By Linda Dillman
Metro Parks added more park land to its growing inventory last year by acquiring a recreational destination owned by the YMCA for nearly 75 years.
A $1.5 million agreement for Hoover Y Park, located at 1570 Rohr Road in southeastern Franklin County, was approved by the Board of Park Commissioners of Columbus and Franklin County in May 2020.
“The park was acquired as part of our levy commitments from 2018 to open additional parks in Franklin County by 2030,” reported Steve Studenmund, planning and design manager for Metro Parks. “We are currently in the planning phase to determine the best use of the existing facilities. This will hopefully be completed by the end of 2021.”
Studenmund said the property offers numerous opportunities for park visitors with existing facilities and former programs. Trail connections will be studied as part of the planning phase and the park system is also interested in an adjacent inactive quarry.
Y Park is bordered by Rohr Road to the south, farmland to the north, Bixby Road to the east, and homes and the quarry to the west.
While Musicians Against Childhood Cancer held annual concerts at the park for many years attracting musicians and campers from across the nation, Studenmund said it is yet to be determined if Metro Parks will utilize the land for similar events.
The park was also a frequent site for outdoor weddings, reunions, meetings, summer camps, and a yearly haunted hike throughout the woods and paths surrounding the area.
Many people remember the “Granddaddy Slide” that started at the top of a hill in the park and took riders on a wild and bumpy ride to the bottom of the hill. A large barn that belonged to a local farmer and served as a party house for the YMCA is still on site, along with a log cabin and other outbuildings.
The YMCA originally purchased the 60-acre property on Nov. 17, 1947.