A Nature Lover’s Glimpse of Clear Creek Metro Park

A part of the Franklin County Metro Parks system, Clear Creek Metro Park first opens its gates for visitors in 1996. The valley stretches from the crossing of Clear Creek with Hocking River eastward to the Revenge town towards the west.

The valley is truly beautiful; lying over massive Blackhand sandstone, this valley is where many climate and geologic zones merge. The topography is best described as rugged with cliff faces, ravines and rock outcroppings. The ridge tops fashion some open fields and serve as a habitat for meadow life while wetlands bordering the creek are home for waterfowl and sycamore trees.

Here is another fun fact about Clear Creek; more than 1200 species of plant have been recognized here. These include skunk cabbage, mountain laurel, American chestnut, horsetail, gray polypody and pink ladyslipper.

The valley is a special treat for bird watchers; it contains within it more than 150 bird species such as veeries, black vultures, wild turkey, great blue herons and eastern bluebirds. Visitors are also likely to spot some deer, chipmunks and beavers in the area.

Trailheads and Picnic Spots

A number of picnic spots and trailheads are found on Clear Creek road. Every picnic spot has table and plenty of shade.

  • Fern Picnic Area located one mile to the west of Creekside Meadows
  • Creekside Meadows Picnic Area found two miles west from Us 33
  • Hambleton Day Use Area found two miles west from Fern
  • Hiking Trails

Each parking space leads to a hiking trail and all of these may need some climbing skills because a 300 foot gain of elevation separates the ridge top from the valley below.

Trails run through groves with a floor of ferns and wildflowers and the sounds of frogs, woodpeckers and re-tailed hawks sings in the air.

The ten miles of trails visitors may challenge themselves with include:

  • Fern Trail
  • Tulip Tree Trail
  • Prairie Warbler Trail
  • Hemlock Trail
  • Cemetery Ridge Trail
  • Creekside Meadows Trail
  • Sedge Meadow Trail
  • Nature Programs

Nature programs are hosted on weekends or during evenings and focus on getting a deeper understanding of the plants, animals, human history and geology of the park. While on a program, visitors may come across  ferns, turkeys, woodcocks, owls and moths.

If you’re taking a trip to this valley, or Hocking hills in general, contact Old Man’s Cave Chalets!