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10 free family-friendly activities at Blacklick Woods Metro Park

A view of the Nature Center at Blacklick Woods Metro Park near Columbus, Ohio
A view of the Nature Center at Blacklick Woods Metro Park near Columbus, Ohio
Angela Thompson

With summer rapidly approaching, stay at home parents are making summer vacation plans and looking for fun, local, affordable day trip options and activities for the entire family. The Blacklick Woods Metro Park, one of the many public parks in the Columbus Metro Park system, offers several free activities within an easy drive from throughout the Columbus metro area. What family-friendly activities are available at Blacklick Woods Metro Park?

Hike the trails at Blacklick Woods Metro Park. Blacklick Woods Metro Park is home to over 6 miles of designated trails. The park rates all trails at Blacklick Woods as easy hikes—making them perfectly family-friendly. Be aware, while the trails are family friendly, the park prohibits family pets on the trails at Blacklick Woods.

Watch for owls, birds and wildlife. Blacklick Woods Metro Park is home to at least two vocal barred owls and a variety of birds and wildlife. Listen for the owls while walking the trails between Ashton Pond and the Nature Center. Sometimes park volunteers are on hand with binoculars to help visitors view the owls near the trails.

Visit the Nature Center. The Nature Center is a lovely, climate controlled spot from which visitors may enjoy wildlife watching from the viewing areas—or visit some of the animals housed inside the Nature Center. Sometimes guests have opportunities to visit and learn about the animals with a site naturalist.

Attend a free program. Like many of the Columbus Metro Parks, Blacklick Woods Metro Park hosts several free programs and activities for families throughout the year. Most programs do not even require pre-registration. Check the park's activity calendar for upcoming events.

Take a bike ride. The multi-purpose trails at Blacklick Woods Metro Park offer the perfect spot for a family bike ride. Paved trails and easy terrain make it a fun ride even for younger riders.

Enjoy the playgrounds. Blacklick Woods Metro Park houses two well maintained playground areas for children. The playgrounds lie near trails and parking areas making them easily accessible.

Relax by Ashton Pond. Ashton Pond is accessible from trails—or from the parking lot behind the Beechnut shelter house. It is a terrific place to read or bird watch. Ashton Pond houses tadpoles of all shapes and sizes.

Have a picnic. Sometimes the best way to tackle a long summer day is by breaking routines. Packing a picnic lunch or stopping by one of the nearby restaurants for a takeout picnic is always a kid friendly activity.

Explore the Walter A. Tucker State Nature Preserve. The Walter A. Tucker State Nature Preserve lies in the heart of the Blacklick Woods Metro Park. Trails intersect both the preserve and the park for easy access.

Play in the open fields. There are acres of open green space at the Blacklick Woods Metro Park for games and playing. Whether it is Frisbee, kickball, soccer or simply a game of tag—the park offers a large, safe space for kids to burn off that summer energy.

For more information on the places featured in this article:
Visit the Blacklick Woods Metro Park website
Visit the Walter A. Tucker State Nature Preserve website
Exploring Blacklick Woods Metro Park near Columbus

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