Located in a rapidly growing area of Liberty and Orange townships, Shale Hollow Park is named for the curve in the tributary to the Olentangy State Scenic River that runs through the park, and for the shale evident in the cliff walls and stream bed.
The Shale Hollow stream winds along a twisting corridor lined by 20- to 40-foot-tall shale cliffs. You can see many remnants of concretions (round rock formations) in the cliffs and along the stream bed. The stream is filled with pieces of Ohio shale that have eroded out of the cliffs and continually wash down the creek. The shale is nicknamed “potato chip shale” due to its brittle nature. There are also intermittent waterfalls in the park.
Visitors will see a mature white oak forest in the eastern half of the park, along with large stands of hickory and maple. Spring wildflowers include the large white trillium, blue cohosh, and yellow-trout lily. Wildlife you might encounter include: a large assortment of birds, such as barred owls and pileated woodpeckers; migrating neo-tropical songbirds, such as the hooded warbler and Acadian flycatcher; whitetail deer, raccoons and coyotes; and amphibians, such as the two-lined salamander.
Shale Hollow includes off-trail exploration and natural play areas. The building is available for business meeting rentals; scroll down for more information.
The park land was acquired gradually, from 2004 to 2015, through a combination of park levy funds, grants and loans.
Approximate walking time: 35 minutes; moderate elevation changes with one steep rise.
Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail only on the northern loop, near Hyatts Road.
The southern half of this 1.0-mile trail begins at the base of a cliff walk and rises steeply to the top, where it overlooks a bend in Big Run creek. From there, it extends north in two loops: the first – an unimproved trail – circles through woodland and affords beautiful views of the Big Run Creek ravine. The second, northern loop is mowed and connects to a walking path along Hyatts Road. Pets are allowed on the northern loop, with access only from Hyatts Road. Pets are not allowed on the southern half of this trail.