The 890-acre Furnace Run Metro Park began in 1929 when the family of Charles Francis Brush Jr. donated 272 acres to Metro Parks. Much of the park was developed by work relief crews during the 1930s. Brushwood Lake, a once-popular swimming spot before erosion and sedimentation forced its closing in 1956, was created by diverting the natural flow of the Furnace Run.
Every March and April, thousands of daffodils bloom along the H.S. Wagner Daffodil Trail. Wagner, the first director of Metro Parks, owned the land off Brush Road and planted the first bulbs along the trail. After he retired in 1958, he sold the property to Metro Parks and the land became part of Furnace Run Metro Park.
Today, along the Old Mill trail, be sure to look for the Brush Family marker, which reads: "To all those who love as he loved the far sky and smiling land." Just south of Brushwood Lake flows a recently restored stretch of stream. The award-winning environmental project recreated several thousand feet of habitat for aquatic wildlife and native fish, including a thriving population of rainbow darters, a sensitive species.
The park contains beech-maple woods, acres of spring wildflowers – including trillium and Virginia bluebells – and deep ravines. Birds spotted in Furnace Run Metro Park include a variety of owls, hawks, herons, warblers and waterfowl. Downstream from the lake, the wet woods of sycamores, black walnuts, willows and shrubs welcome an occasional family of beavers. Brushwood Lake is home to fish, frogs and other aquatic wildlife.