Olentangy Trail

Ohio

Olentangy Trail Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Franklin
Length: 13 miles
Trail end points: US 33/Spring St. at Scioto Trail (Columbus) and Worthington Park, Olentangy River Rd. (Worthington)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6016829
Trail activites: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Olentangy Trail Description

Caution: The Olentangy Trail is currently closed between Worthington Hills Park and Olentangy River Parklands at Wilson Bridge Road. This section is scheduled to reopen some time in 2017. Refer to dot.state.oh.us for detailed directions to detour around this area. Note that this is only recommended for experienced cyclists.

The Olentangy Trail picks up near the north end of the Scioto Greenway Trail, heading 13 miles north through several parks and Ohio State University. Portions of the trail are rough going, but for the most part it is serene and scenic.

From Confluence Park, head north and use the crosswalk at Dublin Road. Once across the road, the trail travels north on the west side of the Olentangy River. At some points the trail is very close to the river, and flood warnings are posted. After passing under several highways, the trail becomes quieter, meandering along the river bank under light tree cover. The sound of flowing water drowns out some of the city noise.

At Third Street, a bridge takes you to the east side of the river, and at Fifth Avenue you must choose between a lower trail along the river bank or an upper trail with access to Fifth Avenue and part of the Ohio State University campus. Between Fifth and King avenues there is an overlook with a large concrete deck jutting over the river edge; check it out for a good look at the lowhead dam spanning the river there.

Through campus—roughly 1 mile—you may want to dismount if traveling by bike and walk. A local landmark rises on the right side of the trail in this section. Ohio Stadium, or the Horseshoe, as locals call it, is the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. The trail then passes under the new Lane Avenue Bridge, a striking structure with an amazing cable-stayed design. The anchorages for the bridge cables are 47 tons each, making them the largest pieces of steel ever galvanized.

Unmarked neighborhood trails feed into the bikeway periodically. Near mile 4, the university's wetland research area flanks the west side of the route. Feel free to take a self-guided tour of the native plants and wetland habitat. A short stretch takes you on a well-marked route over city streets in Clintonville before you travel though Whetstone Park and the Park of Roses. Whetstone offers playgrounds, picnic pavilions, baseball fields, basketball courts and 136 acres of facilities and nature areas. The 11-acre Park of Roses is a park within a park, with more than 11,000 rose bushes.

Next, you return to the river's west edge via a wide sidewalk along the bridge at Henderson Road. You will soon arrive at Antrim Lake and Antrim Park. There is an excellent overlook on the lake, and a 1.2-mile loop trail around the lake is popular. A short trail connection takes you under the highway west to Antrim Park. A short time later you will cross back to the east side of the river at State Route 161 in Worthington via a highway bridge that has a bike pedestrian lane on the south side.

From the bridge it's another 3 miles to the end of the trail, with half of that distance coming between the State Route 161 bridge and Interstate 270. The scenery in this stretch is pleasant, traversing upriver among beautiful hardwoods. The imposing elevated lanes of Interstate 270 mark the final crossing of the river over a nicely constructed trail bridge.

After crossing underneath I-270, you have a 1-mile ride through a small section of forest and then on a narrow strip of land between the river and some of Worthington's development. A small circle of green grass with a nice gazebo greets you at the endpoint in Worthington Hills.

Until the completion of the Alum Creek Greenway Trail, a substantial portion of the Olentangy Trail is also a vital component of the Ohio to Erie Trail. The planned 320-mile route, of which over 240 miles are complete and open for use, will eventually span Ohio from the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland to the Ohio River in Cincinnati.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the northern trailhead in Worthington Hills Park, take Interstate 270 to State Route 315 north. Look for Worthington Hills Park on the right.

To reach the southern trailhead at Confluence Park, take Interstate 70 to SR 315, turn north 1 mile, and take the Dublin Road Exit. Turn left onto Dublin Road then almost an immediate left again onto North Souder Road. Take the first left onto Rickenbacker Drive. Confluence Park is at the end of this road about 0.25 mile.

Olentangy Trail Reviews

I have to agree with many of the previous comments by others. This is a biking/walking trail along the Olentangy river. Usually fairly busy though not always.
I like it for leisurely walking or biking. You do have to accept the highway noise, however.
I prefer Highbanks Metro Park trails for hiking because of the quiet, the abundance of trees and varying terrain. Highbanks does not have any biking trails but there are the park roadways.
For biking you should go a little further, to Sharon Woods Metro Park.

Agree w/previous review that north trailhead is hard to locate by GPS. It is located at the south end of Olentangy Hills shopping center which is located where St Rte 315 turns into the freeway. However,there is still bridge construction going on and the best point to enter the trail now is at Atrium Park. Take 315 south to 161, turn right off the ramp and take a left at next intersection(follow signage). Good surface but very crowded on weekends.

I live in Worthington Hills and it took me looking at a satellite image of the area to find the actual entrance to the trail. Worthington Hills Park is actually just a bunch of buildings when you get there using your gps. It takes you the totally wrong way! I finally found it on a map behind a gas station and counseling center in the Worthington Hills Plaza near where Hills Market is and Verdis Italian restuarant. It took lots of driving around to finally realize where the gps thinks Worthington Hills Park is at is totally not where the trail entrance is. Once I finally got there I liked the trail but after the first circle at the entrance there isnt a graceful place to turn around unless you literally just turn around. For nice trails that bring you back to your parking spot after a mile or two of running I prefer Highbanks Metro Park off of the Columbus Pike to this one. It is also never crowded and only about 13 minutes from Worthington Hills (if there is no traffic on Olentangy, which is pretty rare) if you are training for a marathon I imagine this trail would be good for that but if you just want to work in some cardio to your normal workout ruitine Highbanks Metro Park is definitely better suited.

Accordion

Rode the OT on July 25. There are signs posted at the Worthington Hills area that between there and I-270 will be closed August 10 for 15 months (~November 2016). There are also signs approaching from the south before I-270. The northern most launch area will be Olentangy Parklands off of Wilson Bridge Road. This cuts about a mile off of the trail.

Goods: Pretty much follows Olentangy River. Nice scenery, some nice jigs and jags and a variety of off-trail options for lunch or just neighborhood biking.
Bads: Depending on the time of day, it can be crowded and 315 traffic noise is a turn-off.

The trail gets going in downtown Columbus and there is a lot to do there anyhow. The trail mostly follows the river and its nice to get off at Ohio Stadium for a photo and visit to some of the stores. going North there is a nice mix of Bridges, open areas and heavily wooded sections. The small detour through the neighborhood was pleasant and only one major intersection to cross. The area roads, if you get off the trail are very bike friendly as well. There is also a number of good places to eat at the Northern end of the trail.

The trial crossed the Scioto trail and its good to pick it up at the Boathouse restaurant in the confluence area. Its not near as long but has some very scenic views

The Olentangy Trail was busy enough that if you like to Hammer this is NOT the trail for you. A lot of kids and families, you can still keep an nice pace without excessive speed.
Will definitely revisit the trail again

We rode this trail from the Olentangy Park to the OSU Stadium and enjoyed pretty much of it. It happen to be the same morning a 5K run was going on and the trail was full of joggers. The temperature was also quite high and climbing. Other than zig zagging in and out of joggers and sweat burning our eyes, it was a very nice ride. We will definitely ride this one again, but ride it to the end on a weekday. I really like these long trails with much to see!

We rode this trail from the Olentangy Park to the OSU Stadium and enjoyed pretty much of it. It happen to be the same morning a 5K run was going on and the trail was full of joggers. The temperature was also quite high and climbing. Other than zig zagging in and out of joggers and sweat burning our eyes, it was a very nice ride. We will definitely ride this one again, but ride it to the end on a weekday. I really like these long trails with much to see!

This trail tends to be highly populated with walkers, people with pets on leashes, and road cyclists trying to hit mock speeds. It can be a very nice ride if it were not for so many people and pedestrians on the trail.

The trail is approximately 13 Miles from Hills Market to downtown. From Park of roses to downtown and back is approximately 14 miles

This trail can be dangerous if you are biking at high speeds. Keep a slow speed and be very cautious on this trail.

Enjoy the unique sights from worthington woods to downtown Columbus ohio.

This is one of our favorite trails and the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because of two things; it's a busy trail...lot's of walkers, bikers, etc., and also, because of the traffic noise. Other than that, the trail is well paved and cared for and it has very nice scenery. We ride down to the Scioto Mile and on occasion will stop and have a drink or a bite to eat, which makes the trip even more enjoyable!

I highly enjoy this trail, it is nicely paved and very well marked out. A majority of the trail is shaded which helps with keeping cool. Great views of the river help with passing the time. My only complaint is the amount of people on the weekends. Many people do not watch their kids while they are walking. Even after I have yelled coming on the left and slowed down to a near crawl people still don't get out of the way.

This is my favorite trail in Columbus due to its uninterrupted length--and it must be a favorite of thousands of others, too. I never ride it when it is not crowded with bikers, runners, walkers, etc. all along, especially from downtown on north. Do readers know it is linked to Alum Creek trail--but downtown requires following signs on local, quiet roads from St. Clair & Leonard Ave. Alum Creek is also linked that way to Scioto Trail and Blacklick Trail will soon be linked to it. Not long in the future riders will be able to go from the far east side of Columbus clear downtown to either the Alum Creek or Olentangy trails. I only can find one trait I would appreciate since it is so busy, is that everyone who does not do so now would exercise a little more courtesy among the crowds.

The wife and I were up from Florida visiting family over the 4th of July week 2011 and had the oppurtunity to ride this beautiful trail. Rented bikes from Handy Bikes USA approximately 5 blocks off the trail. This was the only bike shop in the area that rented bikes that I could find. Everyone at the bike shop is very helful. Entered the trail at West 5th Ave. just south of Ohio State University (Go Bucks) and headed north past the stadiums of Ohio State and rode along the river for about 4 miles and turned around. Wanted to ride Ohio State Campus a bit and was able to ride into the Stadium and surrounding area. It can be a little confusing finding your way back to the trail from the campus but every street that crosses the river has a ramp down to the trail. 50/50 shade/sun on this trail in the am with lots of great scenery and courteous riders. Traffic Dodger

I rode the Olentangy Greenway on July 2 and 3, 2009. On the positive side, the northern two thirds, from Ohio State University North, were very nice. The trail surface was good 90 percent of the time and the scenery of river, forests and green areas was just fun to ride. I enjoyed going through the OSU campus by the huge statium, which I hadn't seen in 50 years. The days I rode, there were lots of people using the trail.

The section from OSU south to downtown wasn't nearly as visually interesting. It became more urban and noisy from nearby traffic. Most perplexing was that there is no sign at the entrance off West Spring St. indicating the beginning of the greenway at the south end. I asked six people where it was and five had no idea. (I was coming from downtown.) Another frustration was the lack of a sign at west side of the 3rd Ave. bridge between downtown and OSU (I don't remember the street) where the trail goes under and then appears to stop. To continue north, you cross the bridge (go east) on the bridge's sidewalk, but there's no indication that that's what you are supposed to do.

"Worthington to Downtown on shaded pavement along the river. The three different area's North suburbia, O.S.U. and Downtown all with their own characteristics. Great round trip, parts of the path will be busy on W/E"

"What an AWESOME HYBRID ride indeed! I finally had the chance to remind me of my youthful years with a HYBRID bicycle from Antrim Park - Worthington, to my Alma Mater (OSU), to my previous employers of downtown Columbus, up to the end of the trail at Lou Berliner Park.

Thanks to the Sponsors, Park & Recreational Department as well as the mind behind the creation of this Olentangy-Scioto Bike trail.

I rate this trail from average to above average score. There is more room to grow and I believe more developments of the trails are on the horizon. GO BUCKEYES! "

This trail has some very very steep hills at or near all the road crossings and if you are in a wheelchair bike like me you will not be able to go any farther than in between the road crossings. The trail is nice but kind of narrow and poorly marked when it comes to the steep hills. People do not seem to obey any of the trail rules and are not very friendly in this part of Ohio. I will not waste my time the next time on this one.

I've put up a fairly detailed map and photo documentation of the portion of the trail from downtown to Worthington. There are also updates on current construction issues.

See www.jnybny.com/omut.htm

"A segment of the trail downtown near the Santa Maria has been closed for a new park. An alternative route is available across the river; crossings at Broad St and Souder Ave allow users to reach the open parts of the trail.

Also, part of the trail near the OSU campus is closed because of Hwy 315, Woody Hayes, and Lane Ave construction. An alternative route is to take Canon Drive, cross Lane Ave, and reconnect to the trail north of campus. "

FYI: A section of the trail in north downtown Columbus is closed due to construction.

"The northern end of this trail is now open after a having a section of it repaved. There has been numerous upgrades and repaving on this bike trail in the past couple of years. You will now find a newly paved 6-mile stretch of pavement that starts near I-270 on the north end and continues to the Park Of Roses in Clintonville. Now if they would only replace the Henderson Road bridge and THIS TIME provide a wider sidewalk (for 2-way traffic) along the edge for bicyclists as well as pedestrians - sort of like the nice bridge on 161 (Dublin-Granville Rd.).

On another note: At Antrim Lake, a separate pedestrian only trail has been completed. This will make that area a little safer than it has been in the past."

"The northern end of this bike trail is currently under major repair/upgrades (as of 5/4/2001). The area affected starts at Antrim Lake and continues south for a ways. The pavement has been ripped up and is only suitable for ""mountain bikes""."

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