Prairie Oaks Metro Park features nearly 500 acres of beautiful prairies within a total park area of 2,203 acres. There is something for everyone here, whether you wish to go bird-spotting, hiking, or picnicking.
Visit Prairie Oaks Metro Park
Prairie Oaks Metro Park is an incredibly scenic Metro Park that has amazing views of the National Scenic River and Big Darby State. The Metro Park is known for fishing and boating as it has a few lakes.
This is a very well-maintained park and some people have commented about how peaceful and tranquil it is. Some people have also commented that it is quite similar to Scioto Grove Metro Park and Three Creeks Metro Park. Fear not though, if you have some youngsters with you, then they will be entertained as there is plenty of space for sports and games.
The natural play area has lots of things to climb and play on, room to run, and fun slides.
The prairies have a wide variety of wildflowers as well as wildlife.
There are several lakes within the park, including Beaver Lake and Darby Bend Lakes. Fishing and kayaking are available on a couple of these lakes.
In the winter snow, two of the trails are reserved for cross-country skiing. Horseback riding is welcome on the Bridle Trail, and biking is permitted on the Darby Creek Greenway Trail.
Trails At Prairie Oaks Metro Park
There are eight trails available at Prairie Oaks Metro Park:
0.5-miles | Easy | Hike | Pets | Grass / Dirt
This is an easy 0.5-mile trail that connects the Darby Bend Lakes area with the Sycamore Plains Trail. Dogs are welcome on this trail. You can expect this hike to take approximately 20 minutes.
5.7-miles | Easy | Hike | Horseback Ride | Cross-Country Skiing | Dirt
The Bridle Trail is an easy 5.7-mile loop trail that crosses Big Darby Creek. The trail starts at the parking lot, and you can go east or west. There are two more loops along the way, and if you take them both, your hike will be 6.7 miles. Horse riders are welcome on this trail, and when the weather allows, this trail is reserved for cross-country skiing. This trail will take about 3½ hours to complete.
Darby Creek Greenway Trail
3.5-miles | Easy | Hike | Bike | Pets | Gravel | ADA
This is an easy 3.5-mile one-way trail that links various trails in the park. Starting at the northern part of the park and finishing at the outskirts of the southern area of the park near I-70. Dogs and bikes are welcome on this trail. You can expect this hike to take around 1 hour 45 minutes.
River Rock Trail
0.6-miles | easy | Hike | Pets | Grass / Dirt
River Rock Trail is an easy 0.6-mile loop around a lake in the Darby Bend Lakes area. It is not actually a full loop, but it connects to the Darby Creek Greenway Trail which will take you back to the beginning of the River Rock Trail. Dogs are welcome on this trail. This hike will take you around 20 minutes to complete.
Beaver Lake Trail
0.9-miles | Easy | Hike | Pets | Grass / Dirt
At just under a mile long, this easy loop trail runs around Beaver Lake in the natural play area. Dogs are welcome on this trail. You can expect this hike to take around 20 minutes.
2.5-miles | Moderate to Difficult | Hike | Cross-Country Skiing | Dirt
Coneflower Trail is a 2.5-mile out-and-back trail. It crosses two steep hills and runs along Big Darby Creek. When the weather allows, this trail is reserved for cross-country skiing. This hike will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes
0.9-miles | Easy | Hike | Pets | Grass / Dirt and Gravel
This is an easy one-way trail that passes a lake at Darby Bend Lakes and circles an Indian Mound. Dogs are welcome on this trail. You can expect your hike to take around 30 minutes.
Sycamore Plains Trail
1.1-miles | Moderate to Difficult | Hike | Pets | Grass / Dirt
The Sycamore Plains Trail, as the name would suggest, passes large sycamores on its 2.2-mile loop. It goes along Big Darby Creek. You will find the Osage Opening loop trail and the Tallgrass Loop Trail along the way. Taking both of those will bring the distance to 2.2 miles. Dogs are welcome on this trail. If you just do the Sycamore Plains Trail, it will take approximately 30 minutes. If you add the two loop trails, you can expect to be hiking for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
A downloadable/printable map of Prairie Oaks Metro Park is available.
Shelters At Prairie Oaks Metro Park
There are three non-reservable shelters available at Prairie Oaks Metro Park:
Darby Bend Lakes
Two shelters are available that each seat 60. At this shelter, there is also a restroom and grills available. This shelter does not supply any drinking water, so please be sure to bring your drinks.
Prairie View Picnic Area
One shelter is available that seats 60, and there are restrooms and grills available. No drinking water facilities are available at this shelter, but there is drinking water available at the park office.
Whispering Oaks Picnic Area
One shelter is available that seats 60. Restrooms and grills are available. No drinking water facilities are available at this shelter, but there is drinking water available at the park office.
Activities At Prairie Oaks Metro Park
- Cross-Country Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Natural Play Area
This metropark was a stop just off route 70 on our way south, right off the highway. It was a great stop with prairie plantings and a large fishing lake area with trails through meadows and forest. Several different types of habitats, and close to Batelle Darby Metropark, so you can get lots of different habitats for birds in one area. Worth the stop.sticklelis (TripAdvisor)
Cindy’s Insider Ohio Tips!
Be sure to bring your dog (along with some towels) when you visit the doggie beach. Your pup is sure to love a swim! I love seeing the dogs swim in this area.
Where Is Prairie Oaks Metro Park Located?
There are four entrances to Prairie Oaks Metro Park. Choose the best one for you based on what you want to do during your visit:
Main Park Entrance:
- Address: 3225 NE Plain City-Georgesville Road, West Jefferson, OH 43162
- Phone: 614-208-4321 | Website | Facebook
Sycamore Plains Trail Entrance:
- Address: 2009 Amity Rd, Hilliard, OH 43026
Darby Bend Lakes Entrance:
- Address: 2755 Amity Rd, Hilliard, OH 43026
Beaver Lake Entrance:
- Address: 8921 Lucas Rd, Plain City, OH 43064
Prairie Oaks Metro Park Opening Hours:
- April 1 to September 30: 6.30 am to 10 pm
- October 1 to March 31: 6.30 am to 8 pm
Let’s Visit Prairie Oaks Metro Park In Ohio!
Have you visited Prairie Oaks Metro Park, Ohio? We would like to hear about your favorite activity. Leave a comment below and share your experience!