Nov 30, 2021 - Things to Do

Central Ohio's 20th metro park opens today

A waterfall flows into a stream surrounded by trees
A 25-foot waterfall, a key feature of the new Quarry Trails Metro Park. Photo: Alissa Widman Neese/Axios

Central Ohio's 20th metro park debuts today, a combination of urban oasis and adventure tucked away on the West Side in a former limestone quarry.

  • Quarry Trails Metro Park isn't fully open yet, but many of its signature features — including a 25-foot waterfall — are now accessible to the public.

Why it matters: The 180-acre site achieves the goal of placing a park within five miles of every Franklin County resident's home, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks spokesperson Peg Hanley tells Axios.

The intrigue: The spot is also home to central Ohio history. The limestone mined out of the quarry by Italian immigrants who settled nearby was used to construct the Ohio Statehouse and Ohio Stadium, among other area landmarks.

By the numbers: Acquiring and developing the land is an investment of more than $17 million so far, $11 million funded by Metro Parks and $6 million in grants.

What's next: Kayaking and paddle boarding will debut this spring once the weather warms up.

  • Other features to come: Dog park, picnic areas and a sledding hill.
  • Metro Parks is still assessing the safety of cliff rappelling and rock-climbing, Hanley says.

👋 Alissa here. Quarry Trails wraps around my neighborhood, so when I heard opening day was approaching, I could hardly contain my excitement.

  • I popped over last week for a tour with Metro Parks employees.

My take: Once finished, Quarry Trails will offer a little bit of something for everybody. I like the mesh of natural and urban features.

  • A short, paved path leads to a picturesque, handicap-accessible waterfall overlook.
  • Descend down a limestone stairway to splash in the water.
  • Follow trails across the lake to a boardwalk and try to spot turtles and beavers, or continue for what is now a three-mile hike.
  • For the adventurous — and, unlike me, very coordinated — there are five rugged mountain bike tracks with ramps, steep drops and obstacles.

If you go: 2158 Old Dublin Road, park and waterfall, 2600 Dublin Road, mountain bike area. Open 6:30am till dusk.

A map of Quarry Trails Metro Park
A map of Quarry Trails Metro Park as of today's opening. Photo courtesy of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks
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