Pickerington is close enough to Columbus to almost be considered a part of the city, but suburban enough to have a little of that small town charm. It’s a great place for families, with excellent schools and safe neighborhoods, and an increasing number of parents are choosing the town as a place to live. But, regardless if you have kids or not, this guide will give you all the necessary information to make your move to Pickerington smooth and effortless.
Pickerington is most often known as a suburb of Columbus, with over 19,000residents. Most of these residents own their homes, giving the town its distinct suburban feel, with the median home value being $193,500. The median household income is $85,320, and the majority of residents drive themselves to work. This may be because the walk score, which indicates how easy it is to walk around the area (based on number of sidewalks, traffic, crime rate, and other factors), is 14/100. The median age is 36, likely because of the increasing number of young families that are moving into the area.
A Brief History of Pickerington, OH
In 1815, the town was founded by Abraham Pickering, but it wouldn’t carry his name until 1827. It was first named Jacksonville after General Andrew Jackson, who had just won the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Other than the name change, which the residents carried out to honor the founder of their town, Pickerington remained a sleepy agricultural village with absolutely no change for over 150 years.
This changed rapidly in 1965, when new methods of transportation made Pickerington’s location between Columbus and Lancaster more valuable. Now, it is the second largest city in Fairfield county, second only to Lancaster. The area continues to grow, and one of the largest problems facing leaders in the town is managing this expansion.
Pickerington has two main high schools, Pickerington High School Central and Pickerington High School North, with Pickerington Alternative School (located in Pickerington High School North) offering a specialized curriculum for students who aren’t succeeding in a traditional classroom setting. Each of the traditional high schools are above average, with Central receiving a 6/10 on Zillow and North receiving a 7/10. Both high schools have a relatively low teacher to student ratio — Central’s is 18 to 1, and North’s is 19 to 1. Both offer a long list of opportunities for extra-curricular activities, with sports and music being well-represented.
Junior high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools in Pickerington are similarly well-rated. The lowest is Pickerington Lakeview Junior High School, with a 5/10. Many of the reviews complained about problems with bullying and a lack of discipline. On the other end of the spectrum are Toll Gate Middle School and Toll Gate Elementary School, both rated with a stellar 9/10.
While Pickerington schools are already known to be high quality, the school district is hoping to improve the schools even further with their Plan for Progress, which is currently being put into action. This plan has three goals: academic excellence, efficient operations, and modern facilities. Though these may sound like very broad goals, the plan is much more fleshed-out, with each category containing subpoints and methods through which those subpoints will be carried out. Throughout this process, the school district is also actively seeking feedback from the community members who will actually be affected by these changes.
Parks and Recreation
Pickerington is surrounded by the natural beauty of rural Ohio, so it only makes sense that the Pickerington park system is extensive, with 19 parks scattered throughout the area. However, not all Pickerington parks are created equal. Here’s an overview of the best.
Blacklick Woods Metro Park and Golf Courses
All the Beauty of Pickerington
6975 E Livingston Ave
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Blacklick Woods is furnished with easy walking trails, a playground, and plenty of pavilions for peaceful picnics in the woods. It also contains a nature center that has displays of local natural history and a large window for birdwatching. The golf coursecontains two challenging, well-maintained courses that double as fantastic habitats for wildlife. The course also annually hosts the First Tee program, which teaches life skills to youths through the fun of golf.
“Blacklick Woods is a beautiful metropark. It is the oldest one in the Columbus system, and has a number of trails that pass through a wide variety of ecosystems, plus a nature center, a golf course, a sledding hill, and is home to the Walter A. Tucker State Nature Preserve. There are plenty of choices for outdoor fun here!” – Marissa C. on Yelp
Pickerington Ponds Metro Park
Leisurely Paths with Plenty of Wildlife
This park truly displays the great natural beauty of Ohio. Image courtesy of Kavita B. on Yelp.
7680 Wright Rd
Canal Winchester, OH 43110
This quiet park is almost never crowded, unlike Blacklick Woods, so it’s a great place to peacefully observe nature. The park itself is very large, but much of it is out-of-bounds to humans because it’s vital wetland habitat. You just might be lucky enough to see the creatures that call the park home if you’re quiet enough. Bikes are allowed, as are pets.
“This park has great trails for walking or running! Beautiful sunrise and sunsets can be enjoyed here as the area is so flat. This is a quiet and peaceful park. The bathrooms are well kept as well.” – Hillary C. on Yelp
Walnut Woods Dog Park
The Ultimate Destination for Your Canine Friends
6723 Lithopolis Rd
Groveport, OH 43125
This dog park is split into two — an area for small dogs (under 20 pounds), and an area for large dogs. Both have a partial agility course, and the large dog park also features a doggy swimming pond. In addition to the amenities for your furry friends, there’s also a walking trail around both dog parks, plenty of picturesque trees, picnic tables, and a playground for the kids.
“Amazing place! We are new the area. This is by FAR the nicest dog park we have visited. Extremely well maintained. Perfect spot for both large and small dogs. And the pond in the big dog area is just fabulous The dogs love it!” – Brenda R. on Yelp
Where to Eat
With all that recreation, you’re bound to get a bit hungry. Well, you’re in luck, because along with its scenic parks, Pickerington offers mouth-watering meals. Here’s where you should go to find them.
Gourmet Italian Dishes
1755 Hill Rd
Pickerington, OH 43147
Omezzo, run by Chef Mohammad Zaman, is truly a local gem in Pickerington. Chef Z, as his customers fondly call him, originally started his career as a computer programmer, but gave that up to follow his passion for creating delicious Italian dishes. All his meals are made from scratch, using local ingredients, and the menu rotates to reflect the ingredients that are in season. The lobster bisque is highly recommended, as is the lemon cake for dessert.
“Soooooo good! We had started out tonight going to another restaurant but the line was crazy so we found this wonderful hidden place! Service was outstanding and the food was fabulous! The chef even came out to check on us. We will definitely be back.” – Kristin T. on Yelp
La Fogata Grill
Fresh and Hot Mexican Cuisine
1849 Winderly Ln
Pickerington, OH 43147
If you’re looking to add a little spice to your life, La Fogata Grill is the perfect place for you. This restaurant serves authentic Mexican fare, including their much-acclaimed Margaritas. Free chips and salsa come with every meal — and yes, you do get your own salsa dish so that you can commit the dreaded double-dip if you so please.
“My family and I have been going here faithfully for about 10 years. The quality of food and the service is absolutely outstanding. I love the family atmosphere and I love how we are always treated as a part of their family, from the moment we walk in until the moment we leave.” – Jess I. on Yelp
A Paradise for Lovers of Asian Food
1268 Hill Rd N
Pickerington, OH 43147
Did you think you wouldn’t be able to find good Asian food in Pickerington? Well, think again! The centerpiece of Thai Paradise is obviously their delicious Thai food, but their menu also offers dishes with origins in China, Korea, and Vietnam. Whether you want spicy or mild, salty or sweet, noodles or soup, Thai Paradise won’t disappoint.
“Thai Paradise is my go to place for Pho when myself or anyone in the house is not feeling well. We’ve never had a bad experience. My husband always tries something different on the menu and goes off the waitress recommendations and they’ve never let him down.” – Samantha P. on Yelp
Congratulations! You’re now a Pickerington expert. You know all the best schools, the most peaceful parks, and the most delicious cuisine, although there’s still plenty more to discover. Now you just have to explore, and uncover the charm of Pickerington for yourself.
Header image courtesy of City of Pickerington.