25145 Royalton Road
Columbia Station, OH


Things to Do | Directions | Trail Map | Current Conditions


Entrance to Columbia Reservation



Welcome to the virtual home of Columbia Reservation! This 409 acre reservation was opened in August of 2003. As a wetland reservation, Columbia hosts a number of created ponds built around waterways near the west branch of the Rocky River. With miles of trails, a playground, and a shelter, you can bring the whole family out for some fun!




Like so many of the Lorain County Metro Parks, Columbia Reservation offers something for everyone, from the man-made to the natural. Primarily a wetland reservation, Columbia has 1 mile of paved trail and 2 1/2 mile crushed limestone and 3/4 mile unimproved trail. The trails are a great place to walk, jog, rollerbade and walk the dog—though some parts are off limits to dogs out of respect for the wildlife.

Although parts of the reservation are wooded (with more tree plantings in the works,) the park in general is characterized by open, scenic views of waterways and waterfowl. The wetland was constructed with a system of ponds and trails that act as dikes (similar to those at Sandy Ridge Reservation) to help maintain the water levels necessary for a wetland environment.




The shelter comes with
2 grills and seats 35




You can easily spend a day at Columbia Reservation. You can reserve a shelter (comes with two grills and seats 35) for a picnic and there is a modern playset for the kids nearby. When you're ready to take a walk and enjoy the rest of the park you'll find the trail head there too with a large map to help you get your bearings. Year-round programs are available to explore the trails with a naturalist or learn about the residents of Columbia Reservation. You just can't get bored at Columbia!




Columbia reservation is the result of one of Northern Ohio's largest wetland mitigation projects—285 acres of which are restored wetland. Hydric soils already present due to the flood plain and close proximity of west branch of the Rocky River helped accommodate the conversion back to wetland. Extensive landscaping was done to build the system of dikes and ponds necessary to create a more consistent environment for wetland plants and animals. These ponds have been constructed in raised tiers, all of which flow back down to the river.

Wetlands are not necessarily just areas of standing water, but can contain areas that become saturated only at certain times of the year. Columbia Reservation has both of these and a range in between—it’s considered a Class 3 wetland—the most diverse kind.



The proximity of the west branch
of the Rocky River helped
the conversion back to wetland


Plenty of wildlife already calls Columbia Reservation home. Typical species include beaver, muskrat, deer, skunk, rabbit, raccoon, frogs and turtles. There's also a growing bird population including waterfowl, raptors and songbirds. Predominant flora includes rushes and sedges—all of which are common to and indicate hydric or water-saturated soils. Other herbaceous species include ironweed (distinguished by a rich purple flower,) tickseed, wingstem and purple verrain. Tree species are typical of wetland areas and include box elder, pin oak, dogwood, bur oak, willow, sycamore, wild black cherry and sassafras.



Tickseed Sunflower

While Columbia Reservation is Lorain County Metro Park's newest reservation, it was actually part of the original master plan in the 1960s. Using the wetland mitigation process to acquire land (as a result of the airport expansion), construction finally began in 2000. The conversion began-from an unimpressive area of old river meanders and thick strips of bottomland hardwoods, fallow farm fields and a few large tracts of crop fields, to one of the largest and most diverse wetlands in Northeast Ohio.

By creating a habitat, wildlife tends to populate on its own. The wetland is expected to mature, and become fully populated, in 10 to 15 years.


  Facilities   Activities
 Picnic Shelter Programs
 Outdoor Playground  Trails
 PDF Trail Map

Open Hours
Summer Hours (April 1 through October 31): 8am - dusk
Winter Hours (November 1 - March 31): 8am - 4:30pm