The Wyandot Indians in this area called this creek "Ollentangy" meaning "River of Red Face Paint;" but surveyors renamed it Big Darby Creek in the late 1700s. According to legend, they named it for an Indian chief who lived near the mouth of this waterway.
Big Darby Creek, a State and National Scenic River, flows through six counties on its 88-mile through trek from its headwaters near Marysville in Union County toward Circleville in Pickaway County where it empties into the Scioto River. Darby Creek and its 245 miles of tributaries meander through rolling fields, prairies, savannas and heavily wooded ravines.
Its slow moving, deep pools and shallow fierce riffles help make this creek one of North America's most biologically diverse freshwater streams. Several rare, threatened and endangered species live within the Darby Watershed. More than 100 species of fish, 40 species of mussels, 35 species of mammals and almost 200 species of birds have been recorded.
Metro Parks, in partnership with other public agencies and private organizations, continues to work toward protecting the Darby Creek Watershed to ensure that future generations will also be able to enjoy its scenic, recreational and biological beauty.