Three years ago, a Dublin councilman asked for more things to do at Glacier Ridge Metro Park just outside the city's western edge: more fun things, more attractions to draw people to the park.
Metro Parks is finally going to do just that, spending $112,750 to build an obstacle course, and another $450,000 for improvements that will include a dog park, both in the northern part of the park in Union County.
Work on the obstacle course, called a "challenge course," should begin in the next couple of weeks, and it is expected to open by next May, Metro Parks Executive Director Tim Moloney said.
The obstacle course will include a large cargo net for climbing, tubes to crawl through, logs that people can shimmy under and go over, a rope climb and rings. It will be designed for adults, teens and younger children, he said.
"This will look like a military boot camp," Moloney said.
It will be placed within the loop road near the entrance of the northern part of the park, circled by a new half-mile loop trail.
"It's very grown-up, an almost Marine-like obstacle course," Dublin Mayor Greg Peterson said. The design that Metro Parks came up with is a "very natural course in a very natural environment," he said.
The 2.5-acre dog park will be southeast of the obstacle course, where dogs and their owners can go into the woods, Moloney said. He didn't say when the dog park will open.
Other improvements at the park will include repaving the 2.5-mile trail loop, plus fixing culverts and improving sidewalks.
In the meantime, Dublin is considering Glacier Ridge for recreation programs such as summer camp and fitness classes.
Dublin contributed $7.7 million for the 1,036-acre Glacier Ridge, which opened in 2002.
In 2014, then-Dublin Councilman John Reiner, now the vice mayor, told Metro Parks officials residents expected innovative and creative features at the park.
The park had 308,000 visitors in 2016, according to Metro Parks. Through August of this year, attendance was 210,936, up 52 percent from 138,463 for the same period in 2016.