Olentangy Greenway Trail: Fun along a slice of Columbus’ multipurpose trail

Fun along a slice of Columbus’ multipurpose trail

Bikers, rollerbladers, joggers and dog walkers. All enjoy the Olentangy Greenway Trail. The nearly 14-mile multipurpose trail runs from Worthington Hills in the north to downtown Columbus in the south, cutting through the Ohio State University campus along the way.

The trail is managed by Columbus Metro Parks and meanders alongside the Olentangy River, passing playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and a skateboard park. It’s flat, nicely paved and well marked.

My family’s favorite sections are at Antrim and Whetstone parks – perfect trailheads for those wanting to investigate this path for the first time.

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Some may be turned off, though, by how crowded this trail gets, especially on weekends, or by the steady hum of traffic along Rt. 315. But if you time your visits wisely and drown out the sound with conversation or music – or pretend it’s the ocean – it’s almost always a pleasant experience.

We recently examined familiar sites while taking what we called a “wagon adventure” along a shaded portion of the trail at Whetstone Park. We started near the entrance to the Park of Roses, where there are bike racks and an air pump.

I pulled Max and Rosie in their wagon even though space is getting a bit tight and they’re getting a bit heavy. The wagon made for short rides and quick stops along the trail and kept them safe from cyclists whizzing by.

We first arrived at the Whetstone Prairie and Native Habitat. They hopped out and investigated a mowed path, between tall grasses, coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and sunflowers. Butterflies and dragonflies fluttered about.

They hopped back in for a short pull to a muddy entry near a creek. They foraged around the water, intrigued by a beaver dam. They could have played here all day.

Back in the wagon we rolled north on the trail to a covered walkway that adjoins the path and leads trail-goers over the Olentangy River and Rt. 315. I thought Max and Rosie would enjoy a look at traffic from above. The sight, however, was more frightening than fun for 6-year-old Max.

Back on the Greenway Trail we headed for the duck pond to feed some geese. Then we ventured to the playground where we ate at a nearby picnic table. It was a fine ending to a fun afternoon adventure.

Learn more about the Olentangy Greenway Trail and view maps.


Note: From August 2015 through the fall of 2016, a portion of the Olentangy Greenway Trail located under I-270 will be closed due to construction on the interstate. Learn more at www.270-23.com.

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