Metzger Preserve and Ballard Park
eBird Bar Charts by Season
Tips for birding Metzger Preserve and Ballard Park
Ballard Park is mostly open play fields except for a good riparian strip along Deer Creek. You park at the south end of the Park, where there are 2 entrances to the adjoining Preserve. One is to the field area, while the other is in the far southwest corner accessing the riverside foot trail.
The field is unremarkable now, but is in the process of being replanted as prairie and should get better. I found that the best birding was to walk the riverside footpath south from Ballard Park down to its end (about .3 mile), then cut over to the field edge and come back along its mowed trail, with views of the outside edge of the riparian strip. You also have the sun at your back in the field edge walking back this way. The riparian strip is thickly choked with honeysuckle, but has enough native trees and plants to attract a good set of birds. As an added bonus, the opposite bank has a scenic short cliff topped by forest, and the far southern end has a rapids of concretion stones.
From Rob Thorn
About Metzger Preserve
Metzger Preserve is the Pickaway County Park District newest park and was purchased in the spring of 2019. Metzger Preserve is 52 acres and features prairies, woods and access to Deer Creek. It is a great destination for picnicking, hiking, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, as well as those wanting to see a the unique geologically features in Deer Creek called Concretions (or sometimes known as Indian Rocks).
The prairie portion of the property will not be open until 2021.
The park has a short trail that loops through the woods between the prairie and Deer Creek. This trail is about 0.3 miles one way. (Blue trail on the park map.)
From Metzger Preserve webpage
Access Metzger Preserve through Ballard Park.
Restrooms in Ballard Park.