Black Squirrels  LbNA # 30220

Placed DateApr 20 2007
LocationColumbus, OH
Found By Walkabout
Last Found Jun 1 2016
Hike Distance?

Black Squirrels

Black squirrels are a color variation of the common gray squirrel. Central Ohio has a few small populations of black squirrels, but they are not very common here. They are native to London, Ontario.

Columbus’ black squirrels probably came here by way of Kent, Ohio which in turn got theirs from Canada. Here’s how. In 1961, a Kent State University land manager and a Davey Tree expert went to Ontario, Canada, and returned to the KSU campus with about 10 cages of black squirrels. The population grew from there and black squirrels are now quite common in Kent. In Columbus we have seen them on the OSU campus, at Whetstone Park, and in the location of this letterbox.

With their coats of lustrous ebony, black squirrels are often mistaken for skunks. Look for them in the southern part of this loop trail.

Black Squirrel Box

The Black Squirrel letterbox is located at Peggy’s Path. Peggy's Path is a nature preserve with a walking path in a wooded area along Turkey Run, directly behind the McConnell Heart Health Center.

The McConnell Center is at 3773 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH, just north of Riverside Hospital (which is at the intersection of 315 and West North Broadway).

Turn into McConnell’s parking lot and follow that perimeter road past the medical building, around the curves to the right (west and then north). You are circling the property and will find yourself at the rear of McConnell Heart Health Center. Park in the lot close to the pond with fountains at McConnell (not the pond that looks like a naturalized wetland located in front of Kobacker House).

Cross the foot bridge near the pond and enter Peggy’s Path. Immediately after crossing the bridge, turn left. As you walk along the path, count the benches.

You are passing through the playground of a family of black squirrels. Take your time and enjoy the woods and you may see them.

The fourth bench is dedicated to Gary and Judy Glaser. Walk about 62 steps on the path. Here the path curves to the right and there is a Y-shaped tree just off the right side of the trail. From this tree walk 24 more steps on the path.

Now look to the right. Eight steps off the path you will see a tree with 5 trunks. The Black Squirrel letterbox is nestled in the heart of these trunks.

After stamping in, you can return as you came (=shortest way), or continue on the path to loop back to the bridge and the car. Either way, your total walk will be less than ˝ mile.

Peggy's Path is named after Peggy McConnell, wife of John H. McConnell, whose generosity made the McConnell Heart Health Center possible.

The path is often closed during winter because of ice and snow. The box is unavailable whenever the path is closed. The box is planted with the landowner’s permission; please be considerate by leaving no trace of your visit. Though they’ve graciously given us permission to plant the box, McConnell cannot assume any liability for accidents and injuries, and the standard LbNA and AQ letterboxing waivers of responsibility apply here.