Clear Creek Metro Park consists of over 5,300 acres of woodland, with blackhand sandstone cliffs, ravines and creeks. In this vast park is more than 2,200 species of plants and animals. The majority of Clear Creek is located in the Hocking Hills region of Ohio, with part of it running into Lancaster in Fairfield County.
Visit Clear Creek Metro Park
Clear Creek Metro Park is a nature preserve, and it is part of the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks system. The 4,729-acre Allen F Beck State Nature Preserve, contained within Clear Creek Metro Park is the largest in Ohio.
Obviously perhaps, due to its huge area, Clear Creek has a great diversity of landscapes, plants, animals, and birds.
In general, the park is extremely rugged and has many steep ravines and cliff faces. There is an overlap of climate zones - the prairies in the west meet the Appalachian forests in the east.
More than 1,200 species of plant have been identified in Clear Creek, including maidenhair ferns, persimmon trees, pink ladyslipper, witch hazel, Canadian hemlock, and rhododendron.
There are at least 150 species of birds, notably wood thrush, woodcock, black vultures, red-shouldered hawks, and around 20 species of warblers.
In Clear Creek, you should look out for wild turkey, coyote, chipmunks, and maybe even the elusive bobcat!
Some sections of the park are kept closed to the public to preserve rare and endangered species, and although future development will provide more trails, these private sections will remain in place.
This area of Ohio is one of my favorites, year-round, but in the fall it is extremely beautiful. If you also love the fall, be sure to read reasons to visit New England in the Fall. There are truly so many great places to visit in the US, especially the East Coast!
Image credit: Dan Keck on Flickr
Trails at Clear Creek Metro Park
There are 12 trails at Clear Creek, ranging from 0.3 miles to 2.5 miles and categorized as Easy, Easy to Moderate, Moderate, Moderate to Difficult, and Difficult.
As many of these trails intersect each other, you can follow one, or combine two or three to make a longer and/or more varied hike.
Benua Loop Trail
1.9-miles | Moderate to Difficult | Hike | Dirt/Gravel
This trail is great for backpacking, birding, and fishing. This trail was opened in 2021, providing access to the historic Benua property, previously on private land, it has now been largely torn down. This hike takes you on wide roads with outstanding scenery and water features, passing Lake Emily. You can expect this trial to take 1 hour 30 minutes to complete.
Cemetery Ridge Trail
2.6-miles | Moderate | Hike | Dirt/Gravel
This trail starts from the Creekside Meadow Trail, crosses Clear Creek Road and then begins a steep climb to the top of the ridge. This trail meets the Chestnut Trail and finishes when it meets the Fern Trail. The approximate time to complete this trail is 1 hour 20 minutes.
2.2-miles | Difficult | Hike | Dirt/Gravel
A difficult, 2.2-mile one-way trail that passes through valleys, crosses forested ridges, and passes sandstone formations. Expect this trail to take just over an hour to complete.
1.7-miles | Moderate to Difficult | Hike | Dirt
This trail is a loop trail that goes along a steep ridge and through a forest with a variety of trees and plants. This trail should take around 1 hour to complete.
Creekside Meadows Trail
1.7-miles | Easy | Hike | Pets | Grass
This easy one-way 1.7-mile hike follows the banks of Clear Creek through open fields. This trail will take approximately 55 minutes.
0.9-miles | Moderate | Hike | Dirt
This trail does a loop through the woods, leading to an observation deck overlooking Lake Ramona. This hike will take about 35 minutes to complete.
1.5-miles | Difficult | Hike | Dirt/Gravel
This is a one-way hike and it descends and ascends a steep ravine. It goes through shady hemlock groves and a carpet of ferns. You can expect to complete this trail in around 45 minutes.
The other trails:
- Prairie Warbler Trail - 0.6 miles | Easy to Moderate | 20 minutes to complete
- Tulip Tree Trail - 0.6 miles | Moderate to Difficult " 20 minutes to complete
- Good Prairie Trail - 0.3 miles | Easy | 10 minutes to complete
- Green Mansions Trail - 0.25 miles | Easy to Moderate | 10 minutes to complete
- Pet Trail - This is 1 mile of Dog Friendly Trail within the Creekside Meadow Trail.
There is a printable map of Clear Creek Metro Park trails and areas of interest/facilities.
Image credit: jonohio on Flickr
Activities at Clear Creek Metro Park
There are not too many activities beyond hiking at Clear Creek Metro Park as this is primarily a nature preserve. Along the trails you can spot rare wildflowers, a variety of animals and a host of bird species. Different seasons bring different flowers, animals, and birds to the park.
There are access points located along Clear Creek Road and fishing is available along the 5-acre Lake Ramona and from the dams at Lake Emily. Clear Creek is the only trout stream in southeast Ohio.
- There is no minimum length or daily bag limit on bluegill, redear, warmouth or other sunfish species.
- For rainbow and brown trout and their subspecies, there is no minimum length, but there is a daily bag limit of 5 trout in any combination.
- For white bass there is a minimum length of 10 inches, and a daily bag limit of 25.
Picnic tables and grills are available the the Fern and Creekside Meadows areas. There is a shelter, grills, and restroom at the Barnebey Hambleton Area.
Leashed dogs and cats are permitted in picnic areas.
Image credit: Dan Keck on Flickr
What Others Are Saying About Clear Creek Metro Park
"We loved the park, very pretty views and environment." JF (Fairport Harbor, OH) June 2020
"Beautiful park. Just as beautiful as Hocking Hills, but way less people." LD June 2020
"Took the family out to explore the park and we thoroughly enjoy it. The park offers different of trails so there’s something for all groups of hikers." PA (Edmond, OK) May 2020
Where is Clear Creek Metro Park Located?
Clear Creek Metro Park directions and contact details are:
- Address: Creekside Meadows, 23833 Clear Creek Road, Rockbridge, OH 43149
- Phone: 740-969-8210 | Website | Facebook
Let's Go To Clear Creek Metro Park!
Have you visited Clear Creek Metro Park? What is your favorite Metro Park? We would love to hear about it! Drop us a comment below.
While you are in the Hocking Hills area, you might like to discover where the best Waterfalls in Hocking Hills are, learn all about Cantwell Cliffs, visit the Devil's Bathtub, or perhaps you would enjoy Horseback Riding Hocking Hills.
You may also enjoy a visit to Highbanks Metro Park.
Whatever you choose to do in this beautiful region of Ohio, you won't be disappointed!
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