Archery offered at Scioto Grove


By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Metro Parks
Columbus Police Officer Andrew Francis is shooting his bow on the new archery course at Scioto Grove. Francis was one of the first people to use the archery course on opening day.

Take a trip to Scioto Grove Metro Park and you might just catch a glimpse of Robin Hood.

A new facility at the park features two archery courses, providing bow hunters of all levels and experience a place to practice their skills.

“The course has been very popular and we have received nothing but positive feedback,” said Geoff Hamilton, park manager at Scioto Grove Metro Park, located at 5172 Jackson Pike, Grove City.

Spread out over .6 miles, the course features two areas – a 3D course and a static course – with designated shooting points marked for each target. The targets are positioned away from the trail, so park officials say there is no danger posed to hikers.

The 3D course includes full-size animals made from a special foam, which closes after an arrow is retrieved from it. The course, which provides a simulation for bow hunters or those new to archery, is accessed by a newly created trail through the woods.

Twelve targets are available to test archery skills, with the first six suited more for traditional or beginning archers. The special foam animals include two deer, a turkey, a coyote, wild boar and raccoon.

The more difficult targets are designed to challenge more experienced archers, though anyone can try. These include an elk, antelope, doe, turkey, bear and deer. All but a couple of the targets are full size, according to the park.

The static course, on the other hand, includes eight targets, each with four circular target points. They are spread out at shooting distances of 20, 30, 40 and 50 yards.

Before beginning construction of the park, staff met with Grove City and other central Ohio residents.

“We showed them the initial master plan of the park and asked for their comments and suggestions to find out what types of facilities and recreation opportunities they wanted in their new park,” Hamilton said. “We received many requests for an archery facility during those meetings.”

Metro Parks has offered archery programs at other parks using mobile archery kits, and have drawn large crowds, he said.

“For those reasons, we decided to include a permanent archery facility at Scioto Grove,” Hamilton said.

The archery range and 3D course, which opened June 30, is free to use and is open every day. It does not require special permission to use, though archers must provide their own equipment.

However, throughout the year, Metro Parks offers scheduled archery programs free of charge to the public where archery equipment and basic training are provided. These programs are advertised on the Metro Parks’ website,, and in the organization’s Parkscope magazine.

“Many first-time archers have attended those programs and have went out to purchase their own equipment and returned to shoot on their own,” Hamilton said. “We have several archers on staff at the park who answer questions and help people find the proper information to get started.”

At 1 p.m. Oct. 1, Scioto Grove will host an archery program for anyone interested in learning the basics of archery. All equipment will be provided, Hamilton said. Later in the month, at 10 a.m. Oct. 14, the park will host a flint knapping program that is open to anyone interested in learning how to make arrowheads from flint.

Though all ages are welcome at the archery course, staff members ask that anyone younger than 16 be accompanied by an adult. Compound bows, crossbows and traditional archery equipment are allowed. Only filed tips are permitted; broadheads on the range or 3D course are not allowed.

The course is open during park hours, though no shooting is permitted after dark. When entering the park, follow the road signs to the archery range.

For more information, contact Hamilton at (614) 949-1078 or (614) 539-3339.

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