Location: Sharon Woods Metro Park, 6911 Cleveland Ave, Westerville, OH 43081
I arrived at Sharon Woods with great anticipation. I remember the many times my family walked the trail during my youth. Depending on the time we walked on Saturday we would either go across the street for a double scoop of the ice cream of our choice or go home to have my dad’s famous pancakes and sausage breakfast.
It looks like I was not the only one that was excited to be at the park:
My favorite pictures during the walk:
Tell me about the winter hikes.
This is one of the traditional things that Metro Parks does every winter. If you were at Blacklick last week, you saw 3,000 plus people. I’m not sure how many people we have here today; but it is probably a record crowd. The whole idea behind winter hikes are to get people out during the winter. In the past few years, they have really caught on with people. We are getting people outside to enjoy their metro parks. We have a whole series of these hikes for the rest of the winter.
Completing all 13 hikes to earn the walking stick is tough. What if there is a level 3 snow emergency?
You can do these hikes on your own. Just find the ranger when you complete it.
How do you find the ranger in each park?
Whenever the park is open, at least one ranger should be on duty. If not, if you contact our headquarters in the north part of Sharon Woods, we can take care of you.
It is just great that people are coming out and enjoying their metro parks. It’s fun. This is a winter hike. Last week was not so much a winter hike. It was more like an early spring hike.
Tell me about the Friends of the Metro Parks
We are the non-profit partner of the Metro Parks. We are here to advocate for the parks to make sure the levy that funds the parks get passed every 10 years and that there are activities for everyone to explore these wonderful places.
Are you the person handing out the walking sticks?
Yes, that is our organization. If you are a friend of the metro parks ($10 membership), and you complete all 13 hikes, you get a Metro Parks branded walking stick. At the end of the park series, you get a unique medallion. Each year we do a different park’s medallion. This year it is a Clear Creek Medallion,
Any advice for those who want to do the 13 but have only completed 2?
They are on the weekend, so you have all week to get ready for the hike. It may be cold when you get here, but when you get done there is hot soup after every hike. It is a great way to warm up afterwards.
I think Prairie Oaks has the best soup (chicken noodle). It is worth the trip and doing one of the hikes there.
You didn’t’ give a shout out for the Sharon Woods soup. What do we have today?
I think they have chicken vegetable? I will say I have done all the winter hikes for the last 5 years and Prairie Oaks does it right.
Any rebuttal sir?
Anyone is entitled to their opinion. That is a bold statement from the president of the friends of the Metro Parks to point out one park. I just think each park has its own distinct soup. Within the park world there is a little degree of competitiveness on who makes the best soup. I guess Aryeh has put that to rest.
The soup, refreshments and fellowship at the end:
A few pets and owners:
My take on the Sharon Woods Metro Park Winter Hike 2019:
I arrived 50 minutes before the official time (10:00am). The first lot was full. I was impressed with the number of volunteers, rangers, employees, etc. directing traffic. It appeared that this was not their first-time orchestrating parking. It was very organized. I enjoyed walking the trail and taking pictures of the scenery and seeing the dog owners walking their dogs and the little dog outfits. It’s a great time to get out the house, walk, and enjoy the metro park to avoid cabin fever.