While it might seem like most of your friends and family are skipping past Thanksgiving and moving straight to Christmas, we actually do have several weeks of fall ahead of us, and plenty of opportunity to get out and enjoy the weather while you can. If you’re looking for a change of scenery on your next walk / run / hike, then we have the list for you. Check out one of these Central Ohio trails or parks and get that extra motivation the outdoors provides.
Scioto Mile & The Scioto Greenway Trail
These two spots are arguably the most picturesque on the list. The Scioto Greenway Trail is a 12.2-mile paved pathway that begins in Merion Village and extends up to Grandview, taking visitors through some of the city’s most notable neighborhoods like the Brewery District and Germany Village. It also serves as the trailhead for other area parks like Bicentennial, the Scioto Audubon and North Bank.
The Scioto Mile, part of that Greenway Trail, is a section of the path that runs from the Arena District to the Whittier Peninsula. In addition to some pretty spectacular views of the city skyline (and its prime location adjacent to the waterfront), the Scioto Mile features a 15,000-square-foot interactive fountain and the country’s largest free outdoor climbing wall. All the more reason to get out there and experience it.
Olentangy Greenway Trail
This popular trail takes its visitors on a winding path from The Ohio State University campus area all the way north through Worthington. It’s also likely one of the busiest on the list, with no shortage of runners, walkers and cyclists out and about on any given day. Start to finish, the trail extends just shy of 18 miles, giving you plenty of space to stretch your legs.
The Maxtown-Sunbury trail is not for the faint of heart. A paved, multi-use trail that winds around and through Westerville, this 13.5-mile route includes access to the Hoover Reservoir stairs. That’s a nice challenge for anyone looking to add a level of difficulty to the workout. Don’t push it too hard, though. You still want to be able to make it back to your car afterwards.
Highbanks Metro Park
Named for its massive 100-foot-high shale bluff towering over the Olentangy State Scenic River, Highbanks Metro Park is a large, 1,200-acre park offering trails of varying degrees of difficulty. Grass and dirt trails are prevalent, but paved paths are available, too, if trail running isn’t quite up your alley. If you’re lucky, you may even spot an eagle or two during your visit.
Homestead Park / Heritage Rail Trail
This 44-acre park offers a quiet, country atmosphere with a covered bridge, train station replica and two barns. A three-quarter mile paved trail, great for hiking, biking, running, or walking your leashed pet, winds through the park and connects to the 6.1-mile Heritage Rail Trail (which is a good spot for Pelotonia training rides or just a relaxing, scenic stroll with friends or family). This trail winds through both neighborhoods and open fields, so you get a nice mix of people watching and quality alone time.
Where do you like to run or hike outdoors in Columbus? Share your favorite spots with us on Instagram or Facebook, @lifestylecommunities. Be safe out there!