Delaware County has a number of very nice county parks, in addition to town parks, reservoirs, and the Alum Creek and Delaware State Parks. Tom and I have enjoyed all the green spaces we have visited in the county. We are glad the county had the foresight to set these areas aside, because new housing developments are sprouting up all over the place.
The preservation parks in Delaware County are especially interesting. They are committed to preserving natural areas, restoring prairies and wetlands, and reforestation. There are nine preserves scattered around the county with three more in the planning stage.
Char-Mar Ridge Preserve protects an area of forest between Galena and Westerville. The 128 acres of the park has a 1.7 mile loop trail, a picnic area, a natural play area, a pond, and a nature viewing blind. We walked the trail and saw where it connected to the Ohio to Erie bike trail. We also checked out the nature viewing blind. It overlooks the pond and is next to five large bird feeders. Birds of every description were flocking to the bird feeders. I even saw a woodpecker – easier to get food out of the feeder than hit your head against a tree.
There were plenty of people at the park on a Saturday. Kids were playing in the creek that flowed through the natural play area. Dogs and people enjoyed the sun and shade in the woods. A couple of people rode by on bikes, even though bikes are not allowed on the hiking trail. We met a volunteer stationed in the nature viewing blind who told us how to get involved.
The hiking trail had some surprising ups and downs. I think of this area as mostly flat, slightly rolling. But the hiking trail went up and down the ridge several times which made it a little more challenging.
I think we are going to like being so close to Char-Mar Ridge Preserve. I look forward to walking there and enjoying the programs they offer year round.