The 90-acre M.L. “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve is a favorite spot for nature enthusiasts both for its unique ecosystem and for the opportunity to spot many different species of birds. The boardwalk and pond are two of the most notable features of the park, and they are ideal for fishing, bird watching, and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. You will see ponds with frogs, an arboretum, walking and bicycling pathways, and the ancient Fleming cottage built in 1865 at this park.
The reserve is named for a naturalist, journalist, TV personality and Dublin Native “Red” Trabue. He was an outdoor activities writer for the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, as well as the host of “The Outdoor Show,” one of Columbus, Ohio’s longest-running locally-produced television series. Red is remembered for his charming and warm manner, and his passion for the outdoors.
Features of ML “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve
The Boat in the Field
A permanent artwork installed at Dublin’s M.L. “Red” Trabue Nature Reserve. You will see a skeleton of a boat made of stone 15 feet in the air alongside a vertical tower of steel beams with a spherical sloping roof. The massive stone boat appears to be floating in the air, and the steel beams seem to be in motion below. Standing 25 feet tall, 18 feet wide, and 15 feet deep, the artwork is made of repurposed industrial materials native to Ohio such as stone and Cor-ten weathering steel. The sculpture does not require upkeep, and it is meant to last forever. The sculpture is at the intersections of the two main trails, one natural and one paved.
The Flemings were farmers in Dublin, Ohio with many acres of land and the ability to do anything they pleased with minimal interruption. In 1865 Mary and Daniel Fleming built the cottage near what is currently the main Dublin Post Office. The cabin was discovered inside an abandoned farm house that had to be demolished to make way for a new road in the city. The City of Dublin acquired the cabin, which they dismantled until they could find a new location for the building. It was reconstructed at the entrance of Red Trabue Park, but the recreated home is a bit smaller than the original due to termite damage in the wood and needing a new roof.
Many different species of birds flock to this park because of the various types of habitats present. The woodlands, wetlands, and fields all support different types of wildlife. Many tree swallows flock to the nest boxes at the beginning of spring, great blue herons roost in nearby trees, and red-tailed hawks nest around the park. You can also see woodpeckers, raptors, vultures, ducks, and other birds soaring between open regions or through bushes and vegetation.