Preservation Parks in Delaware County offer lots of free events for the whole family all year long.
Whether you just go explore the parks, or you attend events, you’ll find plenty to do while enjoying some fresh air – and it’s all FREE.
Year Round fun at Preservation Parks
Explore the parks a Letterbox Adventure. The clues will take you on an exploration of different parks in Delaware County, but instead of a letterbox, you’ll find hidden animal plaques! Letterbox Adventures are different each season, so you can participate more than once per year!
Complete the form on the website to receive your Letterbox Adventure PDF booklet that includes instructions on how to do the current Letterbox, plus directions to earn a fun prize pack.
Once you’ve solved all of the clues, follow the directions to collect your prize! Winter Letterbox Adventure runs from December 20-March 20.
Railroad Fun at Sandel Legacy Trail
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
September 16, October 21, November 18
Sundays, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
September 17, October 22, November 19
Stop in at the model railroad display open houses and meet members of the Delaware County Model Railroad Club. They are available to talk about the history of railroads in America and model railroading.
See the calendar for other events, including night hikes, take and make events, and more.
FLEX Trails (Free Local EXercise)
Want to do more than walk? Head to Char-Mar Ridge park and use the FLEX Trail guides for a bodyweight workout that’ll give you a challenge.
These signs give visitors optional guided bodyweight workouts throughout their hike or run to encourage physical wellness and a more interactive experience on the trails. You’ll find exercises like walking lunges, squats, tricep dips, and more.
Visiting Gallant Farms
Gallant Farm represents a 1930s Delaware County family farm with a farmhouse, barn, livestock and lots more.
Winter Hours: September-April: Thursday – Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m.
Summer Hours: May-August: Tuesday-Saturday, 10-5 p.m., and Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Gallant Farm 2150 Buttermilk Hill Road.
Golden Marathon Hiking
Select Mondays, September – November at 9:30 a.m. See schedule for location each week.
Presented by SourcePoint. Ages 55+. Enjoy an approximately two mile walk with older adults in beautiful parks. Registration begins December 20 at MySourcePoint.org/ec or with customer service.
Fall Fun at Preservation Parks
Step into Fall: Hike Them All Series
Sept. 1 – Nov. 1, 2023. All Ages, Registration required
Take the challenge to hike all the Preservation Parks’ nature trails this fall with the first ever Step Into Fall Hike Them All Challenge.
Sign up for free and receive a Preservation Parks nature trail checklist to mark your journey OR register for $15 and receive a hiking staff and custom challenge medallion (while supplies last) that you can add yourself OR if you just want a medallion to add to your own hiking stick, you can register for a $5.00 fee.
Find details about registration, redemption, and more.
Monarchs and More
Saturday, September 23 & Sunday, September 24, 2023, 12 – 5 PM at Deer Haven Park, All ages
Fly over to the Visitor Center for an afternoon of beautiful colors, shapes and forms that make up our local insect fauna, including Monarchs! Play games, make crafts, catch and see live bugs, explore the trails, and enjoy refreshments as we learn about their migration to Mexico.
We tag and release live monarchs at 2 PM each day weather permitting! Details.
World Migratory Bird Day Hike
Saturday October 14, 2023, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Hogback Ridge Park, 18+
Head to the indoor bird viewing area to learn about World Migratory Bird Day and view birds at the feeders. Then hike the Hogback Ridge trails with a naturalist to watch for Arctic, Canadian, and Northern US bird migrants flying south to their winter homes in South and Central America.
Binoculars and experience are not necessary.
All About Apples
Sunday, October 15, 2023 from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Gallant Farm, All ages
Come to Gallant Farm and try out different apple varieties and sample some apple dishes. Join us any time between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Scarecrow Building Contest
Friday, October 20, 2023, 5:30 P.M. at Gallant Woods Park, All Ages. Register by October 13.
Bring the whole family to build a scarecrow. We will provide the frame and stuffing; you bring the clothing other items to decorate your unique scarecrow. Judging will take place during the Trick or Treat Trail on Oct. 22
Yoga and Hike
Saturdays, October 21, 28, Nov 4, 2023 9 a.m. at Shale Hollow Park. Ages 18+
The Fall Yoga & Hike Series will utilize the indoor Shale Hollow meeting space with the forest forming a beautiful backdrop to the yoga space. After the class, enjoy a guided hike through the park. Bring appropriate footwear and clothes to hike in.
This class is designed for beginners as well as seasoned practitioners and will increase your flexibility, stability, and awareness. Bring your own mat.
Trick or Treat Trail
Sunday, October 22, 2023, 1 pm – 4 pm at Gallant Woods Park
Bring the kids in costume to gather treats from characters along the enchanted nature trail. Decorate pumpkins, enjoy a hayride, meet some creepy critters, vote for your favorite scarecrow, and visit Gallant Farm across the road. It’s all free!
Chillin’ with Mammals
Saturday, November 18, 2023, 12 – 5:00 p.m. Shale Hollow Park, All Ages
Head to the lodge to learn all about mammals! Touch real skulls and pelts, finish a craft to take home, and go on our “GAIT” trail to experience how different mammals walk.
Warm up with a bowl of chili by the fire and meet Ohio Nature Education’s LIVE mammals. Free, but donations accepted.
Preservation Parks in Delaware County
Blues Creek Park
9627 Fontanelle Road, Ostrander, OH 43061
Char-Mar Ridge Park
7741 Lewis Center Road, Westerville, OH 43082
Deer Haven Park
4183 Liberty Road, Delaware, OH 43015
Emily Traphagen Park
5094 Seldom Seen Road, Powell, OH 43065
2150 Buttermilk Hill Road, Delaware, OH 43015
Gallant Woods Park
2151 Buttermilk Hill Road, Delaware, OH 43015
Hogback Ridge Park
2656 Hogback Road, Sunbury, OH 43074
River Run Park
168 Main Road, Delaware 43015
Shale Hollow Park
6320 Artesian Run, Lewis Center, OH 43035
Future Park (Pollock Road)
1271 Pollock Road, Delaware, OH 43015
Winter fun at Preservation Parks
New Year’s Day Hike at Blues Creek Park
January 1 at 10 am. All ages. Kick off the new year by joining us for our annual first hike of the year. Walk the scenic 1.1-mile Shagbark Loop trail and then finish up with some hot refreshments.
December 26, 2022-March 31, 2023. Walk 100 miles or 100 kilometers (62 miles) this winter to stay healthy during the cold weather. Register, log your miles, and be connected to a community of walkers. Learn more and register here after December 26.
You’ll receive a tracking form, information on how to join the private Facebook group, and more!
Savoring Sunset Series
January 8, 5 p.m. (ETP)
February 5, 5:45 p.m. (SHP)
Hike with the intention of savoring the beautiful gift of sunset. Each sunset brings the opportunity to witness unique beauty, cultivate gratitude, and experience joy as our planet twirls towards night. We’ll hike peacefully together and highlight walking meditation practices. Ages 7+.
WHOOOO GOES THERE?
January 13, 7 p.m. (GWP)
February 10, 7 p.m. (HWP)
Join two nocturnal adventures into the woods and fields to call for owls and learn about their natural history. Ages 7+.
Wednesday, January 25 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Deer Haven Park
Saturday, January 28 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Deer Haven Park
Explore and get comfortable in nature with your little ones! Bundle up as we discover what the winter season offers with informal stations featuring hands-on activities and crafts. Please dress for the weather. Ages 0-5, with adult
National Seed Swap Day at Gallant Farm
Saturday, January 28, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Farmers and gardeners save seeds and starts from plants for the next year’s planting season. Delaware County Master Gardeners will celebrate our 6th annual National Seed Swap Day at Gallant Farm. Seeds and materials to learn about heirloom plants will be available for farm visitors as takeaways for all ages.
Valentine Luminary Hike
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Gallant Woods Park
All Ages can celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved ones by venturing along on a special candle lit nature trail after dark, then warm up with cocoa and cookies under the picnic shelter.
Birds & Brews
Saturday February 18, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Bird hike with Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Then fly to the Visitor Center for a freshly brewed bird friendly coffee. Celebrate the Great Backyard Bird Count with crafts and other fun activities, featuring special guest, Ohio Nature Education. Make sure to check out the live owls in the aviary, too.
Sunday, Feb. 19, 1-3 p.m. Deer Haven Park, Ages 6-9
This is an informal self-guided outdoor program that dives deeper into nature. We will celebrate what the winter season offers with hands-on activities, so dress for the weather. Children must be accompanied by a guardian but the whole family is welcome.
Sunday March 12, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Deer Haven Park, Ages 6 – 10
Celebrate what the spring season offers with hands-on activity stations and a craft. This is an informal self-guided program that dives deeper into nature! Participants must be accompanied by a guardian and the whole family is welcome. Please dress for the weather and to get messy!
Maple Syrup Weekend at Gallant Farm
Saturday & Sunday, February 25-26, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Come to Gallant Farm and see how maple syrup is made from the tap in the tree to the evaporator pan. Then sample some of this sweet product and enjoy self-guided tours of the grounds and farmhouse.
Spring fun at Preservation Parks
Self-Guided Wildflower Trail
April-May at Shale Hollow Park
Celebrate Ohio Native Plant Month with Preservation Parks and the Delaware County Master Gardeners! Enjoy a self-guided trail spotlighting the variety of spring ephemerals on display throughout the Shale Hollow natural play area.
Bloom dates are weather dependent so the trail opening will be announced on social media and our program calendar.
Guided Wildflower Hike
Saturday, April 15, 2 p.m.
Saturday, April 29, 2 p.m.
Join the Delaware County Master Gardeners on two spring wildflower hikes showcasing the natural beauty of Shale Hollow Park. Enjoy a nice spring walk while learning more about the woodland gems along the Spring Wildflower Trail.
Sherlock Shenanigans at Gallant Farm
Thursdays – Sundays in April 12-5pm
Decoder rings, cipher discs, and radio mysteries were all he rage in the 1930s and ’40s. Bring the kids out to Gallant Farm during open hours in April to see if you can decipher the riddles and crack the code to find the hidden treasure. Earn a prize and gather knowledge along the way!
Wednesday, April 5 from 10 am – 12 pm at Deer Haven Park
Saturday, April 15 from 10 am – 12 pm at Deer Haven Park
Ages 0-5, with adult Explore and get comfortable in nature with your little ones! Drop in anytime between 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. to enjoy informal self-guided stations featuring hands-on activities and crafts as we discover what the spring season has to offer! Please dress for the weather.
Golden Marathon Hiking
Mondays, April 13 – May 15 at 9:30 am or 1:30 pm. See schedule for location each week.
Presented by SourcePoint. Ages 55+. Enjoy an approximately two mile walk with older adults in beautiful parks.
Earth Day in My Neck of the Woods
Saturday, April 22, 2023 1 – 3 p.m. at Deer Haven Park
Have an Earth Day adventure dipping nets into Deer Haven Park’s pond, stream, and wetlands which are teeming with life. Then look closer at the amazing organisms living in these watery habitats using magnifying glasses and microscopes.
World Migratory Bird Day Hike
Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 9 a.m.
Hogback Ridge Park, Ages 13+
During this peak warbler migration time we will listen for bird calls and songs to discover what birds are flitting through the forest. We will talk about the importance of the World Migratory Bird Day count, loss of forest habitat, and what you can do to help our feathered friends. Our route will include the Woodland Trail, which includes some stairs and elevation changes.
Movie Under the Stars: The Jungle Book at Gallant Woods
Friday, May 26, 2023, 8 – 11 P.M. Treat your family to a free outdoor movie at Gallant Woods Park. The Jungle Book is a 2016 live-action/CGI adventure film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Mowgli, an orphaned human boy who, guided by his animal guardians, sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the threatening tiger. The film includes voice and motion capture performances from Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and Christopher Walken.
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy free popcorn and snow cones before the movie starts at 9pm.
Summer Fun at Preservation Parks
Saturday, June 18, 10 A.M. – 4 P.M. Gallant Farm, All Ages Discover the machines that transformed farming forever. There will be various equipment demonstrations throughout the day along with family activities. If you have an antique tractor, you may bring it starting at 8 a.m. For information call 740-595-3020.
Thursday Evening Concerts in the Park at Gallant Woods Preserve
Thursday, July 7 – August 11, 2022, from 7-8:30 pm. Bring chairs, blankets, and a picnic (no alcohol).
July 7: L.A. Band (Motown Dance)
Jul 14: Piano Fiasco (Dueling Pianos)
July 21: 730 Club Band (Soft Rock)
July 28: Swing is the Thing (17 Piece Brass Band)
August 4: Steve Madewell (Acoustic)
August 11: Muleskinner Band (Bluegrass, Country)
Saturday, August 6, 10 A.M. – 2 P.M. Gallant Woods Park, Ages 7+ Register by August 3 Get “in” to nature…literally. Run the Gallant Woods primitive adventure trail while maneuvering through mud pits and conquering both natural and man-made obstacles (including a slip and slide down the sledding hill).
The run is family friendly and just under 2 miles. No strollers or pets please. Be prepared to get wet and muddy. FREE If you need to cancel your registration, please email email@example.com or call (740) 524-8600 x103.
Aviary Enrichment at Deer Haven Park
Saturday, Aug. 20, – 4:30 P.M. Deer Haven Park, Ages 6+ Families are invited to join our partners, Ohio Nature Education, as we create enrichment items for the birds at the Deer Haven Park Aviary. We’ll then step outside to see which items the birds prefer.
Paper Moon Festival at Gallant Farm
Saturday, August 20, 6 – 8 P.M. Gallant Farm, All Ages Before the days of digital photography and “selfies,” most people did not own a camera and to get a professional portrait in a studio was costly. But, for as little as nickel, one could pose for a “Man-in-the Moon” photo in front of a paper moon at an arcade or carnival. Come to Gallant Farm to pose for a photo on our paper moon and enjoy fun, family activities.
Movie Under the Stars: Twister at Gallant Farm
Friday, September 2, 7:30 – 11 P.M. Twister rated PG-13 Gallant Farm Prepare to be blown away with the classic feature film, Twister, rated PG-13, starring Helen Hunt and produced by Steven Spielberg. Gallant Farm is the perfect venue to view this timeless thriller. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy free popcorn and snow cones before the movie begins at 8:30 P.M.