Columbus September 03, 2017
10 Epic Hiking Spots Around Columbus That Are Completely Out Of This World
Due to a large glacier that covered most of Ohio during the Wisconsin Ice Age, Columbus has a fairly flat topography. However, a lack of rolling hills and snow covered peaks does not take away from Ohio’s beautiful nature. Built around two rivers – the Scioto to the west and the Olentangy in the middle – and crisscrossed by smaller creeks, Columbus’s landscape stands out with its deep ravines, shale walls, prairies, and waterways.
All of these wonders can be experienced on Columbus’s hiking trails. Here are our favorites.
1. Prairie Oaks Metro Park
Located on the west side of the city, Prairie Oaks Metro Park provides multiple hiking trails of varying difficulty. Hikers here will encounter beautiful views of grasslands, creeks, and wildlife. (3225 NE Plain City-Georgesville Rd, West Jefferson, OH 43162)
2. Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
A 7,000 acre park, Darby Creek offers multiple trails, including a pet trail. The park houses a group of American bison. The trails will lead you though prairie areas, wooded areas, and past the creek. (1775 Darby Creek Dr, Galloway, OH 43119)
3. Highbanks Metro Park
Located in the northern part of the city, Highbanks is the most visited metro park in Columbus. Your hike will lead past shale bluffs that overlook the Olentangy River. Trails can be used for cross-country skiing in the winter. (9466 Columbus Pike/US Rt 23 N, Lewis Center OH)
4. Antrim Park
A hike just off of the Olentangy Trail, this trail will lead you around Antrim Lake. For a longer hike, step into the woods just off of the main park trail and walk along the river. Antrim Lake is a great place to take your furry friend for a hike and a swim. (5800 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43085)
5. Olentangy-Scioto Trail
The Olentangy-Scioto Trail follows the two main rivers in the city. You can enjoy the trail in any part of the city. The trail is used by hikers, joggers, bikers, and dog-walkers alike. Most of the trail is asphalt-covered and easy to follow. However, because the trail does meander through the whole city, some parts of it will lead you through streets and intersections. Make certain you check out a map before you visit the trail for the first time. (Located all throughout the city.)
6. Glacier Ridge Metro Park
Located just past Dublin, the Glacier Ridge Metro Park offers trails ranging from 0.8 to 5 miles. The park can be used for walking, horse riding, or cross-country skiing, and houses a disc golf course, a Wetland Education Area, and a Wind and Solar Learning Center. (9801 Hyland-Croy Rd, Plain City, OH 43064)
7. Blacklick Woods Metro Park
Located close to Reynoldsburg, Blacklick Woods Metro Park offers a sledding hill, a four-mile multipurpose trail that passes through a forest and a meadow, and lots of other fun trails. (6975 East Livingston Avenue, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068)
8. Sharon Woods Metro Park
Another awesome park, located in the northeast, is Sharon Woods Metro Park. A large park, and a frequent host for 5K races, Sharon Woods offers fun activities for all members of the family. A 7.5-acre Natural Play Area is a great place to let kids explore, wonder in the creek, climb trees, and dig in the mud. The 320-acre Edward S Thomas state nature preserve houses oaks more than 250 years old and a 100-foot-high chinquapin oak. Pets are also welcome. (6911 Cleveland Ave, Westerville, OH 43081)
9. Alum Creek State Park
Just north of Columbus, Alum Creek State Park might be best known for its beach, but there’s a lot more to do in the park! The park offers three hiking trails and a seven-mile multipurpose trail. All trails offer beautiful lakeside views. (3305 S. Old State Road, Delaware, Ohio 43015)
10. Three Creeks Metro Park
Three Creeks Metro Park stands at the meeting of Alum, Big Walnut, and Blacklick creeks. Hikes in this park are great for bird watchers. Owls, great blue herons, and more than 100 other species of birds have been sighted here. Animals lovers might see beavers, minks, coyotes, and deer. (3860 Bixby Rd, Groveport, OH 43125)
Columbus offers the best of all seasons: snowy winters, green springs, hot sunny summers, and amber autumns. You might hike your favorite park during a different season and not even recognize it. Summer creeks glistening in the sun turn quiet under a sheet of ice in the winter. Pines take over the snowy landscape where maples, oaks, and buckeyes dominated just a few month ago. Young baby spring leaves turn to deep mature colors in the autumn. You’ll see different animals and different field flowers throughout the year. What are your favorite hiking spots in Columbus? Share with us.
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