The park is named for the area’s most distinctive feature, the 100-foot tall river bluffs along the Olentangy River in the park’s southern area. For good reason, Highbanks Metro Park is one of the Dublin area‘s most popular parks. The park’s trail system is large and diverse, taking you past shale ravines, meadows, Indian burial mounds, dense woodlands, and an overlook atop the park’s iconic bluffs. There’s also a picnic area, a nature center, a sledding hill, a wildlife preserve, and several historic Adena burial mounds and earthworks. The park’s River Bluff Area was opened to the public in 2017. The park was founded in 1973 and was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1980.
Dripping Rock Trail
The Dripping Rock Trail connects the Park’s Nature Center with the Big Meadows Picnic Area in a 2.5-mile strenuous trail loop. The trail winds through dense woodland and past one of Central Ohio’s deepest ravines. A branching trail leads to an old Indian burial mound.
Coyote Run Trail
The Coyote Run Tail is a 3-mile easy trail that starts in the woods and crosses a small stream before opening up into a big meadow with a great Indian burial mound in the middle. The trail loops around the meadow before splitting, with one route leading further and through the woods and the other staying in the meadow and to the nature center. The trail through the woods passes through the Dragonfly Day Camp and a small pond before making a brief loop around the woodlands.
The Multi-Use Track is a 2.25-mile, flat, paved trail that forms a semi-circular loop around the park’s northern section and starts near the Nature Center. The route travels near the park’s boundary across open fields for the most part. When it descends into the Big Meadows Area, it ends.
Wetland Spur Trail
The Wetland Spur Route is a short half-mile trail that leads to a tiny shelter with views of a restored wetland and branches off from the Overlook trail.
The Overlook Trail begins on the Dripping Rock Trail and is a 2.3 moderately difficult trail. The loop divides into two paths, giving you a longer or shorter option for your hike. You will see an old on the trail on the way to the restored wetlands and a bluff viewpoint. Ravines line the trail before reaching the Edward F. Hutchins Nature Preserve, a section of the park dedicated to wildlife preservation. From here, you are only a short distance from a viewing deck.