Tom and I continue to explore the many parks in the area, and we took an afternoon a couple of weeks ago to explore Rocky Fork Metro Park in New Albany. Although it was a gloomy day, being outside always makes us feel better and we had a very nice walk.
Rocky Fork Metro Park is the newest of the Columbus Metro Parks. It was established in 2015 with the first 100 acres gifted from the city of New Albany. The goal was to preserve the rural nature of the area. Further financial gifts have allowed the park to expand to 1200 acres in two sections. The eastern section has about three miles of hiking trails and a separate three mile bridle trail. The western section is currently undeveloped but there is a plan to develop hiking trails and link the two sections together.
The restrooms, picnic shelter, and playground are definitely the nicest of any of the metro parks, probably because they are so new. The playground is handicapped-accessible for children of all ages, so it is a non-traditional play area. There were also some concrete replicas of millstones in a display with an interpretive sign about the mills of Plain Township.
We started our walk with the least developed trail in the system, the North Meadow Trail. It also turned out to be the wettest trail. We were hiking when the temperature was in the 40’s, melting all the snow we had previously. So the meadow had a lot of very soggy places. I found out that my boots were not as waterproof as I had previously supposed. Tom and I both had very wet feet by the time we finished that trail.
Then we looped back to the parking lot on the Beech Woodland Trail which was paved. After the soggy meadow trail, the Beech Woodland Trail was a treat. It gave our wet feet a chance to warm up and squish out some of the water. We crossed the Bridle trail several times, but there were signs everywhere that the Bridle trail was for horses and riders only. That’s okay – the other trails were nice and didn’t have horse poop on them.
We enjoyed our walk at Rocky Fork very much but were glad to get home and change out of our wet socks and shoes. We will have to hike there again on a drier day!