Visit your local Columbus Metro Park near Otterbein University for some good, old-fashioned, outdoor fun. 

Rocky Fork Metro Park

Located in Westerville, Rocky Fork Metro Park offers biking, horseback riding and pet trails. The park is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. from the beginning of October until the end of March; Rocky Fork is also open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from the beginning of April to the end of September. The park includes a large shelter for family picnics and a playground area for kids. With just over three miles of walking trails through woods and fields, the park is complete with large wooden chairs for your leisure while enjoying the wildlife in the open fields.

Sharon Woods Metro Park

          

Home to the Edward Thomas Nature Preserve, Sharon Woods Metro Park is just minutes away from campus. The park is to the public from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. from the beginning of October to the end of March, and from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from the beginning of April to the end of September. Sharon Woods offers activities such as biking, fishing and sledding. With six hiking trails surrounded by oak, hickory and beech trees, grass fields, and an 11-acre lake, Sharon Woods is an ideal place for students to decompress in nature. Additionally, the park offers several picnic areas that are perfect for study dates and picnics.

Blendon Woods Metro Park

Located 12 minutes from campus, Blendon Woods Metro Park offers unique wildlife experiences, including wild turkeys. Other observable wildlife includes a wide variety of songbirds and waterfowl. Open to the public from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. from the beginning of October to the end of March, and 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from the beginning of April to the end of September. The park is home to seven different hiking trails and the 11-acre Thoreau Lake. Blendon also offers a wide variety of activities, including cross-country skiing, ice skating, day camps, disc golf, pet-friendly areas and shelters for picnics.

          

Inniswood Metro Gardens

Inniswood Metro Gardens juxtaposes its scenic nature preserve with landscaped areas. This Westerville park is beautiful—perfect for a photo opportunity or a scenic picnic. Inniswood offers streams, woodlands, several themed gardens, six short hiking trails and over 2,000 different plant species. The Innis House, former home of sisters Grace and Mary Innis, is the site for the park’s education programs, staff offices and horticulture library. The park is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. from the beginning of October to the end of March, and 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from the beginning of April to the end of September. It offers adult and junior volunteer programs in its education programs and garden maintenance.