My son and I visited Inniswoods Metro Gardens specifically to go on the Frog Talk Walk, and ended up adding an educational hike the perfect length for my three-year old boy. Inniswoods Metro Gardens is a park specifically designed to teach patrons about flowers, plants, and wildflowers that have been introduced or are indigenous to the area. The park is easy to get to off of the Westerville exit of I-270. Most of the trails have a wooden pathway which make it easy to push a stroller along. I saw moms with strollers and people in wheelchairs having no problems taking a relaxing hike through the woods.
Parking is very close to where the trails heads are located and the entrance to the park is a great place to meet up with a group. Bathrooms are right there, too, fully equipped with a changing table. There are maps, park brochures, and wildflower information readily available. Wildflower guides are located at the trail heads and signs are also placed throughout the area to help identify them.
The first trail to the right takes you almost directly to the Frog Talk Walk. We only saw one frog, but heard many croaking away. My boy and I traipsed around the pond for a bit looking for the singing amphibians, and instead came across hundreds of tadpoles. I don’t think bubbies believed me when I told him those were baby frogs. Tadpoles are so weird looking and clearly can’t jump. This is not the place to go “creeking” – meaning, don’t try to catch these baby frogs with nets or anything. This is more of a place to enjoy nature, not disrupt it. Be sure to read the signs about garden etiquette or look here. No running, biking, rollerblading, food, or drinks are permitted within the gardens, among other things.
I handed the map over to my son so he could guide us on a little adventure, and I took the opportunity to explain what
maps are and go over the colors of the trails. We even ran into the park ranger who helped us identify a hawk. He informed us that there was a family of Pileated Woodpeckers (giant Woodpeckers) and Barred Owls living in the park. Then he gave bubbies a couple of stickers and we were on our way. The whole trip took about an hour and a half, but I can imagine spending a lot more time there. We definitely need to check out the Sisters’ Garden next time we go, because it has a big wooden fort that looks like a fairy house!
Inniswoods Metro Gardens
940 S. Hempstead Road
Westerville, OH 43081
Information about Inniswoods Metro Gardens also available on the Metro Parks website.
Plan a visit:
- Please read the rules about garden etiquette here. No food or drinks in the gardens, but there are picnic benches across the parking lot.
- Don’t forget sunscreen and plenty of water for after your hike. Trails aren’t that long, but maybe eat first and take a big drink of water before heading out.
- Be sure to grab a map and a wildflower guide – great educational opportunity for children.
- Check out their calendar of events for classes or volunteer opportunities.
- There are plenty of kid-friendly places to eat on Westerville Road.