Downtown Connector Trail (Columbus)

Ohio

8 Reviews

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Downtown Connector Trail (Columbus) Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Franklin
Length: 5 miles
Trail end points: Alum Creek Greenway Trail at Avalon Place and Scioto Greenway Trail at the North Bank Park Pavilion
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6016918

Downtown Connector Trail (Columbus) Description

Columbus’ Downtown Connector Trail provides a vital link between neighborhoods and schools on the city’s east side and the downtown area. On its east end, the paved pathway begins adjacent to I-670 near Avalon Park and south of Ohio Dominican University. Here, the trail connects to the 25-mile Alum Creek Greenway Trail, allowing trail users to continue north to Westerville or south to the Three Creeks Metro Park.

The trail speeds west paralleling the interstate and, at Leonard Avenue, swings southwest, winding past the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center and Columbus State Community College. Continuing west from the campus, the route becomes on-road for its last 1.5 miles, but is well signed.

From Cleveland Avenue, you'll travel south, heading under I-670. After one block, turn right on McCoy Street, then take your next left on N. Grant Avenue. Shortly, you'll take a right on Edwards Street, then left on N. 6th Street. Take a right onto Mt. Vernon Avenue, which you'll follow until N. 4th Street (US 23); here, you'll transition onto Nationwide Boulevard.

As you approach N. High Street, you'll be just north of Sensenbrenner Park; a short side excursion to the park will allow you to enjoy its beautiful gardens and picnic areas. Continuing along Nationwide Boulevard, you'll pass many shops and restaurants, Nationwide Arena and McFerson Commons, which features a stone archway from the Old Union Train Station.

Turn left at Neil Avenue and parallel the roadway for two blocks south. Approaching the end of your adventure, you'll cross W. Spring Street and then W. Long Street to reach the North Bank Park Pavilion, where you'll be rewarded with scenic views of the Scioto River and Columbus skyline. There is also a children’s splash fountain, a dining terrace and other amenities available in the park.

On its western end, the bike route meets the Scioto Greenway Trail along the north bank of the Scioto River. All three pathways—the Downtown Connector Trail, Alum Creek Greenway Trail and Scioto Greenway Trail—are part of the state-spanning Ohio to Erie Trail, which connects Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

Parking and Trail Access

While there are no official parking areas for the Downtown Connector Trail, parking can be found at Sawyer Park on Bolivar Street and Saunders Park on Fairfield Avenue. The trail is located a few blocks north of the parking lots.

Metered on-street parking is also available along N. High Street, adjacent to Sensenbrenner Park (300 N. High St.), and along W. Long Street, adjacent to the North Bank Park Pavilion (311 W. Long St.).

Downtown Connector Trail (Columbus) Reviews

In Poor Condition

I took the part of this trail formerly known as the I-670 trail, from Cleveland Ave. until it meets up with the album creek trail. The path was in poor condition, with many bumps and cracks as well as a large amount of glass I had to avoid. I would not recommend using this trail.

Better than I expected; eastern section repaved in 2021

I rode this trail on 4/21/2022, my second ride on it but first since 2014 or 2015. The City has made some improvements to it over the years, with one of the most obvious ones being the 2021 repaving of the eastern section along I-670 that connects up with the Alum Creek Trail. I remember that section being a bit of a boneshaker on my previous ride, but it's smooth as can be now, a very high-quality surface.

Once you are past the repaved section, the trail looks kind of like a sidepath, being concrete, but is plenty wide enough, and you have dedicated trail all the way until you are west of Cleveland Avenue. It's only once you get west of 3rd that the traffic noticeably picks up, but the routing along Nationwide Avenue is sensible - that's a high-pedestrian-crossing, low-vehicle-speed road, so it's pretty decent for sharing a lane (but stop at the stop signs and don't run anyone over on your bike!). Neil Ave is a little faster (35 mph?), but it's short before you reach North Bank Park.

Another option is to continue west on Nationwide Avenue, past Huntington Park and to New Crew Stadium. From there, you can cross the new-in-2021 pedestrian/cyclist bridge to the Olentangy Trail. It's worth seeing the new stadium if you haven't yet, shouldn't be busy if it isn't a Clippers/Crew game day, and saves you some distance if you want to go north towards Grandview or OSU anyway.

Scenery-wise, I-670 isn't at the top of the list, but it is kind of cool seeing the Downtown Columbus skyline gradually come into closer review, right up until you're at High and Nationwide looking up at a 38-story skyscraper. Fort Hayes (east of Cleveland Avenue, between all the freeways) is also a highlight, with plenty of green space, woodchucks, and great architecture on the buildings; it's worth a short diversion from the trail.

The Name of This Trail Says it All

I rode this trail as part of a southbound ride on the Ohio to Erie Trail route in early October. I turned off of the Alum Creek Greenway Trail before passing under I-670 and rode the Downtown Connector Trail through downtown Columbus. This was once called the I-670 Downtown Connector, or the I-670 Trail in case you have older maps. The Downtown Connector is just that; a trail that connects the Alum Creek Trail to Downtown Columbus and eventually to the Scioto Greenway Trail. About half of its length runs along I-670 West, the rest of it is mostly a glorified sidewalk into downtown Columbus, Ohio. It does get interesting when it passes through Columbus’s Arena District where there are lots of restaurants, stores, and bars. The Arena District gets very crowded with pedestrians during lunchtime hours on sunny days when the weather is nice and fairly warm. Expect to go slow in the Arena District due to the crowds and be prepared to stop for the safety of others.

A good city ride

I pretty much agree with the previous review. The trail is not as bad as I have heard or thought. There is parking at the Hyden Park off of Nelson Road. The trail did look a little on the neglected side and in need of some attention as far as some pavement repair, some mowing and trimming, and a good clean up. There is a lot of traffic noise from the freeway, but that is to be expected running along side of a freeway. All in all, at this time, I would have to rate it at 3 stars due to the neglect of the trail mentioned above. I did however enjoy the ride, just watch out for the broken beer bottle glass!

Accordion

I-670 Bikeway Review 03/19/2011

I rode the I-670 Bikeway today and it was not nearly as bad as I thought that it might be considering the route. Park at Fort Hayes near the corner of Cleveland Avenue and Jack Gibbs Blvd, which is just north of I-670 by Columbus State. The trail starts at this corner and this is the best parking on the route. The trail follows the sidewalk, which is extra wide and marked as a bike path, past the two towers, past the old VA Clinic, and across the highway on Leonard Avenue. One across the highway, the trail runs between the highway and the steel fence until it reaches Fifth Avenue. Wait for the light and then continue east in the same manner until you reach Airport Drive, then return. There is no dedicated parking at this end unless you park in a business parking lot, so parking in the open lot at Fort Hayes is best and safest. There are mild uphills complemented with mild downhills, but use caution at intersections. I flew through all intersections except Fifth Avenue, where waiting for the light was absolutely necessary. The overall round trip was 6.9 miles.

The condition of the bikepath was gritty with residual dirt and cinders left from winter along with occasional fragments of a beer bottle or two.

I consider this bikepath safe to ride but it is not scenic in the least. It serves its purpose as a commuter path from CSCC to ODU and was just one more Ohio trail that I wanted to ride.

~ Trail Jogger ~

Leonard Ave bridge crossings over I-670 were repaired in 2008

Please note & update your original review posting to reflect the trail jumps at Leonard Ave bridge crossings over I-670 were repaired in 2008.

PS - Could staff add a date to go along with the original review posts?

I-670 & Alum Creek greenway connection

As of circa 2007 the I-670 trail is now connected to and intersects with the Alum Creek trail. The junction is where I-670 crosses over Nelson Rd. The two MUPs share the same route from that point to the current northeast terminus at Airport Drive bridge underpass alomg the Alum Creek river.

The Alum Creek greenway contiguous section is being built to the north over the next few years, starting early 2010, hopefully ~ 3.5 miles of missing link will be completed by city of Columbus in three phases sometime around 2012.

Parking

"You can also park at Fort Hayes along Jack Gibb Blvd, which intersects Cleveland Ave. This is where the trail ends."

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