sections.
Most of the roses here are hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras and shrub roses. The
full effect of all these “modern” roses blooming at once can best be seen from atop the
iron observation tower at the north end of the garden.

Heritage Garden

Proceeding past two stone pillars, visitors find themselves in the Heritage Garden,
which showcases “old roses.” This is the place to see centifolias, gallicas, damasks and rugosas as well as species roses. Many of these roses bloom only once a year, but were used by hybridizers to create “modern roses” which bloom repeatedly throughout the
growing season.

Earth-Kind Garden

This is the first public Earth-Kind Rose Demonstration garden outside of the deep South, where the program was developed at Texas A & M University in 2001. Commercially available roses were tested to select varieties requiring no pesticides, fertilizers,
dead-heading or pruning. Phase One of the garden was planted in 2007, with Phase Two
completed in time for the 2009 season. This garden design, with an informal layout and
under planting of shrubs is well suited to contemporary home gardens.

Franklin Park Conservatory And Botanical Gardens

Built in 1895, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a botanical landmark two miles east of downtown Columbus. It is a premier horticultural and educational institution showcasing exotic plant collections, special exhibitions, and a signature collection of work by glass artist Dale Chihuly.

Set within the 88 acres of Franklin Park, the Conservatory houses 400 species of plants from a variety of global climate zones and features a Victorian Palm House with more than 40 species of palms. It is surrounded by botanical gardens and floral displays.

Annual exhibitions include The Orchid Forest, Blooms and Butterflies, and Holidays at the Conservatory. The Conservatory has developed a program of world-class exhibitions by national and international artists.

In addition to a wide range of educational classes and workshops for school groups, families, and individuals, Franklin Park Conservatory also provides a valuable resource through its Growing to Green program for community gardeners.

With its natural surroundings, both indoors and out, the Conservatory serves as a premier venue for special events and corporate gatherings.

A dynamic and multi-faceted institution, Franklin Park Conservatory is a unique and popular destination for visitors of all ages.

ADMISSION*
$11 adults
$9 seniors and students with valid ID
$6 children 3-17, under age 2 FREE
Group rates available
FREE PARKING

CONSERVATORY GARDEN CAFÉ
Daily 11am–3pm
Wednesdays 11am–7pm

GLASSBLOWING HOT SHOP
Saturday & Sundays 12–3pm
Monday–Friday 11am–2pm.


HOURS
Daily 10am–5pm
Wednesdays 10am–8pm

COCKTAILS AT THE CONSERVATORY
Thursdays 5:30–10pm

BOTANICA GIFT SHOP & GREENHOUSE
Daily 10am–5pm
Wednesdays 10am–8pm

THE JOHN F. WOLFE
CHIHULY RESOURCE CENTER
Wednesday, Friday–Sunday
11am–4pm and by appointment

Metro Parks

Millions of people go to a Columbus-area Metro Park each year -- more than six million in 2008. It's not hard to understand why. Central Ohio's 15 parks offer:

  • Trails for walking, jogging, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, pets and inline skating;
  • Canoeing and fishing
  • Golf and disc golf;
  • Programs for all ages, on a wide range of subjects;
  • Playgrounds, picnic areas and reservable shelter houses;
  • Ice skating and sledding;
  • Rangers-guided hikes and nature exploration.
Columbus-area Metro Parks are open 365 days a year, and most activities are free to the public.

Metro Parks are not Columbus parks. Metro Park funding comes from a Franklin County property tax levy, some state and local government monies, grants and earned income.

Directions

BATTELLE DARBY CREEK
1775 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway, OH 43119
From I-270, take the W Broad St (U.S. 40) exit west. Go about 5 miles and turn left on Darby Creek Dr. The main entrance is about 3 miles on the right. Indian Ridge Area is about 1 mile south of the main entrance on the right.

BLACKLICK WOODS & GOLF COURSES
6975 & 7309 E. Livingston Ave, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
From I-270, take the E. Main St/Reynoldsburg exit east. Go east on Main St to Brice Rd and turn right. Take Brice Rd to Livingston Ave and turn left. Entrance is about 1.5 miles on the right. Golf course is 1⁄4 mile beyond the park ­entrance.

BLENDON WOODS
4265 E. Dublin-Granville Rd, Westerville, OH 43081
From I-270, take State Route 161 exit (30B) toward New Albany onto E Dublin-Granville Rd. Go 1.6 miles then take the Little Turtle Way exit south to Old State Route 161 and turn right. Entrance is 1/2 mile on left.

CHESTNUT RIDGE
8445 Winchester Rd N.W. Carroll, OH 43112
From I-270, take U.S. 33 east toward Lancaster. Go about 11 miles and turn right on Winchester Rd. Entrance is about 3 miles on the left.

CLEAR CREEK
185 Clear Creek Rd, Rockbridge, OH 43149
From I-270, take U.S. 33 east (staying on the U.S. 33 bypass) and go about 31.75 miles to Clear Creek Rd (County Road 116) and turn right. Park trails and picnic areas extend seven miles along Clear Creek Rd.

GLACIER RIDGE
9801 Hyland Croy Rd, Plain City, OH 43064
From I-270, take 33/161 west (exit 17B) toward Marysville. Follow 33/161 west to the 161/Plain City/Post Road exit. Turn right on Post Pd and then left on Hyland Croy Rd. The Honda Wetland Education Area is 1 mile north on the left (7825 Hyland Croy Rd). The park's main entrance is 2 miles further north, on the left.

HERITAGE PARK and TRAIL
7262 Hayden Run Rd, Hilliard, OH 43026
From I-270 take Tuttle Road and turn left onto Wilcox Rd. Turn right onto Hayden Run Road. Entrance is about 2.75 miles on the right.

HIGHBANKS
9466 U.S. 23 N., Lewis Center, OH 43035
From I-270, take U.S. 23 North about 3 miles. Entrance is on the left.

INNISWOOD
940 S. Hempstead Rd, Westerville, OH 43081
From I-270, take the Route 3/Westerville Rd exit south to Dempsey Rd and turn left. Go about 1 mile to Hempstead Rd and turn left. Turn again on Hempstead Rd as it jogs right just past the Blendon Township Complex. The entrance is approximately 100 yards on the right.

PICKERINGTON PONDS
7680 Wright Rd, Canal Winchester, OH 43110
From I-270, take U.S. 33 east toward Lancaster about 3 miles. Take the Canal Winchester/State Route 674/Gender Rd exit. Turn left onto Gender Rd, go about 1 mile and turn right onto Wright Rd. Go about 1 mile to Bowen Rd and turn left. Glacier Knoll picnic and parking area is about 1⁄4 mile on left.

PRAIRIE OAKS
3225 Plain City-Georgesville Rd, West Jefferson, OH 43162
Main Entrance: From I-270, take I-70 west to the Plain City-Georgesville Rd/State Route 142 exit and go north on Route 142 about 0.8 miles. Entrance on right.
Darby Bend Lakes
2755 Amity Rd, Hilliard, OH 43026
From I-270, take I-70 west to the West Jefferson/Plain City exit, turn right onto Plain City-Georgesville Rd/State Route 142. Continue past the main park entrance to Lucas Road (about 2.25 miles) and turn right. Go across Big Darby Creek and turn right at the stop sign onto Amity Rd. Entrance is about 0.5 miles on right.

SCIOTO AUDUBON
400 W. Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43215
From I-71, take the Greenlawn Ave exit east 1/3 mile and turn left on S Front St. Go 1/4 mile and turn left on W Whittier St. Entrance is 1/3 mile on left.

SHARON WOODS
6911 Cleveland Ave, Westerville, OH 43081
From I-270, take the Cleveland Ave North exit. Entrance is about 1⁄2 mile on the left.
Spring Hollow Lodge
1069 W. Main St, Westerville, OH 43081
(Cannot be accessed from Sharon Woods entrance). Continue north on Cleveland Ave, past the main park entrance to Main St and turn left. Go about 1.5 miles to Metro Parks Headquarters and turn left. Follow roadway to the left.

SLATE RUN and LIVING HISTORICAL FARM
1375 S.R. 674 North, Canal Winchester, OH 43110
From I-270, take U.S. 33 east toward Lancaster to the Canal Winchester/State Route 674 exit. Turn right onto Gender Rd/Route 674 and go about 2 miles until it dead-ends into Lithopolis Rd. Turn left and go about 1⁄2 mile to Route 674. Turn right and go about 4 miles. Park entrance is on the right. Once inside the park, go past the ranger station and take the first road left and follow the signs to Slate Run Living Historical Farm
Slate Run Wetlands: Continue past main park entrance 1⁄2 mile to Marcy Rd and turn right on Winchester Rd. Entrance is about 3 miles on the right.

THREE CREEKS
3860 Bixby Rd, Groveport, OH 43125
From I-270, take U.S. 33 east to the S Hamilton Rd exit. Turn right and go about 1 mile to Bixby Rd and turn right. Entrance is about 1 mile on the right.

WALNUT WOODS
Tall Pines Area, 6833 Richardson Road, Groveport, OH 43125
From I-270, take US 33 east toward Lancaster. Go about 1.3 miles then turn right on Hamilton Road/SR 317. Go about 2.7 miles and turn left onto Main Street/Groveport Road. Go 1.4 miles to Richardson Road and turn right. The entrance to the Tall Pines Area is about 1.1 miles on your right.

Park Office, 6723 Lithopolis Road, Groveport, OH 43125
From I-270, take US 33 east toward Lancaster. Go about 1.3 miles then turn right on Hamilton Road/SR 317. Go about 2.7 miles and turn left onto Main Street/Groveport Road. Go 1.75 miles to Lithopolis Road and turn right. The entrance to the Park Office is about 0.75 miles on your right.


 

 


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