The next stop on the Chasing Sunsets tour is one of my favorite metro parks here in Columbus - Scioto Audubon (or Grange Audubon). It's located just west of the Brewery District downtown.
There are so many cool things about this park that it would be hard to cover them all in one blog post, so I am going to hit a couple highlights and then focus on the main mission for this trip, which is to find a great sunset spot!
For starters, there is so much this park has to offer - there's the Grange Audubon Center, a separate dog park, sand volley ball courts, a deck with chairs to sit and relax, a small boardwalk over a pond, an old water tower which has been turned into an observation deck with a great view of the city, and of course outdoor rock climbing wall. It's the only place in the city where you can rock climb for free with a killer view of the C-bus skyline! Every time I go to this place, I find a new tidbit.
The wildflowers here are also gorgeous. So, so many of them. Sitting on the deck of the Audubon Center, in the Adirondack rocking chairs, and taking in the wildflowers is a peaceful experience in itself.
The boardwalk is also cool - if you go, take time to linger for a moment there and look for wildlife in the pond. There are a ton of turtles in there!
The Scioto Greenway Trail also runs along the western edge of the park along the Scioto River. A western spot facing the river is exactly what I was looking for and mission accomplished! We had to walk quite a ways along the trail and it is mostly wooded (but paved and an easy walk) and eventually, following the path of the river, we came upon a boat launching spot. There is a raised metal dock people fish off of, but it faces more southwest and the tree line obstructs part of the sunset view. If you walk down just a little more, there are concrete steps you can sit on that go right down to the water. This is a lovely spot to watch.
If you go down even further, there is a viewing platform right near the dam and it also has a great view. I strolled right by a couple sitting in a little alcove over the water, enjoying a picnic at a table and taking in the view of the sunset over the river. Simply gorgeous. (I hope I didn't just blow their secret hiding place.)
Also, I should point out that once we walked all the way there (using the trail), we discovered there is actually a parking lot right next to the boat launch. Of course there is. I guess I had to find it the hard way! The exercise was good anyway. :)
I opted to park myself on the concrete steps that led right down to the water. The water on the river was very, very high and actually had come up to flood one of the picnic tables and trash cans. I'm not sure how it looks when the water is at normal levels. As I was ending the shoot, a father and son came in from kayaking.
It was extremely peaceful there. It was a Tuesday night but the people were minimal. There were cars in the parking lot but not many people at the boat launch. In fact, it was so quiet that as I was sitting on the steps by myself as the sun went down, a little skunk decided to stroll out from amongst the bushes right on to the steps beside me! I don't know who was more startled, me or him, but all ended well. I made no sudden movements and he quickly went back under the bush from which he came. I didn't really stick around long on the steps after that though. The shots were captured and I decided I'd best let Mr. Skunk go about his evening in peace.
I've always liked this spot but didn't know about the boat launch. It turns out that this is an amazing spot to catch a sunset over the water right in downtown so now I have yet another reason to be a fan of this park.
I'll be back to this one.