Highbanks Metro Park

brood x cicada ohio

Recently we were looking for a nice hike that was not too far from home. We’d heard good things about Highbanks Metro Park, a park in the Columbus Metro Parks system and decided to venture out.

Sign for Highbanks Metro Park near Columbus, Ohio.
Highbanks Metro Park is part of the Columbus Metro Parks system and is located north of the city in Lewis Center.

Highbanks Metro Park

 Located in Lewis Center, a bedroom community northwest of Columbus, the park has ten trails designated for hiking in the summer. During snowy conditions some of those convert to cross country ski trails.

The park also hosts a variety of other activities including fishing, canoeing, biking, sledding and more. There are shelter houses, picnic areas and nature centers within the park as well.

Dog Friendly Highbanks Metro Park

We set out with our golden doodle Pumpkin, ready to explore. We had planned on hiking the Dripping Rock trail but unfortunately didn’t do our homework ahead of time. Dripping Rock is not pet friendly. Remember, if you’re going to bring your pup always check websites ahead of time.

A dog poses next to a flag and gets a drink from a dog drinking fountain at Highbanks Metro Park.
We visited just before Memorial Day weekend and Pumpkin posed next to one of the flags. He liked having his own special drinking fountains available on the trail.

Fortunately, there were several other trails within the park that welcome pets. We chose the Coyote Run Trail which was a nice hike through the forest. It’s a 3.5 mile trek through woods and fields and is a moderate level hike.

Brood X Cicadas at Highbanks Metro Park

Though we’d anticipated cicada Brood X arriving in Central Ohio, we hadn’t encountered any of the insects to this point. That all changed on our hike. Portions of the woods were deafening with their sound.

Brood X cicadas in Central Ohio.
There were piles of cicada shells under many of the trees (left) and they were all over the vegitation.

They covered bushes and piles of their shells littered the bases of many of the trees. A few flew right into us, with one landing in my hair. I’d like to tell you I was calm and collected, but I wasn’t as I struggled to find the little guy.

A Moderate Pet Friendly Trail

A favorite spot on the trail for Pumpkin gave him access to the creek. There was a shallow area where we let him play and a deeper swimming area where we saw another dog. It was warm so it was nice for him to be able to splash around a bit in the water.

A young woman poses with her dog, a golden doodle.
Pumpkin really enjoyed playing in the water. Dogs are welcome to the trails on leash.

Overall this was a good experience. The park was nice and clean with lots of families. There were a number of amenities at the park and the restrooms were well maintained. We have had good luck with all of the Columbus Metro Parks, but will definitely visit this one again. Perhaps next time we will visit without Pumpkin and hike the Dripping Rock trail that we have heard so much about.

What are your favorite hiking trails in Ohio? Let us know in the comments or message us as we are always looking for new adventures. If you’re looking for more parks and hikes within Ohio, check out our Ohio Parks section.

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