Olentangy Trail


39 Reviews

View Trail Map
View Map
Send to App

Register for free!

Register for free with TrailLink today!

We're a non-profit all about helping you enjoy the outdoors
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your own favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Leave reviews for trails
  • Add new and edit existing trails

Olentangy Trail Facts

States: Ohio
Counties: Franklin
Length: 22.5 miles
Trail end points: Mingo Park to Columbus Park (Stratford) and Worthington Hills Park to W Long Street (Downtown Columbus
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6016829

Olentangy Trail Description

For visitors and locals alike, the Olentangy Trail is the ideal way to explore Columbus, the dynamic capital of Ohio, as well as the surrounding communities. Named after the eponymous river it follows for much of its 22.5 miles, the trail serves as an important link between neighborhoods. Along the route, you can explore natural areas, pass through the heart of The Ohio State University campus, and use the trail as a base from which to travel onward to many of the city’s significant historical and cultural sites.

At its southern end, the Olentangy Trail terminates west of downtown Columbus at a connection with the Scioto Greenway Trail on the south side of US 33; head north from there, using the well-marked crosswalk at the busy road. Once across the road, the route continues north on the west side of the Olentangy River. At some points, the path is very close to the river and flood warnings are posted. After passing under several highways, the trail becomes quieter, meandering along the riverbank under light tree cover. The sound of flowing water drowns out some of the city noise.

At Third Avenue, a bridge takes you to the east side of the river. At Fifth Avenue, find an upper and a lower route; keep left and follow the lower route to continue north. The upper trail provides access to nearby neighborhoods at Fifth Avenue and King Avenue and features an overlook with a large concrete deck jutting over the river. This vantage point provides a good view of a restoration area created after the removal of the Fifth Avenue dam.

As you traverse The Ohio State University campus—roughly 1 mile—you may want to dismount and walk if traveling by bike. Along the way, spot many trail connectors that provide access to the campus. A local landmark rises on the right side: Ohio Stadium, or the Horseshoe as locals call it, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. The trail then passes under the Lane Avenue Bridge, a striking structure with an amazing cable-stayed design.

Unmarked neighborhood paths periodically feed into the Olentangy Trail, and near mile 4, the university’s wetland research area flanks the west side of the route. Stop to take a self-guided tour of the native plants and wetland habitat. Just north of Clinton-Como Park, follow a short stretch on a well-marked route over city streets before rejoining the off-road trail again at Northmoor Park (near the corner of Olentangy Boulevard and Northmoor Place). Farther along, Whetstone Park offers restrooms and a drinking fountain at the Park of Roses, a 13-acre park within a park with more than 12,000 roses and other flora.

There are also several disconnected segments that make up the other five miles of trails throughout the town of Delaware to the north.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the northern trailhead in Worthington Hills Park, take I-270 to Exit 22, and head north on OH 315. In 0.5 mile, find the Olentangy Valley Center on your right. The trailhead and parking are located in the southeast corner of the shopping center.

Though no designated trail parking lots are on the south end of the trail, its northern half has numerous parking spots in the parks that line the route. See TrailLink Map for more details.

Olentangy Trail Reviews

I enjoy the trail diversity of activities

I like this trail. You can ride and park to OSU football games, Crew soccer games, Red, White and Boom, and any festival in the Columbus city. But there is also wildlife- hawks, Eagle sightings, deer, beaver, muskrats, owls, etc. You can find picnic benches as well to use all year. There is a frisbee golf course up in Worthington along with Antium lake. It has a bit going for it in my opinion but at times a bit crowded around Whetstone Park and OSU campus. I just chill around these areas and go very slow. This is also something I wish the serious speed bikers would do considering it is a multi-use trail.

One of Ohio’s best

Went to visit my son at OSU before heading back I rode the trail North from Lane’s Trail head to where I assume it dead ends into a quaint market/grocery. It is a well populated trail full of walkers, bikers and runners adjacent to several Clintonville neighborhoods. It does wind with some unexpected sharp turns so be warned it’s wise to ride at a more leisurely pace. It does have a few breaks where you ride through a few neighborhood streets but the majority of the trail is green and scenic passing through several parks and

A Useful Urban Greenway

The Columbus, Ohio section of the Olentangy Trail is not a rail trail, but a greenway that runs parallel to the Olentangy River. It runs from Confluence Park where the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers converge in Columbus to the Olentangy Valley Centre Shopping Center in Worthington Hills. This section has quite a bit of diversity. At its southern end you can connect to the Scioto Greenway Trail, Lower.com Field (home of the Columbus Crew MLS soccer club), and after a few miles Ohio State University. Throughout the trail’s length you will ride through or have access to 13 different parks and 2 high schools. I found both Antrim Park (and lake), and Northmoor Park particularly beautiful and peaceful. The trail surface throughout this section was in good shape with very little cracking, holes or root uplift despite appearing to be an older paved trail. In the Northmoor area you will have to do a bit of road riding on mostly low-trafficked residential streets. On this particular day, the trail was not very crowded, however, I’m sure that trail traffic from Confluence Park to Antrim Park can get very busy depending upon the weather and scheduled events at OSU and in downtown Columbus. North of Interstate 270 trailside destinations and attractions seem to diminish so you don’t see as many trail users. Hopefully, the leaders of both the Columbus & Franklin County MetroParks and the Central Ohio Greenways will see fit to close the gap between the northern section of this trail in Delaware, Ohio and this section in Columbus to make this one continuous trail in the next few years.

Needs re-paving esp for roller skating

This trail is great for the scenic views of the river and the bridges over the Olentangy however, it is incredibly rough, esp the south end near the Scioto trail interchange. There is one nice smooth part from the Bethel Rd connector up to Antrim Lake. It’s maybe only a mile but the pavement there is glorious! A roller skater’s dream! The other area that’s really smooth is near Northmoor Park, both Olentangy Blvd and Kenworth are super smooth and really nice to skate. I also really like the new bridge and Astor Park they’ve recently constructed at the southern most part of the trail. The bridge and park are really nice smooth new concrete, but then you get on the trail and the trail condition sucks right there. :-/


Scenic, Shady, & Slightly Busy

Enjoyed the trail overall. I stayed at the Hyatt House Located right off the trail and took advantage of their on site bike rental (highly recommend). The other comments about trail being busy were spot on. However, it wasn't to the point to take away from enjoyment. Did the portion towards OSU campus and not towards downtown, per other review's suggestion. Very beautiful and with enough turns and elevation changes to make it interesting but not too difficult.

Scenic, Shady, & Slightly Busy

Enjoyed the trail overall. I stayed at the Hyatt House Located right off the trail and took advantage of their on site bike rental (highly recommend). The other comments about trail being busy were spot on. However, it wasn’t to the point to take away from enjoyment. Did the portion towards OSU campus and not towards downtown, per other review’s suggestion. Very beautiful and with enough turns and elevation changes to make it interesting but not too difficult.

crowded and homeless

I have been on here a few times, it’s pretty busy, and the closer you get to the city the more homeless there are sleeping or wandering the trail.. it’s pretty sketch..

Good Trail, needs some maintenance

FWIW I use this trail a lot and enjoy it. However, certain parts are in need a a repaving as it’s either dirty or cracked (and soon after a rainstorm parts remain flooded for up to a day). Additionally, it’s crowded but not enough to hinder my ride normally.

Too Crowded, Too Many Bumps, Too Many Idiots

I've ridden this trail quite a few times in the past and did it again today. There are places where one has to be holding on firmly with both hands when some of the bumps are hit, otherwise a wreck could be imminent. I experienced this 5-6 times, mostly in the woods where you can't see the root bumps. Also I had 3 separate encounters with other bikers who were riding straight at me in my lane on 3 of the big curves on the trail. I don't plan on riding this one again any time soon, as there are other trails in central Ohio that I like better.

Listed Distances Wrong

Great trail but ultra crowded during OSU school months.

No way is this trail 22.5 miles. Not even 17.5. I have ridden this trail for many years - I get 13 miles and change from trailhead at Worthington Hills to downtown at Scioto Trail intersection.

nice trail

Very nice trail. It is very busy, but scenery is nice. Not totally flat but, but no big hills in the part we were on.

too crowded

3 stars because although it’s a nice, scenic trail for the most part, it tends to get wwwwayyy too crowded to bike with plenty of SMDAs (slow moving dumb @sses).

Columbus Connector

Great way to get from Worthington to German Village and everywhere in between.

Great bike trail

We went to Columbus for a few days and my son took me to the Olentangy Bike Path. What a great path for biking, jogging or just walking. We road bikes. We decided to do the whole trail. Where we parked we went south till the trail turned into the Scioto Greenway Trail. Turned back there and when we got back to where we parked we went north till the trail was closed between Worthington Hills Park and Olentangy River. That section is supposed to be open in late 2017. Great scenery. Through wooded areas, past soccer fields, over bridges, under roads and past the Ohio State University campus. All together we road 24 miles. Just one small criticism. There are a couple places where you could get confused which way to go if you never road this trail before. My son has road it many times so it was not a problem for us. I highly recommend taking this trail if you are in the Columbus area. I know I will ride this again in the future

Great Ride

The trail could use a little better marking. I never missed a turn by much, but I did miss several as you could not always tell which way to go at a fork. Pretty level and we'll paved. I rode the north and south sections in one ride. I usually don't like to go on a road, but the short road section had no cars in it.

Agree with others

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.

Finding the NORTH trailhead

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.

Hard to find but nice trail

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.

north part to close

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.

nice--gotta do it

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.

great day

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

Crowded Trail

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!

Crowded Trail

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!

Very Busy

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.

One of my favorites!

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!

Olentangy trail

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.

My favorite!!

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.

Great Ride

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

Varied greenway

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.

Downtown ride

"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"

"Great Ride, Weather & Bike Trail"

"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! "

Nice but kind of narrow

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.

Detailed Map

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

Parts closed for construction

"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. "

Construction Summer '04

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

Trail repaving complete

"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."

Under repair for early summer 2001

"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""."

Nearby Trails

Go Unlimited Today!

  • FREE Account
  • View over 40,000 miles of trail maps
  • Post your trail reviews
  • Share your trail photos
  • Save your favorite trails
  • Learn about new trails near you
  • Get a free map in the app!
Register for FREE
Purchase Unlimited

Explore by City

Explore by City

Explore by Activity

Explore by Activity

Log in to your account to:

  • View trail paths on the map
  • Save trails to your account
  • Add trails, edit descriptions
  • Share photos
  • Add reviews

Log in with Google

Log in with Apple


Register for free!

Join TrailLink (a non-profit) to view more than 40,000 miles of trail maps and more!

Register with Google

Register with Apple


Your account has been deleted.