About 200 acres of the 220-acre park touted as "an urban Hocking Hills experience" by Metro Parks Deputy Director Larry Peck is open as of Nov. 30.
And with its waterfall, numerous trails and promises of a dog park, rock climbing and kayaking, Quarry Trails Metro Park sounds like an outdoor-lover's paradise.
Quarry Trails is an abandoned quarry turned into a recreation destination. The park is within 5 miles of 350,000 resident.
Marble Cliff Quarry, the location of Quarry Trails Metro Park, was once the largest contiguous quarry in the country. It provided limestone that was used to build the Ohio Statehouse, roads, buildings and many other structures in Central Ohio.
Here are 5 things to know about the new park:
Here's where it's located, and general info
The main entrance to Quarry Trails is 2600 Dublin Road. This is also the Mountain Bike Area entrance). The Millkin Waterfall Access parking lot is at 2158 Old Dublin Road.
The park is open from 6:30 a.m. until dark.
One restroom is located at the waterfall parking lot and two restrooms are located at the lake area parking lot.
Domestic dogs and cats are allowed at the park, but must be on a leash at all times. Furry friends are not allowed to swim in the lakes, nor are human guests. Service pets are allowed in all areas of the park.
During this time, construction vehicles and workers are still on site. Be cautious when in the park.
The park offers an abundance of outdoor activities
Trails, floating boardwalks, a deck overlooking the falls all will be at Quarry Trails. Assistant City Manager Jackie Thiel said the project will benefit Upper Arlington in a number of ways, including providing access to a metro park that will feature biking, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, canoeing and paddle-boarding.
The first phase of Quarry Trails includes an upper and lower pond, a waterfall, an outlook area and numerous trails.
Visitors in November will be able to walk trails and floating boardwalks, and use a climbing structure and a zipline, according to Peck. The mountain bike trail also will be open, he said.
Next year, the district will open a dog park on the site, as well as an area for climbing and rappelling. Metro Parks is installing a launch for canoes and kayaks, and a sledding hill will be open next winter.
The park will increase connectivity on the west side
The new park will help Upper Arlington create better biking and pedestrian connectivity on the west side, according to Janie Hollingsworth, Upper Arlington public service director.
"That kind of aligns to where we have this huge connectivity gap in Upper Arlington," Thiel said. "That's why we started looking at Lane Avenue."
The design of the shared-use path will be finished around the time Columbus & Franklin County Metro Parks is expected to open phase one of Quarry Trails.
Hollingsworth said Lane Avenue is heavily traveled and doesn't feature amenities to provide for safe walking or biking.
She said the shared-use path will be eight feet wide, which should provide enough space for bicyclists and pedestrians to coexist, and will have a decorative retaining wall to help shield it from vehicles.
The city chose to build the path on the north side of Lane Avenue because placing it on the south side, where Scioto Country Club is located, would require the removal of too many trees, Hollingsworth said.
You might be able to host your event there
In addition, Metro Parks is building what Peck called a "grand shelter" that could be used for wedding receptions or musical events, and may even install a fire tower such as the one visitors to Mohican State Park southeast of Mansfield can climb.
The park will get even bigger
Not every part of Quarry Trails Metro Park is open to guests just yet. It is still an active construction site and an active quarry. Ongoing construction includes picnic areas, the sledding hill, dog park and more.
"That first 62 acres is supposed to be in the fall of 2021, but the ultimate build-out will be over 220 acres and the entire development is over 600," said Hollingsworth,. Quarry Trails Metro Park is being opened in phases northeast of Trabue and Dublin roads and west of the Scioto River and Upper Arlington. It will extend as far north as the dam at Griggs Reservoir Park and north of Trabue Road.
The park is part of 600 acres west of the Scioto River, north of Trabue Road and east of Dublin Road. Thrive Companies, formerly Wagenbrenner Development, is spending $650 million within the site on a sprawling project that will have more than 1,000 apartments, 317 townhomes/flats and 289 freestanding condominiums.
The development also will have 43,000 square feet of office space and 16,000 square feet of retail space, and a community center and pool. The entrance to the development off Trabue Road is not yet open to the public.
Half of the 600-acre property remains a Shelly Company limestone quarry.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Quarry Trails metro park: New Columbus park, outdoor activities near me