Buckeye & Monarch Trails
“I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.” ― William Shakespeare
Buckeye Trail and Monarch Trail Reviews
When we were choosing Walnut Woods Metro Park as our next outing, we did a lot of research the night before. We looked through many reviews regarding the Ohio trail and there were quite a few negative comments. Why? We have no idea. This place is very nice and well kept. It was exceptionally clean and people were rather friendly.
The only drawback with this Ohio trail is there is very little elevation change. Maybe the people reviewing the trails were looking for a place with rugged terrain. But for the average person wanting to get outside and enjoy nature, Walnut Woods Metro Park is fantastic.
We visited the park on a very warm day in January. But it was windy and gloomy. Please excuse the quality of our photos. The lighting made it almost impossible to get any decent shots. Don’t you love the Ohio weather? You never know what you are in for.
Since it was winter, the leaves were down. We were able to spot numerous bird nests scattered all through the Ohio park. During the spring and summer, I would bet that Walnut Woods Metro Park would be a nice place for birders.
We did see a few birds. The wind was brutal the day we were there, so they weren’t too active. The American Kestrel put on quite the show. Somehow it would hover in one spot for long periods of time. Why we did not record this is beyond me.
Birds we spotted at Walnut Woods Metro Park
Walnut Woods Metro Park has 5 different trails to choose from. We parked at the Lithopolis Road parking area. The only trailhead at this parking lot is the Buckeye Trail. From this trail, you can take the Monarch Trail.
The park makes a great first impression. The Buckeye Trail was blacktop and free of any clutter. Being winter you would think that there would be a lot of leaves everywhere. This was not the case. As I previously mentioned, this place is very well maintained. They put a lot of hard work into it. While we were there we met one of the Ohio Metro Park employees. He was very helpful and friendly.
The Buckeye Trail forms a loop that measures approximately 1.9 miles. It is surrounded by many varieties of vegetation and trees. Along one side runs Walnut Creek. During the summer months, there should be plenty of shade on this trail.
The Monarch trail split off of the Buckeye Trail. It is also blacktop and flat for the most part. Near the end (close to Richardson Road) there is a slight elevation change. Nothing crazy though.
It is more open and has some trees, but it is mostly surrounded by fields. This might make the trail a little unbearable during the hot summer months. The day we went, the wind was extreme. Since the area is pretty open it made walking difficult.
This trail does is not a loop. It is located off of the Buckeye Trail and runs to Richardson Road. It measures approximately 1.4 miles in length. There is a small foot bridge that crosses Big Run.
Walnut Woods Metro Park is very nice and great for everyone. However, if you want a rigorous hike, this is not the place. If you are walking for exercise and relaxation, this beautiful place has many miles of walking trails. If you love dogs, this is also a great park to meet some furry new friends. It has a dog park that has 2 separate fenced off areas. We met dogs constantly and had to stop and say hi to all of them.
We enjoyed it so much that we are going to go back and check out the other trails. Which include:
· Kestrel Trail - 1.3 Miles
· Pin Oak Trail - .4 Miles
· Sweetgum Trail – 2.6 Miles
What You Can Expect at Walnut Woods Metro Park
Please note that park rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Walnut Woods Metro Park as of January 2020.
Bathrooms were clean and have recycling toilets. The restroom uses no water or chemicals. So, this also means that there isn't a sink to wash your hands. But they do have hand sanitizer available at the door.
Bicycles are permitted on both the Buckeye Trail and Monarch Trail
This looks like a great place for birding. There are open fields, areas of trees and water features.
When entering the Monarch Trail from the Buckeye Trail you walk under a bridge that is located on Lithopolis Road. A short way down the path there is a footbridge that crosses over Big Run.
Concealed carry is permitted.
There is a very nice dog park. It is fenced of in 2 sections. Dogs are also permitted in both the Monarch and Buckeye Trails if they are on leashes. There are several dog waste stations. For the most part, everyone was picking up the waste.
Very slight elevation changes. Most are not even noticeable.
Blacktop parking areas. Parking lot next to trail entrance has 30 spots. The Parking area next to the dog park has 48 spots. Both areas have specified ADA spaces.
There are picnic tables located in the shelter house. There are also numerous tables located along the paths.
The playground is located next to the main parking area and the shelter house.
Quite a bit of seating is available along the trail. Instead of using benches they use picnic tables.
The Buckeye Trail should have plenty of shade during the spring, summer and fall months. For the most part, the Monarch Trail is open and will have very little to no shade.
A large shelter house is located next to the main parking area.
Trails are marked and easy to see.
Both the Buckeye Trail and the Monarch Trail are blacktop and are in great shape.
There are no trash cans. Walnut Woods is a Carry-on Carry-out park. Paper bags are provided at stations at the Buckeye lot and the Tall Pines lot. Also, if there are special needs, rangers are available to help.
Walnut Creek runs next to the Buckeye Trail. Big Run runs through the Monarch Trail.
ADA parking is available in both lots. The Buckeye Trail is very flat and can easily be accessible by wheelchair. The Monarch trail does have a slight elevation increase near Richardson Road. This may be difficult for some.
There are two areas along Walnut Creek for canoe access. These areas are located off of the Buckeye Trail.
There are two areas along Walnut Creek for fishing. These areas are located off of the Buckeye Trail.
Special Features - Kiddie sledding area located near the dog park parking lot.