The last truly wild bison in Ohio were wiped out over 200 years ago, but Franklin County Metro Parks is working to re-establish bison at the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.
Just 25 minutes outside of Columbus’ city center, bison now roam –albeit safely penned –in a public park.
The two bison pastures comprise 52 acres, with a walking trail winding in between the two enclosures, so you’re often able to get a close up look.
The nature center offers a view over one of the bison pens, and there’s video monitors inside allowing a peek at the bison, and helping to locate them so you know if it’s worth the walk to the further pens.
The original herd of six bison were brought to Battelle Darby Creek in 2011, and according to the park ranger we spoke with, has since expanded to 11 with the arrival of calves over the years.
The bison are all female; a male is brought in from The Wilds (part of the Columbus Zoo) for breeding most years, but doesn’t get to stay.
The park is free to visit. See the Battelle Darby Creek website for hours and visiting info.
Stop in at the nature center first to see if the bison are at the viewing area, or take a look at the video monitors. If they’re not nearby, it’s less than 20 minutes along the trail to get to the other bison enclosures. The bison are out year round.
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