Opening to the public 1:30 p.m., Dec. 8 The master plan reflects work planned in 2013 and 2014, with additional trails and other park features to be considered in the future. In preparation for the grand opening, a 1.1-mile gravel loop trail was completed, along with a short trail that leads to the top of a cliff. The McKay lodge was renovated to include restrooms; a meeting/classroom space; a warming kitchen; and a small nature display area in the lobby.
6320 Artesian Run, Lewis Center, 43035
(near Hyatts Road and US 23/Columbus Pike)
Directions From the north: U.S. 23 south from Delaware; pass Hyatts Road; turn right at first light (Olentangy Crossings); turn right on Artesian Run; park is straight ahead.
From the south: U.S. 23 north from Powell Road; pass Lewis Center Road; turn left at the first light (Olentangy Crossings); turn right on Artesian Run; park is straight ahead.
Within the park, Big Run — a tributary of the Olentangy River — cuts through layers of Ohio and Olentangy shale, resulting in deep ravines that include large and small concretions (solidified masses of sedimentary rock, usually rounded and harder than the surrounding rock). Mature white and red oak trees fill portions of the park, while former farm fields in other sections are now being reforested.
The woodlands are home to numerous resident and migratory birds including warblers, thrushes, tanagers, owls and woodpeckers. The site also provides breeding habitat for several species of salamanders including spotted, red-backed, Jefferson, and two-lined, and many other species of wildlife.
An off-trail exploration area affords park visitors an up-close view of the unique geologic features along the stream.