Last week Tom and I took a wonderful walk on a sunny day in Glacier Ridge Metro Park. Although I consider all the metro parks to be Columbus Metro Parks, the website calls them “Central Ohio Metro Parks.” This is probably a better designation because the metro parks are scattered from Lancaster to Plain City and Galloway to Westerville.
Glacier Ridge is the metro park that is furthest northwest from Columbus. Although the area was once farmland, it is now full of suburban developments that surround the park. The park was named for the glacial debris left behind when the glaciers retreated some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago. The park has over 1,000 acres and more than 10 miles of hiking and biking trails.
We walked the outer loop of the paved Marsh Hawk Trail, about three miles. Walking the inner loop adds another half mile. Half of the trail is unshaded, through grassy fields ripe with wildflowers. The other half winds through a small woods, preserved in the midst of the surrounding developments. There is a large challenge course and a wonderful playground with lots of parking.
The Ironweed Trail is more secluded, but was longer than I wanted to walk. It is an out-and-back trail which is almost three miles each direction. The Ironweed Trail includes a boardwalk through the Honda Wetlands Area and a 25-foot observation tower to see waterfowl and other animals. Tom and I decided we would come back another day and bring the tandem so we could enjoy the whole park.
Although we were at the park on a Monday afternoon, there were lots of people out enjoying the trails. We were surprised at the number of school-age children playing on the challenge course and playground. I’m sure the park can get crowded on weekends, but it was comfortable the day we were there. Signs all over the park say that “Facemasks must be worn at all times” but very few people were wearing them as they walked or rode bikes along the trails.
Tom and I enjoyed our visit to Glacier Ridge Metro Park. It isn’t very distinctive from some of the other parks closer to our home, but it is a welcome green space in a sea of development.