Pickerington Ponds Metro Park - Yellowlegs Trail
Yellowlegs Trail - Park Office
7680 Wright Road
"All around them there was nothing bur grassy prairie spreading to the edge of the sky." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
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 site on 1608 acres in both Fairfield and Franklin County. There are miles of trails that fan out in all directions.
The Park has 5 Different Trails:
· Arrowhead Trail
· Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail
· Meadowlark Trail
· Yellowlegs Trail
When we visit Pickerington Ponds Metro Park, we usually walk the Killdeer Trail. This trail passes the ponds and the Bald Eagles Nest. On this trip, we decided to add on the Yellowlegs Trail too. The first time we tried this trail last year it was so muddy that it was unpassable. That is because the trail is a “wet meadows.” This time, even though we have had quite a bit of rain, it was fairly dry with only a couple muddy areas.
The path is flat and made of finely crushed limestone. It is an easy walk that measures approximately .5 miles in one direction. You can reach this trail off the Killdeer Trail or from the Park Office. If you park at the lot across from the park office, you can get in a quick one-mile by walking to the County Bridge and back.
Yellowlegs Trail is surrounded by prairie and there isn’t much relief from the sun. 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.
What are Wet Meadows
Information taken directly off sign:
Wet meadows, sometimes known as wet prairies, are found where water tables are high. A typical wet prairie is in an are that is flooded or saturated with groundwater for several days in an average year. Waterlogged soil surrounds the roots of plants during the early growing season. Highly organic silt and clay-loam soils support plant communities dominated by sedges and grass like prairie dropseed.
The nutrient-rich wet environment provides vital food and habitat for many plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. It is an ideal place for people to experience nature.
The County Bridge
Information taken directly off sign:
Originally constructed in 1897, This bridge once spanned Hellbranch Run in Pleasant Township. The bridge was abandoned in 1937 when Lambert Road was relocated. In 2003, the Franklin County Engineer’s Office dismantled, repaired and repainted the bridge prior to its being relocated to its present location. The bridge was installed at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park in 2004 by Metro Parks’ staff to span Georges Creek.
In 2005, the Franklin County Engineer’s Office and Metro Parks received the 2005 Historic Bridge Award for the relocation and re-use of this bridge.
The Bald Eagles
If you are visiting Pickerington Ponds Metro Park and want to view the bald eagles’ nest, you will have to walk the Killdeer Trail. However, the birds are often spotted flying over the Yellowlegs Trail heading back and forth from Ellis Pond.
If you are only planning on walking the Yellowlegs Trail you will not be able to see Blue Wing Pond or Mallard Marsh. These two ponds seem to have the most waterfowl. However, you will be able to enjoy Ellis Pond. This pond is located at the parking lot directly across from the park office. There is another parking lot on the other side of the pond that can be reached off Bowen Road
Some bird species that we have spotted at Ellis Pond are:
…There have been over 260 species of bird spotted at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park. This is according to Metro Parks website.
On the Yellowlegs Trail we Spotted:
· Blue Jay
The biggest issue we have with the Yellowlegs Trail is the lack of shade. It gets hot! It does get a little wet, and the first time we tried to walk it, it was unpassable.
Pickerington Ponds Metro Park is beautiful and well-kept. It is well known for its exceptional birding and wildlife.
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 Ponds Metro Park Yellowlegs Trail
Please note that trail rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Yellowlegs Trail as of May 2020.
There are restrooms located at the Ellis Pond parking lot on Bowen Road and the Glacier Knoll picnic area.
Bicycles are only permitted on the Blacklick Greenway Trail.
Pickerington Ponds Metro Park is an Ohio birding hotpsot.
Concealed carry is permitted.
Pets are not permitted on the Yellowlegs Trail.
Trail is crushed limestone and can get muddy is spots.
Blacktop parking lot with 13 parking spaces.
There are no picnic tables on the Yellowlegs Trail. However, there are picnic tables available at other areas of Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.
There is no playground.
There are no benches available on Yellowlegs Trail.
Little to no shade.
No shelter house at the Yellowlegs Trail. There are shelter houses at Glacier Knoll picnic area and Wood Duck picnic area.
Trails are easy to see.
Trail is made from finely crushed limestone. It is easy to walk.
There are no trash cans. Pickerington Ponds Metro Park is a Carry-on Carry-out park. Paper bags are provided at the parking lot.
Ellis Pond and Georges Creek can been seen from Yellowlegs Trail.
1 ADA parking spot.
Boating is prohibited.
Fishing is prohibited.