Scioto Audubon Metro Park
Scioto Audubon Metro Park
400 W. Whittier Street
Columbus, OH 43215
"Parks and playgrounds are the soul of a city." ~ Marty Rubin
Scioto Audubon Metro Park
Scioto Audubon Metro Park is a 120-acre park in Columbus, Ohio. It has one trail that branches off and heads to different areas of the park. It also connects to the Scioto Trail which is 12.2 miles long and connects several parks and runs directly through downtown Columbus.
The Ohio Metro Park is large and has a lot of amenities, including:
12 Picnic Tables
Sledding Hill in the Winter
3 Volleyball Courts
Lyft Bicycle Rental
Trail in Scioto Audubon Metro Park
The trail in the flat and easy to walk. There are approximately 2.5 miles of trail. There is very little elevation change. The trail wraps throughout the park, so you can easily get anywhere within the park.
There were a lot of people walking the trails. But they were not crowded. And if you love dogs, you will meet a lot of them here.
There is little to no shade on these trails. If you have an issue with the sun, make sure you dress appropriately and take water with you. The sun beats down on you almost the whole time.
Scioto Audubon Metro Park Boardwalk
There is a very small boardwalk at the park that measures approximately 0.1 miles long. It spans over a wetland area that is home to turtles, ducks and many insects. It connects the Audubon Center to the main trails and park. Bikes and dogs are allowed on the boardwalk.
There are 4 small wetland areas located on Scioto Audubon Metro Park grounds. 3 are pretty close together. One can be crossed using the boardwalk. The other two can be seen from the trail. The other wetland area is small and located next to the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. It has a small deck that was provided by the generous support of American Electric Power & AEP Ohio.
The wetland sign says:
Exploring the Nature of Change
All the Wetland’s a Stage
Metro Parks wetlands are home to many species of dragonflies. They occupy a significant position in the food chain as a top predator of other insects such as mosquitoes. Their presence is vital to the health and diversity of a wetland ecosystem.
Dragonflies undergo a three-stage life cycle. Female dragonflies fly directly over streams or wetlands dropping their eggs in the water.
The dragonfly egg hatches what is called a nymph – the second stage in the dragonfly life cycle. The nymph then goes through a series of stages – which can last up to 4 or 5 years. When a nymph sheds its skin for the last time an adult dragonfly emerges.
Monitoring the number and types of dragonflies throughout the parks is just one of the many efforts undertaken by Metro Parks to ensure habitat and species diversity.
Scioto River Overlook
Directly behind the Audubon Nature Center is an overlook that overlooks the Scioto River. It is a wooden structure that has a couple of benches. This would be a great place for birdwatching. While we were there, we saw blue herons, great egrets, northern cardinals, and red-winged blackbirds.
There is also a very short trail that you can get to from the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. It measures approximately .15 miles long. It makes its way through a small patch of woods located along the Scioto River. The trail is located approximately 130’ NW of the overlook. You can get to it from the Lower Scioto Greenway Trail.
This beautiful little trail would be a perfect area for pictures. There are a lot of trees and a split-rail wooden fence.
The Scioto Audubon Metro Park Playground
The park has a decent playground. The biggest draw is the rock-climbing wall. It is the largest free outdoor climbing wall in the country. It measures an impressive 35 feet high. It is free to climb the wall, however, climbers must provide their own equipment and ropes. The climbing wall contains two arches and three towers. For the kids, there is a 10-foot boulder to climb.
To climb the wall, you must be at least 13 years old. Climbers 13-16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Scioto Audubon Metro Park Dog Park
The Ohio Metro Park has a 2.5-acre dog park that has separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. There are a few small obstacles for them to use. There is not any shade to help keep your pets cool. There is a water source.
As with all dog parks, it is important that you keep a close eye on your dog. People tend to take dogs to dog parks that should not be allowed around other dogs.
Grange Insurance Audubon Center
The Grange Insurance Audubon Center has a lot of different events for children as well as adults. Attend some of their events to learn about birdwatching and conservation. There are also art exhibits and nature-themed programs. To learn more about their events check out their events page at https://grange.audubon.org/events.
Scioto Audubon Metro Park is a decent place for birding in Ohio. With the open fields, woods, wetlands, Scioto River and wildflower fields, you will be able to spot a variety of birds. According to eBird’s checklist, there have been 205 species spotted since August 2008.
During our visit we spotted:
There is parking everywhere. There is not one designated parking lot, there are several.
Audubon Nature Center
This is a very nice park that is well-kept. There are several things to do from walking, bicycling, birdwatching, picnicking, rock climbing to volleyball. There is something for everyone.
However, there is not much shade, and this can be a problem. If you are going to visit the park on a hot day, make sure you take along plenty of water.
The traffic noise is extremely loud and constant since the park sits along I70 and I71. If you are looking for a park that is quiet and serene, this is not it. But if you are looking for a place close to Downtown Columbus where you can get out and stretch your legs and enjoy the outdoors, this place is perfect.
What You Can Expect at Scioto Audubon Metro Park
Please note that trail rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Scioto Audubon Metro Park in Columbus as of April 2021.
There are bathrooms located at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center.
Bicycles are prohibited.
There was quite a bit of activity.
Concealed carry is permitted.
Dogs are allowed.
Trail surfaces are natural, blacktop and crushed limestone. The trails are fairly flat.
There is a lot of parking available.
12 picnic tables.
There is a playground.
There are benches setup throughout the whole park.
Very little shade.
3 shelter houses.
Trails are not marked. However, they are wide open and visible.
We do not recall seeing any trashcans along the trail. There may have been some in the playground area. There are trashcans located at the shelter houses.
4 small wetland areas and the Scioto River.
A lot of ADA parking spots.