Afternoon Hike Through Deer Haven Park in Delaware, Ohio

I love finding little nature preserves minutes from busy cities!  In the case of Deer Haven Park, it is actually not quite so little--but, is an easy drive from Columbus, Ohio to nearby suburb Delaware.  This 97 acre park holds a nature preserve, bird sanctuary, outdoor natural play space for the kids, and a beautiful visitor center with a meeting space and wildlife viewing area.  Come along for some views and insights from our afternoon hike through Deer Haven Park in Delaware, Ohio!

If you are visiting from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge--D is for Deer Haven Park!

Deer Haven Park Sign

What is Deer Haven Park?  

Deer Haven Park is one of the Preservation Parks in Central Ohio's Delaware County.  Deer Haven Parks includes 1.5 miles of hiking trails that visitors through wetlands, a prairie and forest wildlife habitats.   This peaceful park includes the Amy Clark-Bader Bird Sanctuary, hiking trails, a wildlife blind near a pond for relaxing views of pond wildlife and the Lodge visitor/nature center, which provides fun, educational experiences for all ages!

Deer Haven Park is also right next door to Havener Park--with a couple of connected walking trails joining the parks.  While you may only need an hour or so to hike most of Deer Haven Park--you can add another couple of hours by extending your hikes into Havener Park as well.  

The Lodge Visitor Center

 The Lodge Visitor Center at Deer Haven Park in Delaware, Ohio


The visitor center offers a lot to its visitors.  From enrichment activities for families to a designated indoor wildlife viewing area to meeting room spaces and a nature library--the visitor center is a must see during your visit.  Located near the large parking lot, the Visitor Center is also your spot to locate a restroom before your hike!

Pinnable Image for a photo collage of Deer Haven Park

 The Amy Clark-Bader Bird Sanctuary

Deer Haven Park is home to the Amy Clark-Bader Bird Sanctuary and aviary.  The trails hold many bird feeders and nesting boxes designed to attract a variety of native, local birds as well as migratory birds.  The viewing windows of the visitor center allow park visitors the opportunity to watch a variety of birds from the indoors. 

A Trail through the Amy Clark Bader Bird Sanctuary

The aviary currently hosts a rotation of various predatory birds that are no longer able to survive in the wild due to illness or injury.  The enclosed aviary gives visitors an up close look at birds they may rarely see.  Unfortunately, the aviary was empty during the hours of hour visit. 

An enclosed aviary at the Deer Haven Park in Delaware, Ohio

The Trails at the Deer Haven Park

There is really a lot to see in the short 1.5 miles of walking trails through the park!

 Tree Swallow Trail

This trail was busy with bird watchers and those of us enjoying the quiet, peaceful sounds of the birds in the trees!  This trail connects to Havener Park.

Dirt and Gravel trail through the trees at Deer Haven Park
While I enjoy the sounds of the birds--and it was a treat to occassionally spot a bird or two--my favorite trail was the second one we ventured onto:  The Bent Tree Ridge Trail / Creek Crossing Trail

The Bent Tree Ridge Trail / Creek Crossing Trail

There was so much to see on this trail!  We hiked to a wildlife blind that allowed hidden viewing of wildlife on the pond behind it.  The cut outs in the blind were positioned at a range of heights to allow nearly everyone to easily peek out to the pond. 

Wildlife blind in the Deer Haven Park

Pond at Deer Haven Park

Of course there were some "Bent Trees" on the trail!

Tree with bent branches in the Deer Haven Park

Stairs brought us down into the ravine to the natural stones that we used to cross the creek. There was a sign warning hikers that the path may be closed during times of high water in the creek.  This part of the trail was a family favorite!


natural stones making a path across a small creek in Deer Haven Park

The Grass Trail

We finished our visit with this trail around the wetland through prairie grasses. This trail also connects to the Havener Park next door.

Ohio Native Prairie in Deer Haven Park

If you Visit Deer Haven Park

Plan about an Hour and a Half  The hiking trails are around 1 1/2 miles.  Even with a visit to the nature center and stopping for photos--we spent about and hour and a half on the site.  We didn't extend the trip into Havener Park since it was getting late when we visited and dinner was calling our names!

The restrooms are indoors, modern & easily accessible.  There is a restroom at the Visitor Center.  One of my daughters refused to visit any restroom that resembled an outhouse--so having modern, indoor facilities was always high on her must-have list when we traveled.

Deer Haven Park is Not Really Pet Friendly. Pets are not permitted on most of the trails in the park.  Next door Havener Park; however, does allow pets on its trails.

Dining in the Area.  We ate dinner at the Hamburger Inn Diner in Delaware.  If you are a burger and fries fan--this place is a must visit in the area.  It was  I have read that our experience may not always be the norm--so you may want to weigh some other local options too.   The menu is simple--we had a mushroom basket for an appetizer, and the Hangover Burger and the Mushroom Bacon Swiss Burgers were hits.

Other Activities in the Area.  There are several parks and natural areas in Delaware County.  The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is also nearby.  The downtown areas of Delaware, Powell, and Lewis Center have a variety of shopping and dining options for visitors.

The Deer Haven Park was a nice, quick afternoon hike with lots to see and enjoy.  I would recommend visiting as a family or on your own.  Try to visit during the open hours of the Visitor Center too.


Details about the Site Featured Here:

Deer Haven Park

4183 Liberty Road
Delaware, Ohio 43015


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  1. Hello! Stopping in from A-to-Z to let you know this looks like a great resource. While I'm not likely to be in Ohio anytime soon, I do love visiting nature centers and sanctuaries much like this one at my home in Massachusetts.

    For my A-to-Z, I'm reviewing documentary movies. Here's my post for today:

  2. Another great place that I would like to visit


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