5 Great Spots to Experience Peace in Nature Around Columbus

June 24, 2024 by Steve Suntala

Columbus, Ohio, may not scream “natural beauty” on its surface, but the region’s sprawling residential and commercial districts are complemented with idyllic nature preserves–so that you can preserve your mental well-being. It just takes a minute to find the right park for your needs.

The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department manages several nature preserves that provide ideal settings to boost your mental health during the day. Here’s a closer look at five exceptional spots that invite peace and reflection.

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Beechwold Nature Preserve

Located at 101 W Beechwold Blvd., on the north side of town, this 11-acre preserve sits within the historic Old Beechwold District. Once home to a zoo, it retains charming artifacts like the zookeeper’s gatehouse and a rustic bridge. The setting invites a bit of personal reflection. 

Wooded ravines and streams flow into the nearby Olentangy River, tethering Beechwold to the broader Columbus landscape.

Trust us: Walking through Beechwold can melt away stress and anxiety. The mature beech and oak trees form a calming canopy, while the gentle sounds of flowing water and rustling leaves offer a natural soundtrack for relaxation.

Hayden Falls Nature Preserve

Located at 4325 Hayden Run Road, in the northwest quadrant of the Outerbelt, Hayden Falls is renowned for its spectacular 30-foot waterfall. A boardwalk leads visitors through a gorge to this natural marvel, surrounded by diverse flora and fauna. You don’t want to miss out on this local gem!

The sights and sounds of the waterfall are soothing (and a good reminder that simple white noise can be helpful for sleep). This natural beauty can lift your spirits during the day, making it an ideal spot for mindfulness and meditation.

Griggs Nature Preserve

Just north of Hayden Falls, situated along the Scioto River at 6245 Riverside Dr., Griggs Nature Preserve is part of the larger Griggs Reservoir Park. It features wooded areas and open spaces, offering a nice habitat to wildlife and birds. The trails here are understated, and yet perfect for simple hiking and birdwatching.

We recommend parks like Griggs because time spent in diverse natural settings can sharpen mental clarity and focus. Even better: It’s close to home! Activities like birdwatching or walking through the woods enhance mindfulness and elevate your mood. This is a terrific place for a walk in the days after a ketamine treatment in Columbus. Might we point out that the Scioto River adds a therapeutic touch of its own, promoting calm and reflection.

Hoover Meadows Nature Preserve

Located at 3715 Sunbury Road, in Galena, Hoover Meadows is known for its meadows and wetlands. The trails allow visitors to explore different ecosystems, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers. Anchored by the Hoover Reservoir, your walk through the preserve will include the calming sights and sounds of gently lapping water. 

The variety of plants and wildlife provides a dynamic environment that helps alleviate mental fatigue and stress. Walking through meadows and wetlands fosters a sense of connectedness to nature and boosts overall well-being. Consider places like Hoover Meadows a much-needed contrast to the concrete of downtown Columbus. 

Rush Run Nature Preserve

Found at 370 Broad Meadows Blvd., Rush Run offers a peaceful retreat with woodlands and a stream coursing alongside the Olentangy River and Antrim Lake. The paths meander alongside the stream, providing a serene setting for visitors.

This is a nice park for simple, reflective walks and quiet contemplation. If you’ve got the time during your workday, we highly recommend taking a half-hour to settle your mind among the trees. The sound of the stream and the lush greenery create a soothing atmosphere that helps reduce anxiety and promotes relaxation. Engaging with nature in this setting can lower cortisol levels and enhance mood.

For more information on these and other nature preserves, visit the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department website.

At New Pathways Clinic our heartfelt mission is to establish a holistic mental wellness campus that touches the lives of individuals in the greater Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati regions. We are dedicated to combining state-of-the-art mental health treatments, like Ketamine therapy infusions and Spravato nasal spray, with the expertise of compassionate mental health professionals to treat depression, anxiety, PTSD, migraines, and bipolar disorder.

Our unwavering commitment drives us to continuously evolve and adapt as the scientific landscape of ketamine research expands and diversifies, leading to innovative mental health treatments. We are determined to pave the way for a healthier future for Cleveland, central Ohio, and southern Ohio.

New Pathways Clinic also offers Semaglutide & Tirzepatide weight-loss shots, ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, and  ketamine/Spravato support groups for patients.

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