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Pickerington Ponds Metro Park is For the Birds!

Pickerington Ponds Metro Park is a haven for bird watchers. This Metro Park in Canal Winchester offers a breath of fresh air, beautiful scenery and lots of opportunities for bird watching!

Pickerington Ponds Metro Park, southeast of Columbus, Ohio, is one of Franklin County’s largest natural wetlands. Part of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, this park is perfect for bird watchers and viewing wildlife.

The park is made up of 1608 acres and features a state nature preserve. The park is pretty easy to visit in one trip and though this one doesn’t have a playground, my kids enjoyed the hikes and the 5 observation areas!

Use this guide to the park to explore each of the main areas in Pickerington Ponds Metro Park!

Wood Duck Picnic Area at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park

  • 4150 Bowen Road, Canal Winchester, OH 43110 

benches by the pond at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park

If you only have time to visit one area of Pickerington Ponds, I would choose the The Wood Duck Picnic area. Here there are 3 observation decks and a 1.1 mile trail (one way) for walking. There is also an open picnic shelter here which is handy for meals or snacks. There is no restroom at this location.

ducks on a pond.

1. Observation Deck

observation deck at the Wood Duck Picnic Area at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

When you park in the lot here, you can easily spot two paths to two observation decks. The first one I am mentioning here is raised and allows you to view part of the pond. There are binoculars on this deck that kids will enjoy looking through!

two boys on the observation deck.

2. Bird Blind

two boys on the path to the bird blind at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

The second viewing deck leads to a bird blind. This is a great place to bird watch without being seen by the birds!

two boys looking through the bird blind.

If you like bird watching, there is another bird blind with a great view at Blendon Woods Metro Park.

3. Killdeer Trail

Killdeer Trail at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

The trail here at Wood Duck Picnic Area is the Killdeer Trail. It is 1.1 miles one way. At the end of the trail you will be rewarded with the third observation deck (see below for more info)!

a small wooden bridge on Killdeer Trail.

Along the trail, on the other side of the largest part of Blue Wing Pond there is an eagle’s nest. I was determined to see an eagle on our most recent trip to the park, but it was not to be! Eagle nests are easiest to see in the winter before the leaves are on the trees and you won’t be able to miss this one!

eagle's nest at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

4. Observation Deck at Pintail Marsh

Observation deck at Pintail Marsh.

At the end of Killdeer Trail you will arrive at Pintail Marsh. There is a small viewing platform here and a bench. There were a lot of birds in this area of the trail!

view from the observation deck at pintail marsh.

5. Yellowlegs Trail

Yellowlegs Trail is a short half mile off-shoot that will take you from the Killdeer Trail to the park office. Just a short distance on this trail will take you to the County Bridge!

6. County Bridge

The County Bridge in Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

According to the sign in the park, the County Bridge was originally built in 1897 and abandoned for use in 1937 when the original road was relocated. The bridge was restored and moved to the Metro Park in 2004. It now crosses George’s Creek on the Yellowlegs Trail!

Glacier Knoll Picnic Area at Pickerington  Ponds Metro Park

  • 4071 Bowen Road, Canal Winchester, OH 43110

The Glacier Knoll Picnic Area has an open picnic shelter and restrooms! There is access to the Arrowhead Trail and the Black Creek Greenway Trail which connects the park to Three Creeks and Blacklick Woods Metro Parks. There is also a nice viewing deck here.

1. Picnic Shelter and Restrooms

Restrooms and picnic area at Glacier Knoll Picnic Area at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

This is a nice area for picnicking and wildlife viewing! During 2020-21 this is the only restroom in the park that is open. 

2. Observation Deck

Observation deck at the Glacier Knoll Picnic Area.

As I mentioned above, there is a nice sized viewing deck here at Glacier Knoll. There are binoculars here which offer a good view of an Osprey roost across the way! 

boy looking through binoculars at the observation deck at Glacier Knoll Picnic Area.

Pictured below in the distance is the osprey nest. I actually took the picture below from the Killdeer Trail across the road, but you can see this area using the binoculars here at Glacier Knoll.

Osprey nest at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

3. Fitness Station

exercise equipment at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

If you need an extra challenge, or the kids want to do some chin ups, there is a exercise station in the Glacier Knoll area opposite the parking lot! If you’re looking for a playground, check out one of these 9 Central Ohio Metro Park Playgrounds or check out the challenge course at Glacier Ridge Metro Park.

Ellis Pond (Bowen Road Entrance) at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park

  • 5000 Bowen Road, Canal Winchester, OH 43110

Ellis Pond was a new area to us on our most recent visit to the park! First of all, let me say there are two parking areas at Ellis Pond: one on Bowen Rd. and one on Wright Rd. Wright Rd is a smaller area and the entrance at Bowen Rd. has a restroom (closed in 2020), a mural and a covered wooden viewing deck.

restrooms and seating area at Ellis Pond.

1. Pickerington Ponds Mural

Pickerington Ponds Mural.

The Pickerington Ponds Mural is a highlight to see here. The mural was presented in 1993 and features work from local students. There is also some mosaic work on the side of the restroom pictured above.

2. Observation Area

two boys in the observation area at Ellis Pond.

There is observation area with binoculars close to the mural. There is a large gravel area here (not accessible by car) and a couple of benches.

3. Covered Observation Deck

covered observation deck at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

The covered observation deck here is a fun place to watch ducks and geese or to take a rest on one of the benches.

up close view of the covered deck.

Ellis Pond (Wright Road Viewing Area) at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park

Great Blue Heron Viewing area at Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.

The other entrance on Ellis Pond is off of Wright Rd. and has a small parking lot and area to sit and watch the bird feeders or birds on Ellis Pond. There are no picnic pavilions or restrooms at this area.

Know Before You Go:

  • Main Address: 7680 Wright Rd., Canal Winchester, OH 43110
  • Park Hours: 6:30 AM until dark. (Closing will vary depending on the season.)

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Pickerington Ponds Metro Park.



Sunday 11th of April 2021

My favorite park! We discovered this gem when we moved to Canal Winchester 9 years ago. We love observing the birds.

Julie Miller

Monday 12th of April 2021

It's definitely a hidden gem! :)