Winter can be a time where you want to bundle up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and hibernate until Spring, but don’t miss out on what Ohio offers in winter. Here in Delaware County there are some phenomenal places for winter hiking and outdoor play. Preservation Parks of Delaware County has created green spaces and facilities that are top notch and our family heads to these locations as often as possible. Here are our top 3 choices for winter fun.
This little known park is located in Ostrander, Ohio and offers the lovely and flat Shagbark Loop Trail for hiking within its 138.4 acre borders. We find this hike to be family friendly and easy to do, even in winter. This trail provides you with a variety of areas to see and is jogging stroller friendly. Traversing on this trail takes you from the meadows to mature woods where many animals and birds can be seen. Keep your eyes peeled for the Shagbark Hickory trees lining this beautiful hike.
Blues Creek Preserve has a delightful sledding hill and we are always glad when Ohio dumps us a little snow so we can head over there for some winter fun. The sledding hill located in the center of the park doesn’t just offer the fun sledding but also has stunning views of large areas of the park.
Bathroom facility is heated, warm and has flushing toilets. They have provided a baby changing table in the women’s restroom for families. Doors on the restroom are unlocked during their open hours.
Parking is ample in this park.
Location: 9627 Fontanelle Rd. Ostrander, Ohio 43061
Hours: Winter 8:00 am-7:00 pm
Gallant Woods Park is an old growth woods located in the NW Delaware county and is one of our top places to head for excellent winter hiking. Their meadows, restored prairies and wetlands, and woods make viewing of nature… perfect. Wildlife sightings vary and you can listen for wood thrush and barred owls in the woodlands, Eastern bluebirds in the prairies and watch for plentiful deer within the parks borders. We enjoy going to programs here to call in different bird species. Make sure to check their program guide to see if they are offering something while you are adventuring here.
Taking your family out to the sledding hill here is phenomenal after a good snow. We came here in January and spent a whole afternoon. After your outside play or hike head over to Gallant Farm to warm up and take in the sights of this Depression era farm house.
Bathroom facility is heated and has flushing toilets. They have provided a baby changing table in the women’s restroom for families. Doors on the restroom are unlocked during their open hours.
Parking is ample in this park.
Winter Hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (November 1 – February 28)
Location: 2150 Buttermilk Hill Road, Delaware, OH 43015
A small park with big park amenities! Deer Haven is alive with bird, deer and amazing habitats that make this location a great central Ohio place to hike. There are 1.5 miles of trails but within this small park is the diversity you look for in larger parks. Our favorite hike is taking the Bent Tree Trail to the Grass Trail onto the Tree Swallow Trail where we connect up to the trail in Havener Park and then onto the Gravel Connector Trail back to Deer Haven Park. (You combine two parks into one hike) They have a visitor center where you can view birds, find clean bath rooms and speak to the on staff naturalist.
In the winter they offer hot cocoa and coffee in the full service visitor center to help you warm up after your hike through the woods. There is NOTHING like coming indoors after your trek to sit and watch the birds at the feeders or enjoy walking through the beautiful center. The facility offers viewing windows, animal habitats, library, games and bathrooms.
Parking lot can be pretty full in this park.
Hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. (November 1 – February 28)
Location: 4183 Liberty Road, Delaware, OH 43015
No matter where you roam in Ohio, these 3 Preservation Parks of Delaware County should not be left off your list of winter hiking and exploration.