Category Archives: Wildflowers

Ravine Walk – Highbanks Metro Park

Highbanks bridge

This ravine is found at Highbanks Metro Park; according to employees the stream has no official name.  An 1856 Atlas of Delaware County shows it as “Spring Run” but other atlases since then show no name.

It flows into the Olentangy River. A trail that begins next to the nature center crosses over the stream via the bridge shown in the photo. The ravine walls and base of the stream are composed of many layers of oil shale.

Highbanks looking down from bridge

Looking down from the bridge. Visitors are allowed to leave the trail to explore the stream.

Highbanks ravine

Closeup of a wall of shale.

Alluvial fan

Water flow draining from the previous flood plain on the deposit side of the stream has created an alluvial fan.

false solomon's seal

False Solomon’s seal or Solomon’s Plume (Maianthemum racemosum) next to jewelweed.

eroded spot in rock

A granite erratic, carried along by the former glaciers that created this stream, and featuring a circular hole probably created by dripping water.

Photos by Ellie Nowels, June 2021

Ravine Walk – Rush Run

Rush Run has its headwaters in a retention pond north of I-270, then travels south to 161, turning southeast on its way to the Olentangy River, where it is surrounded by a Columbus Recreation and Parks nature preserve.

Photos were taken in the summer of 2020 by Ellie Nowels.

Entrance to the park is found behind the rental office of Broadmeadows apartments.

Just beyond the trees is the confluence with the Olentangy River.

One of several small tributaries in the parkland.

Still walking eastward, the path on the south side ends right before the western end of Walnut Grove Cemetery. A large sewer pipe crosses the stream here; on the north side, the park continues into the village of Riverlea, with a number of walking paths in the woods.

This is the section of Rush Run that runs between Proprietors and McCoy roads. The stream bed and ravine walls are primarily shale throughout this section.

Property owners along this section (Proprietors to McCoy) enjoy this natural treasure.

Fractures and moss give texture to the shale walls.

Plenty of food for the wildlife!

As you approach the culvert under 161 just east of Proprietors Road, there is plenty of evidence of human activity.

Ravine Walk: Bill Moose Run

Photos from the section of Bill Moose Run between its confluence with the Olentangy River and where it enters the tunnel under North High St.

July, 2020 – Photos by Ellie Nowels

Ebony jewelwing damselfly – one of many found near the water.

One of many concretions

Much of the stream bed is lined with shale. A paw paw grove can be seen on the left.

Ramp flowers

Interesting root formation

The stream actually passes under Wesley Glen. See Ravinia Spring/Summer 2020 for an article about Wesley Glen’s appreciation of this lovely stream in their back yard.

At the end of Bill Moose Run, erosion is changing the shape of the mouth of the stream by undercutting the banks.

2019 Annual Plant Walk

When:  April 28, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Where:  New Parkland Shafer Park north of St Rt 161 in Little Turtle

Meeting site: Shafer Park, 5220 Cambria Way, Westerville

Be among the first to explore this new MetroPark acquisition using Clean Ohio Conservation Funding. The parkland is a ravine system located east and along Big Walnut Creek, and north of Blendon Woods Metro Park. More details will be posted on Friends of the Ravines website and Facebook page.

Please note: Shafer Park is a primitive setting with no running water or restroom facilities. Please bring a reusable bottle to stay hydrated.

Plant Walk Guides: Metro ParksAssistant Resource Manager Carrie Morrow and Forest Ecologist Andrew Boose.

Wear comfortable shoes. This is a rain or shine event. FOR T-shirts will be on sale for $25.

Snow Trillium

2018 Annual Plant Walk

Annual Plant Walk at Scioto Grove Metro Park

On a sunny, but chilly day, an enthusiastic crowd stood on an observation deck overlooking a large patch of trout lilies. A ravine slope along the edge of the Scioto River with mature, leafless trees set the stage for emerging spring ephemerals whose beauty was highlighted by Friends of the Ravines’ annual plant walk. On our walk, we saw specimens of cut-leaved toothwort, Dutchman’s breeches, spring beauty, bloodroot, Virginia waterleaf, and harbinger-of-spring. And here and there the landscape was dotted with the familiar blue blossoms of Virginia bluebells and common blue violet. Leading walk were Metro Park Naturalists, Carrie Morrow and Gregg Wittman who told the history of the 620-acre park located just eight miles south of downtown Columbus.

After the one-and-a-half-hour walk, participants socialized and enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies at the park’s Arrowhead Picnic Area. Metro Parks has developed this park for people of all ages and abilities to experience nature and enjoy quality time for family and friends. Be sure to check Friends of the Ravines’ Facebook page and website for information about FOR’s 2019 Annual Plant Walk. Location TBA.

Plant talk before the walk

Heading into the ravine

An abundance of trout lilies

A Lovely Day for an FOR Spring Wildflower Walk

On Sunday, April 12th, spring plant enthusiasts gathered at the John Beltz Retreat Center to do some wildflower spotting. Led by Michael Graziano, a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University, and Carrie Morrow, Assistant Resource Manager at the Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks, board member on the Ohio Invasive Plants Council Board, and Chair of the Board for Friends of the Ravines, participants found Spring Beauty, Dutchman’s Breeches, Trillium, as well as a number of other lovely specimens.

FOR would like to thank everyone who participated, our gracious guides, and FOR Board Member Sherrill Massey for the following photographs.

Michael Graziano with Spring Wildflower Walk participants.
Michael Graziano with Spring Wildflower Walk participants.


Explaining the origin of the name "Dutchman's Breeches."
Explaining the origin of the name “Dutchman’s Breeches.”


Spring Beauty.
Spring Beauty.