River Bluff Area of Highbanks Metro Park

On a recent Saturday, Tom, John, and I walked the trails at the River Bluff Area of Highbanks Metro Park.  Tom and I have spent a lot of time at Highbanks during the years we have “lived” in the Columbus area.  It is located between our house and John and Jackie’s house, so it is a good place to stop if we want to take a walk.  There are miles of trails in Highbanks and we have walked most of them.  I will probably write more about Highbanks in a future post.

Highbanks Metro Park

But we had never been to the River Bluff Area of Highbanks.  The River Bluff Area is a relatively small portion of the park, but the only part of it on the west side of the Olentangy River.  The River Bluff Area is a later addition to Highbanks and opened in 2017.  Although we have driven by many times, on our way to John and Jackie’s, we had never stopped.  So, on an absolutely beautiful Saturday morning, we decided to explore this small section of the park.

We drove the several miles from John and Jackie’s, and set off on the trail.  The trail has a couple of different names, but it is really just a short lollipop trail, less than a mile long.  We started by descending into the sycamore woods along a lovely, shaded trail.  Because my poison ivy was still going strong, Tom and John kept pointing out any poison ivy plants they saw along the trail.  Thanks guys.  The trees soon turned to cottonwoods along the river bank.  We could see the river in spots, but it was hard to see the touted shale bluffs across the river due to the vegetation.

Olentangy River

As we moved out of the river valley back up to the top of the bluffs, we walked through a meadow that had all kinds of wildflowers and insect life.  We also saw several small, dead snakes.  We wondered what had killed them.

Wildflower meadow

When we got to the top of the bluff again, we decided to sit on one of the swings.  These are beautiful, shaded swings and all three of us were able to sit comfortably together.  We enjoyed the leisure of sitting, swinging, talking, and looking over the beautiful Olentangy valley.  We couldn’t see the river, but we had a great view of the woods and fields before us.  It was very relaxing.  John thought it would be a good place to bring Jackie to just sit and enjoy the view for a while.  He doesn’t feel that he has been doing enough of that the last year.

Lovely swing with pergola
The people in the swing
The view from the swing

We enjoyed our visit to the River Bluff area of Highbanks Metro Park very much.  It was a lovely place to enjoy a short, pretty hike.  Our souls were refreshed by the time together, sitting and swinging and appreciating each other.