19th park in central Ohio system shines with streamlined amenities
What the Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City does have are sleek picnic shelters that appear straight out of an architectural book from the 1960s, a playground that requires kids to climb a tricky web in order to descend its tubular slide, and platforms for tents along a backpacking trail.
Visitors are asked to “carry in and carry out” their trash. Paper bags are provided in unassuming containers attached to posts. The absence of bulky trashcans really streamlines the park and perhaps even keeps wildlife in check.
The 620-acre park opened along the Scioto River in May 2016. We recently explored its offerings and were taken by its back-to-the-basics approach. I liked seeing people tuned out of electronic devices and tuned into each other and nature.
We saw fathers and sons casting rods into the catch-and-release pond. We saw kids riding Big Wheels on a gravel path. We saw families cooking burgers on charcoal grills and competing in games of corn hole. We even saw a couple having a romantic picnic on one of the overlook decks.
What else can you do at the park? Visitors can hike seven miles of trails, many of which meander alongside the river, where you also can canoe and kayak. Campers are welcome from May through October, and a sledding hill also is available.
Established in 1945, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks operates 19 parks in seven central Ohio counties. The park system protects more than 27,000 acres of land and water and offers year-round recreational and educational opportunities to the public free of charge.
Scioto Grove is located at 5172 Jackson Pike, Grove City. Learn more.