What started as Ohio's first rail-trail in 1967, has developed into an ever-growing number of
Columbus, Ohio bikeways today. [Scroll past 'Specs & Facts' to continue reading.]
Columbus, OH - "...[a] stretch of the Olentangy Trail should be closed now, but the City of Columbus said weather delayed the start of the project..."
5/8/19 - Trail Gap Project gets Funding
Columbus, OH - "...Brian Hoyt, Communications & Marketing Manager for the city’s Recreation and Parks department, confirmed that the [gap] project has been approved to receive federal grant money that will cover as much as 80 percent of its cost.
"He said that design work on the project won’t start until this fall, with opportunities for public input in early 2020. Construction is currently scheduled to start in 2021."
5/7/19 - Trail Section Closure Coming May 15
Columbus, OH - "...The Olentangy Trail will be closed at the Battelle campus area for two months [May 15 - July 15] due to construction of Founders Park development. A detour will be posted for trail users. ..."
5/6/19 - Trail Connector & Widening Project
Columbus, OH - "...A shared-use path along Bethel Road would link Anheuser Busch Park on Olentangy River Road to a new ramp and tunnel that connects to the trail. More than a mile of the trail, from Bethel Road to Antrim Park, will be widened from 9 feet to 12 feet."
3/15/19 - Trail Extensions May Never Meet Up
Columbus, OH - "Metro Parks plans to begin work this year on a mile-long section of the Olentangy Trail in Delaware County.
"The Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks plans to extend the trail in Franklin County this year along the Olentangy River to Clubview Boulevard South. But there are no current plans to connect the two, which might include a controversial route through the hamlet of Mount Air."
2/12/19 - Trail Section Closure Feb. 18
Columbus, OH - "Beginning Monday, February 18th users on the Olentangy Trail will experience mid-day trail closures between Henderson Rd. and the Broadmeadows Park Bridge (south of Antrim Park). The trail closures will be daily between 10:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m..."
2/12/19 - Flooding Alert
Columbus, OH - From MetroParks, "Please be aware of flooding on the trails. Take care and do not ride through standing water if you do not know the depth. Stay safe."
1/3/19 - Construction on OSU Campus
Columbus, OH - From centralohiogreenways.com, "There will be construction occurring along the Olentangy Trail in the OSU section between Herrick Drive and King Avenue from January 7th thru January 31.
"The trail will not be closed. A temporary bypass path will be provided around the work site."
11/1/18 - Flooding on Columbus Trails
Columbus, OH - "Flooding on the
Alum Creek Trail, Blacklick Trail, and Olentangy Trail. Please use caution." more...
10/4/18 - Semi Truck Stuck on Trail
Columbus, OH - "Bicycle path north of Spring St. parallel to 315 is closed due to a stuck semi that struck two overhead bridges."
Also, a trail-realignment will be taking place Oct. 5 on the Olentangy Trail at the Henderson Rd ramp.
9/23/18 - More on Proposed Connector
Columbus, OH - "A proposed final segment taking the Olentangy Trail off city streets would cross the river twice and edge the OhioHealth Corp. administrative campus."
9/19/18 - Trailhead Closed
Columbus, OH - From centralohiogreenways.com, "...A majority of the [Worthington Hills] shopping center including the trailhead parking area has been fenced off for construction.
"Parking and trailhead access has been temporarily located behind the Hills Market..."
9/2/18 - Flooding on Columbus-Area Trails
Columbus, OH - From Columbus MetroParks, "Please use caution. Flooding and storm debris along sections of trails. Crews conducting clean up."
8/27/18 - Proposal to Close Trail Gap
Columbus, OH - "...Northbound users would cross the first new bridge at Como Park, which would deposit them onto a new section of trail running past Kohl’s and along the eastern edge of the new OhioHealth office complex. They would then cross North Broadway at grade and continue along the river to the second new bridge, which would connect them back up with the existing Olentangy Trail at Northmoor Park."
7/26/18 - Suspect Arrested for Alleged Attacks
Columbus, OH - "...The suspect, 32-year-old Christopher Bosewell, was arrested on W. 5th Ave and charged with 2 counts of felonious assault. Police say no injuries were reported..."
7/25/18 - Search for Flasher
Columbus, OH - "Columbus police are looking for a man accused of exposing himself to a jogger on the Olentangy Trail. According to the police report, the incident happened on Saturday morning."
7/20/18 - Man Brandishes Knife on Trail
Columbus, OH - "On the Olentangy Trail near King Avenue just outside of OSU's campus..."
4/4/18 - Flooding on Columbus Trails
Columbus, OH - From Columbus MetroParks, "Flooding on the Olentangy and
Alum Creek Trails."
3/2/18 - Upgrades Coming in 2019
From columbusunderground.com, "Two major upgrades are planned for the Olentangy Trail: one that will widen a large section of the trail and another that will connect it to Bethel Road for the first time.
"...Work on the two improvement projects is not scheduled to start until the spring of 2019..."
2/25/18 - Flooding Worsens on Columbus Trails
This alert is from Columbus MetroParks today.
This alert from Columbus MetroParks did not specify which areas may be affected along the two trails.
1/29/18 - Section Closures near OSU Stadium
From centralohiogreenways.com, "As early as Monday (1/29) and continuing through mid-February, the Olentangy trail will be impacted between Woody Hayes Drive and John Herrick Drive for soil borings occurring in the area.
"Closures will rotate between the upper and lower trails in this area, however one trail will be maintained [open] at all times for northbound and southbound traffic."
The Olentangy served as the interim route of the OTE until the completion of the Alum Creek Bikeway in late 2015, when the route was moved over to Alum Creek.
Though much of the trail has been updated and is in very good condition, some sharp corners and congested areas make speeding along the trail risky business. The surface varies from asphalt to concrete which includes some sidewalks.
My first trail ride through a dense urban area -- years ago -- was on the Olentangy and Lower Scioto Trails. It's one of those memories that's etched firmly in my mind. Despite carrying a small map with detailed directions, it took almost 2.5 hours to ride 18 miles of trail.
A myriad of connecting spurs, short road rides between completed sections, and trail gymnastics (twisting, turning, backtracking), along with virtually nonexistent signage, made for quite an adventure.
Today, well-travelled trails like the Olentangy are better connected and typically have wayfinding signs to help keep riders on route. But that doesn't mean you won't get lost. It's a meticulous task to accurately sign or mark every spur. So, though the trail should be easier to navigate today, you should still carry a map or trail app. Do your prep work before you trail ride here, or recruit a local rider to show you around!