What seems to be the biggest focus at Blendon Woods? Birds. They have a variety of protected habitats for our flying friends, as well as excellent spots from which to observe and photograph them.
The Nature Center has a fully indoor viewing area with seating and huge windows through which you can comfortably watch the birds at the feeders they keep stocked year-round. If you walk less than half a mile down the paved trail from there (also wheelchair accessible), there are two observation shelters overlooking Thoreau Lake in the Walden Waterfowl Refuge. The shelters have large windows and window slats that you can look or poke a lens through to get shots of the wildlife at the lake.
Blendon boasts seven trails, including one pet trail. They offer a combination of paved, gravel, and natural surfaces, so you can certainly find something that suits your needs. The 5.5 miles of trails wind through woods, around ponds, and across meadows, so there’s a fair amount of variety to see and photograph.
If you’re getting together for a picnic or photographing a group event, they have seven free shelters available on a first-come, first-served basis, and four shelters that you can reserve ahead of time, starting at $100 for a half-day’s rental.
There’s a 10-acre “natural play area” that I can’t wait to explore once the snow melts! This wooded hillside and ravine is available to curious minds and fingers, so getting that shot of your 5-year-old niece hunting for frogs is yours for the making!
Looking for some action shots? Grab some photogenic friends and hit up the 18-hole disc golf course that winds through the woods. There is a fee per round, and loaner discs are available. Plan on traveling light, though—you don’t want to hold up play!
Love butterflies? Check out their Monarch Mansion. From June through September, see monarch butterflies in a screened-in gazebo outside the nature center. In particular, plan to take pictures of their release on the annual Monarch Day.
In the winter, Blendon Woods offers cross-country skiing if the snow is right (shutting down that trail to other traffic), a low sledding hill perfect for kids (and folks like me too scared to hit bigger slopes), and a 0.4-acre skating pond that’s no deeper than 2 feet.
4265 East Dublin-Granville Road
Westerville, OH 43081
Oct-Mar, 6:30 am – 8 pm
Apr-Sep, 6:30 am – 10 pm
Mon-Fri, 12 pm – 5 pm
Sat-Sun, 10 am – 5 pm
Closing time is extended depending on the month, as late as 8 pm.
Phone: (614) 895-6221
Pictures on Flickr tagged with “Blendon Woods”