Three Creeks Metro Park
May means late spring, and the woods are filling out into their summer-like glory. I saw this when I went on a recent visit to Three Creeks Metro Park and walked one of the trails there. It had been raining recently and the trail was muddy in spots- actually, it was underwater in spots- but I didn’t let that stop me. I emerged with some photos capturing spring in the riverbottom woodlands, and, I have to admit…in a somewhat muddy condition!
Named for the confluence where Alum, Big Walnut and Blacklick creeks join, this 1,100-acre park is operated through a partnership of Metro Parks and Columbus Recreation and Parks.
Three Creeks is a major hub in the Franklin County Greenways program, an interconnected system of trails along the seven major streams in Central Ohio. Hikers, bicyclists and joggers can enjoy 15 miles of trails that parallel the stream corridors as they wind through forests, fields, prairies and wetlands.
It’s a nice park with a few main parking areas to explore, but I was focused on the Bluebell Trail today- a 1-mile unimproved trail through the riparian (riverside) woodland along the area where three creeks joined- hence the name of the park.
Spring ephemeral wildflowers were almost gone from this woodland as the vegetation blocked out sunlight
A Baltimore Oriole sang high up in the canopy
A Yellow-Throated Warbler hopped along a tree-trunk looking for insects
This American Redstart sang from the foliage
Here’s one of the few Virginia Bluebells left blooming- they covered whole areas along this trail
Future summer blooms are growing thickly already- Jewelweed and Wood Nettle
Dame’s Rocket was sprinkled here and there
Fleabane can be found here and there both in woods and fields
The path came along one of the three creeks in the area
Here’s the three creeks joining
A Spotted Sandpiper walked along a log
A Rough-Winged Swallow looked for nesting materials on the shoreline
She seemed to notice me on the path, so I walked off a good distance
Here’s where the swallow was building her nest along the steep muddy bank
That’s water blocking the muddy path- fun!
This Robin watched me get muddy
Here’s the Robin’s nest nearby- 4 fuzzy little heads poking up
A bridge over the creek bearing greenway trail traffic- civilization once more!
A patch of Waterleaf, a late spring woodland wildflower that grows in colonies
I ascended back into the mud-less world once more. A bit messy at times, but it was a great walk- you never know what you’ll encounter off the paved paths!