Longtime readers know I’m crazy about spending time in nature and always looking for new gems to explore in central Ohio.
When hubby and I recently found ourselves with a rare entire day to spend together, I knew immediately where to go: the Tall Pines area of Walnut Woods Metro Park. I’ve been wanting to check it out ever since seeing these striking photos.
Walnut Woods is quite big (more than a thousand acres), so you’ll want to be sure you start out from the small parking area nearest the Tall Pines area: 6833 Richardson Road in Groveport.
When you first start walking on the trail, it looks like so many other Ohio metro parks: views of pretty, but fairly ubiquitous prairie and trees succumbing to the fiery hues of fall.
But we kept walking further in, and soon we were in a towering forest of the tallest leafy trees I had ever seen. Turns out they are sweetgum trees – who knew they were that tall and skinny? Continue farther in, and you’ll find yourself amidst the promised tall pines. Both groves are incredibly dramatic and breathtaking, but the sharp contrast between them was one of the coolest features.
In the forest of tall sweetgum trees, you’re walking on crunchy fall leaves all along the path. When you enter the Tall Pines area, suddenly there are only soft pine needles cushioning your steps so everything becomes dramatically silent. Then, as you keep walking, you gradually notice the blissful scent of a thousand or so tall pine trees surrounding you. It smells like a piney green heaven in there.
We saw few other walkers and only a couple of cyclists during our exploring, so I’d say this Walnut Woods is a perfect spot for a socially-distanced walk or nature adventure. We even spied a baby garter snake sunning himself on the path after we exited the woods.
I’m glad we opted to take this walk as a couple rather than bringing Z along because, other than the snake sighting, I think she would have found it boring. Walnut Woods Metro Park does have a kids play area on the other side, but over in the Tall Pines area it’s pretty much just a walking/cycling path through the woods.
Fall is such a perfect time to grab your sweetheart and head into the woods. The tall trees surrounding you on all sides and towering to the skies truly are breathtaking and make you feel so tiny. There’s a wooden bench in the heart of the pines where it smells so incredible; I could have sat there with my sweetheart all day just breathing in the forest around us.
Nature walks and forest bathing are wonderful activities as a family, but there’s something especially serene about sharing these experiences one on one with your special someone.
I guess I’m saying that it allows for a more romantic and enjoyable walk without a little one complaining about how long it’s taking to get there or how bored they are!
Have you enjoyed a date day with your significant other lately – and if so, how did you spend it? I’d love to hear your best date day ideas in the comments below or over on Facebook.