For an extraordinary adventure, explore the snowy trails at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park to discover a herd of bison roaming freely within two enclosed pastures that span 18-acres of the 7,000-acre park. The terrain includes rolling prairies, woodlands, and wetlands.
Herds of wild bison were last seen in Ohio more than 200 years ago. Bison are well insulated for the winter cold as their hide is very dense and the fur around their heads is so thick that they can face a blizzard. During a snowstorm, bison sometimes look like they are buried in snow because it does not melt on their backs.
“If they did not shake off the snow, you could build a snowman on their back,” said Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center Senior Naturalist Debbie Ruppersburg.
Since the trails around the bison pastures can range from easy to more difficult, visitors may want to stop at the nature center to locate the herd first. There are mounted binoculars on the elevated terrace that can be used to scan the horizon.
But to expedite a wintry trek to get closer to these massive animals, a tower camera may be accessed to project its view onto a large touch-screen. There’s a control to pan side-to-side or to zoom in or out to locate the herd. Still, there’s no guarantee that the herd will stand in one place long enough for the expedition party to arrive. People who choose not to hike can still help by staying at the indoor controls and relaying by phone the herd’s movement. It’s a unique experience that everyone can partake in.
A sunset bison walk is magical.