Killdeer Trail - Entrance Located off of Bowen Road. North of Wright Road
“May you soar on eagle wings, high above the madness of the world.” ― Jonathan Lockwood Huie
One of the 19 Ohio Franklin County Metro Parks is Pickerington Ponds. It is a favorite among birders. It is a well-kept park that sits on 1608 acres in both Fairfield and Franklin County. There are miles of trails that fan out in all directions.
We have walked the Killdeer Trail quite a few times. It is famous for being the home of a pair of bald eagles, osprey, waterfowl and songbirds. The place is a hotspot during migration.
The path is fairly flat and made of finely crushed limestone. It is an easy walk that measures approximately 2.2 miles to the end and back to the parking lot.
The path doesn’t have much shade until you reach the farthest point. On hot summer days, the sun can be uncomfortable and downright unbearable. Make sure that you take plenty of water with you when you go.
Even though the path is made from very fine stone, people use it for biking. The metro parks website does not state that this trail is for biking. When the ground has been dry for several days, it should be easy to get a bike down the path. But the path does get somewhat mushy and muddy in areas after it rains. Being a marsh type area, it holds the water for quite some time.
The Bald Eagles
The eagles’ nest is easy to spot. It sits high up in the trees not far off the road. The bald eagles can often be spotted perched in the trees surrounding the nest or at Ellis pond. Ellis pond is just a short distance down the road but is still part of Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.
The birds and animals love the wetland area of Pickerington Ponds Metro Park. The Killdeer Trail area has 3 separate bodies of water. Blue Wing Pond, Mallard Marsh and Pintail Marsh.
Blue Wing Pond has an observation deck near the picnic area. It also has a duck blind close by. You do not have to walk very far to get to these observation areas. There is parking very close by.
Pintail Marsh also has an observation deck. It is located at the end of Killdeer Trail in the wooded area.
It doesn’t look as though there is an easy way to observe Mallard Marsh.
Some bird species that we have spotted are:
…There have been over 260 species of bird spotted at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park. This is according to Metro Parks website.
The biggest issue we have with the Killdeer trail is the lack of shade. It gets hot! Other than that, it is very nice. It does get a little wet, but as long as you stay on the path it should be fine. We tried to venture down the Yellow Legs Trail but it was a mud pit. It is a grass trail. We will try it again another day after some nice dry weather.
The place is beautiful, and the people are always nice. The birding is amazing, and the bald eagles are front and center.
Pickerington Ponds Metro Park is less than a 5-minute drive to Pickerington and Reynoldsburg. You can find plenty of restaurants and places to shop. So you can either bring your lunch with you or take a short drive for a bite to eat.
It is easy to get to from I70 or U.S. Route 33.
What You Can Expect at Pickerington Metro Park
Please note that park rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Pickerington Ponds Metro Park as of February 2020.
There are no bathrooms located at the Killdeer Trail. However there are bathrooms located across the road at the Arrowhead Trail and at Ellis Pond.
We saw bicycles on the trail, but the trail is only marked as hiking.
This is an amazing place for birding. There are open fields, areas of trees and water features.
There are no bridges.
Concealed carry is permitted.
Dogs are not permitted on the Killdeer Trail.
Very slight elevation changes that are not noticeable.
There is a parking area located near Arrowhead Marsh. It can accommodate approx. 18 cars. There is additional parking further into the lot with an additional 13 spaces. Once space is a specified as ADA. It is the only spot that is fully blacktopped
There are picnic tables located in the shelter house.
There is not a playground.
There are a couple benches located along the path.
The Killdeer Trail lacks shade
A shelter house is located past the first parking area.
Trail is is easy to see.
The Killdeer Trail is made of finely crushed limestone.
There are no trash cans. Pickerington Ponds Metro Park is a Carry-on Carry-out park. Paper bags are provided at the Shelter House.
There are several ponds located at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.
ADA parking is available at the shelter house. The Killdeer trail would be hard to get a wheelchair through.
Boating is prohibited.
Fishing is prohibited.
Special Features - The bald eagles.