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© Bud Schrader Photography

Clear Creek Metro Park

The Clear Creek valley extends from the intersection of Clear Creek with the Hocking River in the east to the town of Revenge in the west. In 1996 the valley officially opened as Clear Creek Metro Park, part of the Franklin County Metro Parks system. The beauty of the Clear Creek valley comes from the overlap of geologic and climate zones. Here the prairies of the west meet the Appalachian forests of the east. Canadian hemlocks pushed south by glaciers meet southern species such as rhododendron. And it all rests on a bedrock of Blackhand sandstone.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Clear Creek Winter Wonderland - This is a great drive after a snow, peaceful and tranquil except for oposing traffic.

The topography of the park is extremely rugged, with many steep ravines, rock outcroppings and cliff faces. While hemlocks and ferns prefer the cool ravines, the hillsides are covered with oak forests. Open fields on the ridgetops and in the valley provide habitat for meadow plants and animals, and wetlands along the creek create homes for sycamore trees and waterfowl.

Over 1200 plant species have been identified in Clear Creek. Among the standouts are mountain laurel, little gray polypody, maidenhair ferns, horsetail, pink ladyslipper, skunk cabbage, witch hazel, American chestnut, and persimmon trees.

The valley is home to over 150 species of birds, including black vultures, eastern bluebirds, veeries, wood thrush, great blue heron, woodcock, wild turkey, and many species of warblers.

Evidence of beaver activity is easily found near the creek, but bobcats live more secretive lives among the rock ledges. Chipmunks rustle among fallen leaves and deer sightings are frequent.

© Bud Schrader Photography
Written Rock - Many carvings on this rock, hence the name. Clear Creek Road near Rockbridge.

Much of the land in Clear Creek Metro Park comes from three sources. The Allen F. Beck and Emily Benua families had been acquiring and preserving valley properties for decades, and Oscar Barnebey owned valley land on which the Camp Indianola church camp was built. The Ohio State University later converted the church camp to the Barnebey Center, a natural resources lab. In the late 1960's there was talk of damming the valley and turning it into a reservoir. After this project was defeated, the Beck and Benua families began donating their land to the Franklin County Metro Park system. When OSU abandoned the Barnebey Center, Metro Parks was able to buy it. The park now contains about 5,000 acres of woods and fields.

Clear Creek Metro Park will always retain its semi-primitive nature. Future development will provide more trails, picnic spots, and areas for nature program presentations, but there will also be sections kept closed to the public for the preservation of rare and endangered species.

© hockinghills.com
Old Bridge at West Entrance -

Picnic areas and trailheads are located at several points along Clear Creek road.

Location Map
Calendar of Events
What Mushrooms Do
Tue Jul 25

10:00 am.

Join us for a 1-mile mushroom identification walk and learn about the importance of fungi.

Meeting Place is Thomas-Mathias Parking Lot

Thomas-Mathias Parking Lot

24950 Co. Rd. 116 (Clear Creek Rd.)

Rockbridge, OH 43149

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Clear Creek Metro Park, Phone: 740-969-9001

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Trail Side Yoga
Sat Jul 29

8:30 am.

Take a 2-mile back-country hike and practice some simple yoga postures and breath awareness along the way.

Please bring water as we do not have drinking water available at the park. You may wish to bring or wear sunscreen, insect repellent or whatever you may need for your comfort in the summer forest. We will not use yoga mats for this program.

Meeting Place is Park Office

Park Office

185 Clear Creek Road

Rockbridge, OH 43149

Age Range - Adults and Seniors.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Clear Creek Metro Park, Phone: 740-969-9001

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
METRO FIVE-0: Level 4 Hike and Canoe
Fri Aug 18

Call for times.

Take a 1-mile back country hike and paddle a canoe around Lake Emily.

Age 50 and older.

Meeting Place: Park Office, 185 Clear Creek Road, Rockbridge, OH 43149

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Clear Creek Metro Park, Phone: 740-969-9001

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Moth Night
Sat Aug 26

8:30 pm.

Learn about some of the insects worlds most mysterious and diverse members. We will use bait and lights to attract these nocturnal beauties. Flashlights are recommended. Please bring drinking water.

Meeting Place is Barnebey-Hambleton Picnic Area

Barnebey-Hambleton Picnic Area

Clear Creek Road

Lancaster, OH 43130

All Ages.

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Clear Creek Metro Park, Phone: 740-969-9001

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Live Streaming
Sat Sep 9

2:00 pm.

Wade in Clear Creek to learn about the variety of fish and insects that live in the creek and why the creek is such a diverse habitat.

Be prepared to get your feet wet. Closed-toe shoes or boots are required. Children must be accompanied by an adult in order to get in the creek. Ages 5 and up.

Meeting Place is Park Office

Park Office

185 Clear Creek Road

Rockbridge, OH 43149

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Clear Creek Metro Park, Phone: 740-969-9001

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
METRO FIVE-0: Level 4 Backcountry Pond Study
Wed Sep 20

10:00 am

Take a rugged 4-mile hike and see what lives in a remote pond. Please be prepared to hike over hilly and uneven terrain. Please bring drinking water.

Age 50 and older.

Meeting Place: Park Office, 185 Clear Creek Road, Rockbridge, OH 43149

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Clear Creek Metro Park, Phone: 740-969-9001

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
Half the Trails in a Day
Sat Sep 30

9:30 am. Adults and Seniors.

We will hike 7-miles on the trails and see a variety of habitats along the way. Hikers who complete this hike and the October 28th hike will have hiked all the trails at Clear Creek. Please bring drinking water. Parts of this hike will be hilly and rugged.

Meeting Place is Barnebey-Hambleton Picnic Area

Barnebey-Hambleton Picnic Area

Clear Creek Road

Lancaster, OH 43130

Cost: Free Event

Contact: Clear Creek Metro Park, Phone: 740-969-9001

Interest Tags: Outdoor Activity, Family Oriented, Special Interest, Wildlife,
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