Located at the confluence of three of central Ohio’s largest creeks, the aptly named Three Creeks Metro Park is one of the region’s finest natural gems.
Alum, Big Walnut, and Blacklick creeks join forces in this metropolitan park, providing the perfect habitat for a variety of animals.
The park spans over 1,100 acres and is a partnership between Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and the City of Columbus Parks and Recreation Department.
Over the years, the park has become a popular destination for wildlife lovers, especially birdwatchers. Over 100 species of birds have been sighted in the park, including owls, eagles, great blue herons, and more.
Three Creeks Metro Park Hike
There are 9 hiking trails in the park, each with their own trails and difficulty levels. The two largest trails are the Alum Creek Greenway and the Blacklick Creek Greenway.
These longer trails, reaching 24.5 miles and 16 miles respectively, are not entirely contained within the park, but rather traverse the park while connecting the parks to other areas.
The rest of the trails in the park are less than 1.5 miles and are rated easy to moderate. One of the most scenic hikes in the park is the Bluebell Trail, which hugs Blacklick Creek and boasts, you guessed it, a beautiful view of bluebells when they’re in bloom.
The Confluence Trail is also popular with visitors, offering close-up views of a variety of trees including giant sycamores, poplars, and American elms.
Fishing is permitted at Three Creeks Metro Park in Heron Pond and Turtle Pond. To fish, anyone over the age of 16 must have an Ohio fishing license.
You can learn more about getting your Ohio fishing license from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Visiting Three Creeks Metro Park with Kids
If you are going to the park with the family, you should definitely take the time to visit the natural playground. This 12-acre area has a pine forest where kids can get off the trail and explore the natural world.
You will find the natural playground to the right of the Confluence trailhead. Of course, visiting family for some people means the whole family, including the dog.
Pets are allowed in the park. Pet dogs and cats are permitted in picnic areas and parking lots, although they must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
There are pet-friendly trails in the park, including Alum Creek and Blacklick Greenways, Evergreen Trail, Heron Pond Trail, Madison Mills Trail, Turtle Pond Trail, and Sycamore Fields & Smith Farm Trails.
Wildlife at Three Creeks Metro Park
The park is made up of forests, grasslands, wetlands and fields, which means it is the perfect environment for several different species. In addition hundreds of birds, beavers, mink, coyotes and deer all live in the area.
One of the most interesting creatures you might spot in the park is the salamander. These secret creatures are found in Ohio wetlands and play a vital role in the ecosystem of Three Creeks Metropolitan Park and other wetlands.
Ohio is home to more than 25 different species of salamanders, the most common being the spotted salamander, red-backed salamander, northern dusky salamander, and red-spotted newt.
Additionally, bluegill, catfish, and largemouth bass can all swim around Three Creeks water areas.
Sports and Activities at Three Creeks Metro Park
In addition to hiking and fishing, the park also offers visitors space for biking, canoeing, and picnicking. Cycling is permitted on all trails in the park.
Although there are no kayak or canoe rentals available year-round in the park, there is a place to launch your own boat, starting at Alum Creek before reaching Big Walnut Creek.
Metro Parks also offers several opportunities throughout the year for park visitors to try kayaking on Turtle Pond for free. You can find out more about kayaking events here.
There is a whole picnic area at Three Creeks. There is a shelter in the Confluence trails area with tables, grills and play equipment.
It is free and accessible to everyone. No reservations are necessary and the shelter is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Three Creeks Metropolitan Park Half Marathon
This newer half marathon, held in April, features distances that make for a fantastic course whether you’re super experienced or more of an occasional walker or runner. The trail is a hard paved surface that crosses forests and is home to abundant wildlife.
It’s a beautiful trail and a great place to start if you’re just starting to run marathons. You can find out more about the half marathon by clicking on here.
Three Creeks Metro Park is located at 3860 Bixby Rd, Groveport, OH 43125. For a detailed map of the park, Click here. If you want more information about visiting the park, you can visit the Metro Parks website at metroparks.net.
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