This long-awaited new year has Yukon Cornelius hopeful. . . . if he keeps searching, perhaps in 2021 he’ll find the peppermint he’s been seeking all this time. You’re familiar with Yukon, right? If you’re a fan of 1964 animated film then you’ve experienced his flair for the dramatic. But you may have wondered what he was searching for.
This winter Yukon has zeroed in on the Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks for his snowy exploration and he invites you to come along! Are you up for it? After all, what else do you have going on this winter?
With the Metro Parks working hard to lure visitors into the parks, after a year that caused the cancelation of many planned programs, the “Ticket to Travel” offers motivation to get out and seek adventure.
Yukon is up for the challenge, and in December he began his quest to visit all 18 of the Metro Parks to search for all that is good in this world – a peppermint mine! He thinks he has a good chance of finding it, but even if he doesn’t make this discovery he’s sure to find more than nothin’. . . . as he so often has. He doesn’t have to go all the way to the North Pole to find a connection with nature.
Since he’s here in Columbus anyway he might as well explore what Franklin County has to offer! Rangers are on site at the parks, to answer questions, point you in the right direction, and stamp your travel ticket if you are collecting parks. They have had extra passports with them every time we’ve flagged a ranger down to get our tickets stamped.
If you see their park vehicle just flag them down – it brings a smile to their eyes!
Yukon is a bit distracted, wrapped up as he is in his peppermint search, but he plans to be thorough in his exploration. That means systematically keeping track of which of the 18 parks he’s visited. To keep things organized (and ensure proper staffing at the parks, I’m sure) the Metro Parks have ” assigned 6 parks each month this winter. See the link below, so you know where to focus your own efforts in January and February.
In December parks were decorated – lit up – for the holiday season! In January visitors are challenged to keep their New Year’s Resolutions by visiting some of the parks with longer or more strenuous hikes. Take it at your own pace though. The overarching goal is to help visitors fall in LOVE with the parks, which is the focus of the hikes in February.
If Yukon discovers peppermint at the next park he visits I don’t believe he’ll stop there. There’s so much more land to prospect, more peppermint to find! And Yukon is up to the task: he declares: “The name’s Yukon Cornelius – the greatest prospector in the north!”
If you go to the parks, be sure to bring a mask along – you’ll be asked to wear one for the duration of the time you are in the parks. Keep your distance from other visitors by using good trail etiquette. Spread out – there is plenty of park for everyone to enjoy! Some restrooms may be closed, as well as nature centers and other educational buildings, so think ahead and come prepared.
You might consider stocking up on the essentials, like Yukon, by stopping at the Trading Post at Blacklick Metro Park: “Oh well, now I’m off to get my life-sustaining supplies: cornmeal and gun powder and hamhocks and guitar strings. I’ll give you a lift. How aboard, mateys!”
Once you’re ready to get out, there go for it! You’ll discover hiking trails of all difficulty levels and boardwalks that take you to views of ponds. You’ll discover conservation efforts as well as land preservation, manicured gardens and designated pet areas. (Note: Rudolph is not a pet; he’s a free, sentient being who stays with Santa of his own accord, so you could run across him at any of the parks!)
There’s even a Metro Park that include a golf course – Yukon may not think there’s time for a leisurely round of golf (or cross country ski in the winter), but you never know! The biggest peppermint mine of them all might be right there, under the 18th hole! It’s worth checking out!
I’ll remind you that even though he successfully visited all of the featured parks in December Yukon isn’t done searching – there are 6 hikes in January and another 6 Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks to explore in February. Get out there and fall in LOVE!
Join me on my next adventure,
Peppermint Mine Scene: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964): Peppermint Mine Scene – YouTube
Fandom Page: Yukon Cornelius | Christmas Specials Wiki | Fandom
Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks: Metro Parks – Central Ohio Parks System
Metro Parks Ticket to Travel: A ticket to travel through your Metro Parks – Metro Parks – Central Ohio Park System