Central Ohio offers an expansive array of free parks that provide endless opportunities for outdoor fitness. The next few blogs will highlight some of central Ohio’s park systems. For those who live outside of central Ohio, look up your local park systems to find opportunities for outdoor fitness.
Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks (Metro Parks) is a public agency serving the citizens of Central Ohio by providing a regional system of clean, safe, natural area parks. Metro Parks features 19 outstanding natural area parks with more than 230 miles of trails and over 28,400 acres of land in seven Central Ohio counties. https://www.metroparks.net/parks-and-trails/ . These parks offer various activities that include archery, backpacking, biking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, disc golf, fishing, golfing, ice skating, mountain biking, play areas, nature centers, nature preserves, obstacle courses, picnicking, rock climbing, bird watching, wetlands, a living historical 1880s farm and wildlife including a herd of Bison. Yes, you read that correctly. Slate Run Living Historical Farm is a working 1880s farm. As you stroll through the gardens, barns and farmhouse, you will see the farm costumed staff and volunteers going about their daily chores. Pigs, geese, turkeys, Percheron horses and other heirloom animals can be seen. Bison have been reintroduced to Battelle Darby Creek Park and roam freely within two enclosed pastures.
Think parks are just for summer fitness?
Metro Parks offers a Winter Hike Series https://www.metroparksfriends.org/news/2021/11/29/winter-hike-series-2022
And check out these Metro Parks winter fitness activities compiled by Columbus on the Cheap https://www.columbusonthecheap.com/grab-your-sled-sledding-hills-in-columbus/
Highbanks – Two hills (one gentle, one steep) at the far end of the driving loop at the Big Meadows parking lot. Parking is very limited, and legal parking is strictly enforced.
Sharon Woods – Long run for sledders and snowboarders; not steep. Small bunny hill for little kids. Restrooms and good parking available.
Scioto Audubon – Sledding hill located near the obstacle course and bocce court.
Blendon Woods – Skating Pond: Winter outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy this one-foot-deep pond. Kiddie’s sledding hill: A low hill provides just the right height and speed for young kids. Parking and restrooms available.
Blacklick Woods – Moderate hill on the golf course with close parking and restrooms.
Battelle Darby Creek - Steep hill with lots of parking and restrooms. Ice Skating Pond.
Walnut Woodes – Sledding Hill: A low hill in the Buckeye Area provides just the right slope for young kids to enjoy sledding.