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Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk

Walk on bridge over muddy water in Galena will ease your mind


I like boardwalks. Whether they’re situated at a beach, through a wetland or over a stretch of water, I find these wooden walkways enticing. Plus, they usually signal that there’s something interesting to look at beyond the path.

Such is the case with a 1,500-foot boardwalk over the Hoover Reservoir in Galena, 30 minutes northeast of Columbus. It’s a popular spot for strolls at sunset, offering a view of wildlife, fishermen and kayakers, all drawn to the 3,000-acre body of water.

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The Hoover Reservoir is formed by the Hoover Dam blocking the Big Walnut Creek in Westerville. It was created in 1955 as a major water source for the city of Columbus.

Columbus Parks and Recreation Department oversees the reservoir and the boardwalk. Water depth in the reservoir is lower in the fall, making the area near the boardwalk more favorable for migrating shore birds such as the heron, egrets, gulls and sandpipers and the occasional bald eagle.

Even though the water gets murky, fall is the perfect time to spy wildlife from the boardwalk and take in the colorful trees. Bring binoculars to get a better view of birds pecking the mud in search of worms and small fish.

Afterward, have a meal at one of the nearby restaurants – Mudflats Bar & Grill or the Galena Diner. We ate grilled cheese sandwiches at the diner, which is open seven days a week.

To get to the Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk, travel northeast on S. Old 3C Road toward downtown Galena, where the road is called Columbus Street. Turn right onto Front Street, just before reaching downtown. The parking lot is on the right.

Learn more about Hoover Reservoir Park at http://columbus.gov/recreationandparks/parks/Hoover-Reservoir-Park.