GROVE CITY – It’s easy to want to curl up and hide indoors when the weather turns cold, but if Grove City could make an argument for anything, it would be that this quaint little suburb south of Columbus has some of the best winter hiking options that central Ohio has to offer. Take a moment to challenge yourself to bundle up and get outdoors more this winter, and you’ll be surprised at what winter hikes in Grove City have to offer you.
Take a weekend to hike the trails at Battelle Darby Creek, which features more than 7,000 acres of forest, prairies, and wetlands. Battelle Darby Creek stretches along 13 miles of the Big & Little Darby Creeks. If you’re in need of a warm-up midway through a hike, stopping into the park’s 18,000-square-foot Nature Center is an absolute must. In the Nature Center, you can learn about the microcosm of the Big Darby Creek ecosystem and watch native fish in the 53-foot living stream that runs inside the center. Directly behind the Nature Center, you can see wild bison graze in the Winter Bison Pasture. This is some of the best times of the year to see the bison. They stand out wonderfully against the pristine backdrop of a fresh snowfall. But if you’re worried that they won’t be close enough for the naked eye to see, there are also two viewing platforms with unobstructed views and mounted binoculars to get a look at these majestic creatures.
In addition to the bison, Battelle Darby Creek is one of the only places where nature lovers can get out and snowshoe or cross-country ski in central Ohio. There are miles of trails within the park to traverse. It’s the perfect place to visit right after a fresh snowfall. The 3.2-mile Dyer Mill Trail is reserved specifically for cross-country skiing. If you’re really trying to get your miles in, it’s also suggested to hike part or all of the 8.3-mile Darby Creek Greenway to see prairies and woods, along with the two bison pastures within the park.
If you’re trying to take advantage of one of those rare snow days for the family, Fryer Park is the place to be, with over 110 acres of winter wonderland to explore. Best of all, it has one of the most epic sledding hills a kid could dream of. Ever wanted to try your hand at ice fishing but thought that Ohio wasn’t the place for it? Think again. Rotary Lake at Fryer Park allows for catch-and-release ice fishing. Who would have thought?
If sledding and ice fishing aren’t your cup of tea, Scioto Grove Metro Park boasts 620 acres of scenic bluffs and open areas to explore. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, Scioto Grove has some of the best bird-watching a bird lover could ask for.
For these hiking destinations and more, visit Grove City, Ohio.