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Pickerington Ponds (1,600 acres)
Open 6:30am to dark
39.88451    -82.79878

Designated as one of Ohio's Important Birding Areas by Audubon Ohio, Pickerington Ponds is a premier spot for observing more than 260 species of birds. The combination of seasonal ponds and rich wetland vegetation, with bordering woodlands, serve as a magnet for migrating waterfowl, shore birds and land birds.

Located on the southeast side of Ellis Pond is a great blue heron rookery that has held up to 50 nests during the breeding season.

More than 400 acres of the site have been dedicated as a nature preserve. White-tailed deer, beaver, red fox and other wildlife can be seen near the ponds and adjoining woodlots and fields.

Osprey established a nest at Pickerington Ponds in 2008 and have had babies there from 2009 onward. They return in March each year and can be viewed from the observation deck at the Glacier Knoll Picnic Area on Bowen Road, which has a spotting scope.

Take some time to enjoy the colorful nature mural, created by students from Pickerington Elementary School, at the Bowen Road entrance.

Four miles of scenic trails wind through the fields and around the ponds. Bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts can hop on a 0.8-mile section of the Blacklick Creek Greenway Trail at the Glacier Knoll Picnic Area. From Glacier Knoll, the trail extends nine miles west and south to Three Creeks Park. Also from Glacier Knoll, it extends 1.25 miles east to Refugee Road, and from Refugee Road another 2.25 miles to Blacklick Woods Metro Park.

  • Hiking trails
  • Biking
  • Picnicking
  • Nature programs
  • Rollerblading
  • Birding


    7680 Wright Road
    Canal Winchester OH 43110

    Glacier Knoll Picnic Area
    4071 Bowen Road
    Canal Winchester OH 43110
    (southeastern Franklin & northwestern Fairfield counties)

    From I-270, take U.S. 33 east toward Lancaster about three miles. Take the Canal Winchester/State Route 674/Gender Road exit. Turn left onto Gender Road, go about one mile and turn right onto Wright Road.  Go about one mile to Bowen Road and turn left. Glacier Knoll picnic and parking area is about 0.25 miles on left.

    Two nonreservable picnic shelters

    State Nature Preserve: 416 acres of Pickerington Ponds are dedicated as a state nature preserve.

    Wildlife viewing: There are five observation areas in the park, all of them great places to view wildlife. From the observation decks at Bowen Road and Wright Road, overlooking Ellis Pond, you get good views of the great blue heron rookeries in the trees along the south shore. The best time to see the herons is between late March and mid-May. There are two spotting scopes on the deck at Bowen Road. The Bernard and Susan Master Pavilion at the Glacier Knoll Picnic Area overlooks Arrowhead Marsh, with views of the nesting ospreys. The deck has its own spotting scope. Best time to view the ospreys is late March to mid-July. The observation deck at the Wood Duck Picnic Area gives fine views of Mallard Marsh and Blue Wing Pond. At the far end of the Killdeer Trail, another observation deck overlooks Pintail Marsh.