Tag Archives: In-Town Tourist

A More Private Public Preserve

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.


After years of tornado watches, warnings and thunderstorms, the unexpected happened: an outdoor-friendly Mother’s Day afternoon.  The forecast for 2011 had predicted the usual.  Showers.  Storms.  We scarcely dared to believe what appeared to be a clearing of the clouds but took off immediately for a nearby nature preserve to enjoy the weather gift as soon as it unfolded.

Char-Mar Nature Preserve north of Columbus, Ohio lies to the east of a popular mountain bike trail.  It has the extended quiet spells of a new and yet-to-be discovered park area. And its secluded location makes it unlikely the tract will ever experience the burgeoning trail traffic that can dispel nature on good weather days at other area parks.

The Glacier Ridge Trail is short but with enough hills and ridges amongst the woodlands and wetlands to keep it interesting. Streams wind along and beneath the trail and a newly constructed viewing blind offers panoramas of a tranquil pond.

Being Mom to three amazing young people makes any kind of Mother’s Day a treasured event.  Spending the afternoon doing my favorite thing -enjoying the outdoors, with them felt like tossing confetti into the celebration.

Updated from May 16, 2011.





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Summer Stored in Franklin Park Conservatory

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.


Ohio winters challenge the hiking, biking, beach girl in me. Bundling up for a hike or layering for a run in the woods isn’t too bad most of the time, but the lingering listless gray can creep into a body even when the chill has been held at bay.

I have to attack the winter months a little. Find ways to ride over them like a beach ball on a wave. The gym works. Warm weather getaways work even better! But one of our better options locally is Franklin Park Conservatory. I can always find a bit of summer inside that stately structure and, for a few minutes, completely forget the wind chill waiting in the parking lot.

The Conservatory is a Christmastime tradition with festive poinsettias, a model train display and whimsical gingerbread houses. The seasonal attractions, including a phenomenal juggling act are always top notch. But for me, the best part is always wandering into greened spaces and spying summer blooms.

Updated from January 12, 2011.

Columbus Couple Travel Tips


Cycling Three Creeks

An In-Town Tourist Feature:
…because Adventure begins in the heart and Travel starts at the end of your own driveway.

Three Creeks Metro Park Visitor Information and Map

Three Creeks Metro Park is an easy afternoon escape in the warmer months. Less than thirty miles from my home, north of Columbus, it offers thirteen miles of paved trails, fishing ponds and streams, and an assortment of sports fields and playgrounds.

Named for its idyllic setting amidst the confluence of three major streams, Three Creeks includes sections of two Franklin County Greenways trails -an interconnected recreational trail system being built along seven major waterways. I often ride the northern section of Three Creeks’ longest trail. Someday, I’ll be able to leave the truck at home and pedal all the way down. And back… I’m hoping they connect it all before my knees begin to notice the distance!

Riding the Alum Creek and Blacklick Creek Greenway Trails back and forth in the park will give a cyclist an easy 22 miles. Loops such as the ones circling Heron Pond and Sycamore Fields add another couple of miles and some great people-watching moments. There are water crossings, shady wooded sections and wide open expanses of prairie fields that are great for speed and building up a good muscle burn.

Picnicking possibilities are abundant; we often choose a grassy patch by Turtle Pond in the Confluence Trails area. My kids have passed through the playground stage, but there is a great climbing structure nearby.

I’ve arrived in the parking lot with as many as four bikes and as few as one, and it’s always a good ride.



Updated from January 27, 2009.


Three Creeks Metro Park Visitor Information and Map

Three Creeks Metro Park (Columbus, Ohio)
Miles and miles of hiking, biking and waterways at the confluence of Alum, Blacklick and Big Walnut Creeks
13+ paved trail miles, fishing, hiking, picnicking, playgrounds and sports fields
“Yes” for pets (permitted on many trails)

Address: 3860 Bixby Rd; Groveport, Ohio 43215
Phone: 614-645-3300 (Columbus Recreation and Parks Office)
Park Website
Directions: From I-270, take US 33 east to the South Hamilton Road exit. Travel right approximately one mile to Bixby Road. Turn right. Entrance is about 1 mile ahead on the right.

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Columbus Things To Do


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