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The Scioto Greenway Trail is an urban greenway at its best. A segment of the Central Ohio Greenways trail network that covers more than 120 miles throughout the state, the 12.2-mile multiuse trail hugs the banks of the Scioto River, connecting several parks and presenting fabulous views of downtown Columbus.
The route starts just north of OH 104 and follows the west side of the Scioto River. Parking and access to the trail can be found at Berliner Sports Complex, across the river from German Village. From the park, you can travel north or south on the rail-trail. Southbound, the trail travels through lush forest all the way to the endpoint near OH 104. North takes you to downtown Columbus.
The start of the northbound route is densely forested, making it easy to forget that you are traveling in a large city. At Greenlawn Avenue, ride or walk straight across the street, or descend a steep slope below it to get to the other side. From there, you’ll cross the Scioto River on the Greenlawn Avenue bridge’s bike- and pedestrian-friendly path. The next 0.3 mile along Front Street alternates between brick and concrete sidewalk, but note that the route here is unmarked. Turn left, heading west on Whittier Street, to rejoin the paved rail-trail route. The trail curves along the river and passes Scioto Audubon Metro Park, which features a nature center, restrooms, and drinking fountains.
I-70/I-71 roars overhead near mile 3, followed by a breathtaking view of the Columbus skyline. First Bicentennial Park and then Battelle Riverfront Park provide vantage points overlooking the river and the newly transformed riverfront. At North Bank Park, a good stopping point, enjoy the million-dollar view of downtown Columbus from an observation deck over the river.
A short 0.5-mile ride takes you across the river to where the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers meet. Here, the Scioto Greenway Trail connects with the Olentangy Trail. Both routes provide access to the urban heart of the city, as well as its many natural areas, vibrant neighborhoods, and important cultural and historical sites.
From North Bank Park, the path travels another 4.5 miles northwest, paralleling city streets. At North Souder Avenue, you have the option of crossing the river and following a trail spur south to Dodge Park. Continuing on the northbound route, you’ll travel underneath Grandview Avenue and, shortly thereafter, have the option of crossing the Hilltop Connector bridge over the river to the Hilltop neighborhood and the village of Valleyview, where you can pedal on residential streets for about 0.5 mile to reach the beginning of the Camp Chase Trail at North Eureka Avenue.
The Camp Chase Trail continues more than 15 miles southwest, providing access to Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, a recreational gem of prairies and forests. Both trails are part of the Ohio to Erie Trail network, which stretches more than 270 miles across the state.
The Scioto Trail ends at McKinley Avenue, after one final crossing of the river.
Berliner Sports Park is the best southern trail access point. From I-71, take Exit 105, and head east on Greenlawn Ave. for just under 0.25 mile. Turn right onto Deckenbauch Road. The park is on the left. Travel east from the parking lot to access the trail.
Parking is also available in Dodge Park (667 Sullivant Avenue).
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