The Big Darby Scenic River
The Darby Creek system constitutes one of the most unique natural resources in central Ohio. The Big Darby Creek, which runs through the heart of Plain City, and its nearby sister stream, the Little Darby Creek, are noted for their tremendous diversity and abundance of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. This diversity has led to both streams being designated as State and National Scenic Rivers. The Big Darby Creek is among the top streams in biological quality in Ohio and the Midwest, with over 86 species of fish (five of which are endangered) and 41 species of freshwater mollusk, eight of which are endangered.
The banks of the Big Darby Creek are lined with native vegetation and trees, such as buckeye, sycamore, silver maple, and box elder. Tree species that are more adapted to drier soils, such as oak and sugar maple, line the valley walls. Noteworthy prairie vegetation includes the purple coneflower, the prairie false indigo, and the Indian paintbrush. In addition, there are numerous species of birds and mammals that reside alongside the creek.
The Darby Creek watershed covers an area of nearly 556 square miles throughout Union, Madison, Franklin, and Pickaway counties. The Big and Little Darby Creeks are important tributaries to the Lower Scioto River. The major tributary is the Little Darby Creek.
Plain City residents can access the Big Darby Creek from McKitrick Park or the Jerome Township Rest Area on OH-736.