On the Coyote Trail at Highbanks Metro Park near Lewis Center

The Murph and I were on our way home from some afternoon errands and decided it would be a great day to take a stroll on one of Highbanks trails. Although pets are allowed in the park (on leash, of course), there is only one trail that they can use. It’s called, appropriately enough, Coyote Run Trail.

At the start of the trail, there is a water fountain – high for humans – ground level for the dogs, plus you can pick up a plastic bag for the … well, you know.

There were a number of walkers and Murph barked at all of them. Several said, “Oh, he must be the one we heard”! Doxies have a VERY loud bark and I’m sure the whole forest could hear him! The entire Coyote Trail is 3.25 miles long, but we only covered about a third of it. Murphs’ little 3″ legs can only handle so much.

The Highbanks Park covers 1157 acres with 11 miles of trails. It’s a popular place for group picnics with several spots for these gatherings. In addition to the forests, there are meadows, a pond and a wetland. The most notable attraction is the 110-foot high shale bluff that overlooks the scenic Olentangy River. One of the trails leads to this bluff with an observation deck.

The layers of bedrock exposed at Highbanks were deposited under the ancient oceans about 350 million years ago. That was before my time! The ground consists of limestone overlaid with shale.The park also has two Adena Indian burial mounds.

There is a prehistoric earthwork that is a 1500-foot horseshoe-shaped embankment with a surrounding moat. Archaeoloogists believe the earthwork may have been used as a fortification since it is surrounded by ravines and 100-foot shale banks. The earthworks is along the trail that leads to the shale bluff mentioned above.

During the winter, some of the trails are open for cross-country skiing and there are a couple sledding hills. Finding “really good” sledding hills are precious in our rather flat terrain.

Highbanks is located at the southwest corner of Rt 23 and Powell Rd with the entrance off Rt 23. (Google map).

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