Central Ohio Tourism
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Highbanks Metro Park

9466 U.S. 23 N., Lewis Center, Ohio 43035
(northern Franklin & southern Delaware counties)

Highbanks located between US Route 23 and the Olentangy River on the west side, features10 miles of hiking trails, 2 Adena culture burial mounds and a prehistoric earthwork. The highlight of the park is the 110' shale bluff lookout above the Olentangy River. In fact, these cliffs where the Overlook Platform is located were referred to by the Native Americans living in the area as the "high banks."

Long before early settlers came to this area, it had been populated for 1000s of years by the Mound Builders. In the park are reminders of their habitation of the area. The Adena burial mounds are an indication of how far back the Mound Builders lived here. It was the Adena Culture that first began building burial mounds in Ohio. They were later followed several more sophisticated mound builders (the Hopewell and the Fort Ancient Cultures). Their existence can be seen on the trail out to the Overlook Platform.

Cole Earthworks

The Cole Earthworks

The Cole Earthwork is a 1/4 mile long wall that stretches in a semi-circular shape out from the high point of the bluff. It is possible the wall actually extended into a complete circle which has since been destroyed by the erosion over the years of the shale cliff. A portion of the wall was excavated in 1952 and showing that the wall was not built by just piling up dirt, but was actually engineered. At the heart of the wall it was found that a layer of red clay was used. Over this was a layer of yellow clay. Neither of these materials are found here and had to be carried from some distance to build the wall. Once these materials were in place, a layer of top soil from the surrounding ditch was placed over the clay foundation, creating a highly stable wall that has withstood the centuries of time an central Ohio's climate.


Highbanks Eagle

Edward F. Hutchins State Nature Preserve: Visitors can see the prehistoric Cole earthworks and enjoy a spectacular view of the Olentangy River in this 206-acre dedicated state scenic nature preserve. In the spring, bald eagles can be seen from the observation deck.

Highbanks Indian Mound

Stream side Study Area: This area can be reserved free-of-charge by schools or organized groups. School children can explore the river's aquatic life with the naturalist.

Dragonfly Day Camp: Organized youth groups can reserve this day camp area by calling 614.508.8111

Download Highbanks Trail Metro Map Download Map of Highbanks