BEST HIKING IN COLUMBUS OHIO: Best 15 Hiking Trails

THE BEST HIKING IN COLUMBUS OHIO

There are more trails than you might imagine in Columbus, making it an excellent place to go hiking. There is something for everyone to enjoy, from the beautiful trails in the city’s parks to the more difficult but rewarding hikes in the nearby canyons. If you appreciate the outdoors as well, you will undoubtedly look forward to exploring some of Columbus, Ohio’s hiking paths. There is something for everyone in Ohio. From the looping trails down to the beautiful national park. The city has many parks with water fountains and strolling routes along the Scioto River. Read on to discover the best hiking in Columbus, Ohio.

#1. Blendon Woods Metro Park, Overlook Trail

Credit: TrekOhio

The Overlook Trail at Blendon Woods Metro Park is a cozy, welcoming hiking trail close to Columbus. Beginners will enjoy the easy, 0.6-mile Overlook Trail, which winds through the trees. The 0.4-mile Ripple Rock Path, which adds gravel and some steep sections, is connected to this path. Additionally, it links to a 0.3-mile segment of the wooded Hickory Ridge Trail. Combining all three routes and adding the 0.3-mile walk to Thoreau Lake and the Walden Waterfowl Refuge, two protected areas with a variety of wildlife and birds will make for a fantastic hike in Blendon Woods.

#2. Scioto Trail

Best Hiking in Columbus Ohio
Image Source: TripAdvisor

The Scioto Trail Greenway is a multi-use walkway in the middle of one of the nicest parks in the city if you’re looking for a brisk stroll. Most hiking trails within Columbus City borders are more appropriately classified as walking trails. The paved trail is a section of Columbus’ Scioto Mile, which follows the Scioto River. Numerous parks are located along the Scioto Trail where you can pause, relax, and take in the scenery of the riverside and the Columbus cityscape. At North Bank Park, Bicentennial Park, Scioto Audubon Park, Battelle Riverfront Park, Berliner Park, and the Greenlawn Avenue Dam, you can readily find marked trailheads.

If you wish to relax in the green space around the trail, you can find plenty of benches along the walks, find a shady tree, or listen to the live music that is frequently performed at the pavilion at Bicentennial Park. A network of additional paths throughout the city and suburbs is connected to the Scioto Mile.

#3. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Best Hiking in Columbus Ohio
Image Source: The Pew Charitable Trusts

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, located close to Columbus, Ohio, is one of the most breathtaking natural locations. The large park, which spans more than 32,900 acres, is a true trekking haven. The park has lush green forests, lovely winding rivers, and breathtaking waterfalls in addition to being home to a great diversity of flora and fauna.

There are 125 miles of hiking trails available to visitors. But, the Brandywine Gorge Trail Loop is the one that demands the greatest focus. The 1.4 kilometers of the rough, moderately challenging track will lead you to a tranquil, refreshing creek where you can even go swimming. However, keep in mind that the park is two hours outside of Columbus, so be sure to schedule your trip in advance. 

#4. Brandywine Gorge Trail, Cuyahoga National Park

The Camp Chase Trail is a 16-mile section of the Ohio to Erie Trail, which connects Columbus and London. By finishing several sections of the 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail at once, you can top up the adventure. In contrast to many hiking paths, this multi-use trail provides vistas of the surrounding Ohio countryside.

This trail is unique since it features a 231-foot elevation difference over its entire length. You will delight in the intriguing environment as it follows a live railroad track and passes through agricultural areas while sharing the trail with bikers and other hikers. You will also get the chance to visit Columbus’ Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery as you drive across the metro area. 

#4. Overlook & Dripping Rocks Trail 

Best Hiking in Columbus Ohio
Image Source: TripAdvisor

The combined Overlook and Dripping Rock paths at Highbanks Metro Park are two of the busiest trails in the Columbus Metro Parks network. The park has a number of trails, but the 5.8-mile loop that starts and ends at the visitor center is a favorite with hikers. Due to its rolling topography, beautiful scenery, and easy accessibility.

You can also find steep ravines and shale bluffs in the park, which is just along the banks of the Olentangy River. The Dripping Rock Trail and Overlook Trail are great for easy hikes through the forest and state nature reserve, respectively. Fall is a fantastic time to travel to Highbanks since the leaves on the trees are changing colors. The trails are deeply full of forest.

#5. Brookside Trail

The picturesque Brookside Park in Columbus, Ohio, is traversed by the Brookside Trail, an out-and-back hiking route. A 0.8-mile trail called the Brookside Trail begins in the woodlands of Blendon Woodlands Metro Park. It links to the Ripple Rock Trail and Hickory Ridge Trail after crossing Ripple Rock Creek. A combination of paved and unpaved surfaces make up the trail. It is a moderately simple hike on level terrain.

A waterway and wooded areas are also included in the varied landscape. One of Columbus’s top routes for families and environmental enthusiasts, the Brookside Trail has a playground and a wildlife center for youngsters. It is very important you know that dogs are unfortunately not permitted on this walk. 

#6. The Clear Creek Metro Park’s Hemlock Trail

Best Hiking in Columbus Ohio
Image Source: Central Ohio Trails

You can take the Hemlock Trail in Clear Creek Metro Park for a brief but difficult climb. The 1.5-mile trail’s steep topography, which passes by a ravine and sandstone boundaries, makes it difficult. Due to the thick forest and tall hemlock trees that provide shade, this trip is a fantastic choice on a hot day. More than two thousand different species of flora and animals, including fern beds, can be in the park. This is a one-way trail, so allow additional time and water for the return trek to your car. There are many routes in this park, making it a wonderful place to increase your hiking stamina.

#7. Antrim Park

Credit: Great Runs

Antrim is no doubt one of the best hiking we have in Ohio. A fantastic hiking trail near Columbus, Ohio is the Antrim Park Lake Trail. All levels of walkers will enjoy this well-maintained track, which is great for everybody. Sport fishing is allowed in Antrim Lake for fish such as big-mouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish. After fishing in the lake, go for a hike. The trail winds through the park before starting at Antrim Park Lake. Despite being a short hike, it has beautiful lake views. There will probably be a lot of hikers on the Antrim Park Lake Trail because it is highly popular, yet it is possible to become alone in some calm spots.

#8. Alum Creek State Park

Image Source: State Parks

The Rocks and Roots Trail, which offers a north and south loop option, is one of the top hiking routes in Delaware’s Alum Creek State Park, which is close to Columbus. This somewhat difficult trail is well preferable for runners seeking out difficult terrain and elevation changes. A six-mile hike with lovely woodland and lake views is the Rocks and Roots North Loop. This trail’s 6.1-mile South Loop meanders through lovely forested terrain and is home to a large number of different bird species. Wearing bright colors is suggested if you are hiking the South Loop because you do travel through public hunting zones

#9. Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve

Image Source: Hocking Hills

The 45-minute journey from Columbus to the hiking trail that winds through Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve in southern Ohio is well worth it for a day outside. The paths through this preserve are beautiful because they are located in the Hocking Hills Region, one of the most well-liked hiking regions and state parks in Ohio. Due to the treacherous terrain, which includes 200-foot drop-offs and high sandstone cliffs, this trek is not suggested for novices.

There are two gorge trails: one is on the upper gorge, and the other is on the lower gorge. If you have already completed the other routes in the area and are searching for lots of natural challenges, you should consider taking this trail.

#10. Rockbridge State Nature Preserve

Image Source: TripAdvisor

In the Rockbridge State Nature Preserve, 45 minutes outside of Columbus, there is another rewarding hiking track. The Hocking Hills region’s stunning view is included in this 2.75-mile trail, which is excellent because it is less crowded than other hiking destinations like Old Man’s Cave. The 100-foot-long, 10- to 20-foot-wide natural rock bridge that spans a ravine on this trail is what distinguishes it from others.

One of the numerous natural attractions you will discover along this walk is the largest natural bridge in Ohio. People who desire a more leisurely stroll and who want to explore the surrounding nature, such as sandstone outcroppings, can as well choose this trail.

#11. Hocking Hills State Park’s Ash Cave

Image Source: Hocking Hills

Hocking Hills State Park, located less than an hour from Ohio, is a must-visit for anybody seeking solitude in the countryside. The park’s 25 miles of hiking paths, numerous magnificent waterfalls, and odd caverns allow you to recover while taking in the spectacular natural surroundings. The park’s Ash Cave is by far the most magnificent and well-liked tourist attraction. The half-mile hike is rather simple, but absolutely beautiful as you pass through a small gorge before arriving at the state park’s biggest recess cave. This trip undoubtedly become one of your favorites given that we went nearby for horseback riding.

#12. Sharon Wood Metro Park

Sally Woods a great area to ride or walk is Metro Park in Westerville.  To appreciate the tranquility of nature, there are numerous interconnected routes that wind through lovely woods.  There are a few challenging climbs on the 4-mile-long asphalt paved cycling trail that round the park’s exterior in a single direction. Particularly lovely, is the little walk that runs alongside the lake.  In the park, there is a hill for sledding. One of the first parks in the Columbus Metro Parks system, this one can be found in Westerville on Cleveland Avenue next to St Ann’s Hospital. A fantastic area to stroll along one of the many trails, including a small one where you can take your dog and take in the serenity of nature. 

#13. Beech Trail in Blacklick Woods Metro Park

Image Source: Metro Parks

One of the best hiking spots in Columbus, Ohio, is the Beech Trail Woods Metro Park. The Baclick Woods Metro Park, which is located outside of Columbus, Ohio, is especially handy for guests who are staying on the eastern side of the city. The park is only about 650 acres, but it’s a terrific place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and reconnect with nature. The park is ideal for family-friendly picnics because the majority of the pathways are short and simple. Follow the Beech Trail as it meanders through the woods, wonder at the breathtaking fields of wildflowers in spring, and locate a serene area for your picnic lunch.

 #14. Stone House Loop Trail in Salt Fork State Park

Another interesting thing about having a hiking trail close to Ohio is because of this Stone House Loop Trail that is in State Fork Park. The largest state park in Ohio can be found about an hour and a half from Columbus. Salt Fork, which covers an area of about 17,300 acres, is the place to be if you enjoy sports. There are a lot of fun activities to do while you are here. The vast water reservoir is the ideal location to enjoy a pleasant day of activities in the vicinity, including fishing and kayaking. There are approximately 11 trails in the park as well. If you’re traveling with pets, make sure to take them to the dog-friendly Stone House Loop Trail.

#15. Mount Pleasant, Rising Park

Image Source: Pinterest

While in Mount Pleasant Rising Park, there are a lot of interesting things to do and look out for which are as follows. In the first place, at Rising Park, you will need to take in the stunning mountain views as the sun sets behind the hills. The park is in Lancaster, a town that can be reached by car from Columbus in about 45 minutes. Rising Park also has tennis courts, ponds, caves, and a number of hiking routes, but Mount Pleasant, the park’s highest peak, is the main draw. For sweeping sunset views of lush hills rising above the town of Lancaster below, make sure to travel in the late afternoon. There is much to choose from, and it’s one of Ohio’s top hiking areas.

What Are the Best Hiking in Columbus Ohio?

The following is a list of the best hiking in Columbus Ohio:

  • Mount Pleasant, Rising Park
  • Blendon Woods Metro Park, Overlook Trail
  • Brandywine Gorge Trail, Cuyahoga National Park
  • Alum Creek State Park
  • The Clear Creek Metro Park’s Hemlock Trail
  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Scioto Trail
  • Antrim Park
  • Sharon Wood Metro Park
  • Brookside Trail
  • Overlook & Dripping Rocks Trail¬†

Does Ohio Have Good Hiking?

Many amazing hiking options exist in Ohio. There is something for everyone in Ohio, starting from Cuyahoga Valley National Park down to Beech Trail in Blacklick.

What Is the Longest Hike in Columbus, Ohio?

The state’s most popular long-distance trail is the 1,444-mile Buckeye Trail, which circles the whole state of Ohio.  

How Many Hiking Trails Are There in Ohio?

There are 5678 miles and more than 192 trails in Ohio.

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