The Olentangy and Alum Creek Trails are the 2 major north-south bikeways in Columbus. Both follow waterways and both play(ed) a role in the cross-state route of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail.
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.
The Ohio-to-Erie Trail uses existing trails to connect Cincinnati with Cleveland, by way of Columbus, OH.
Highlights along the Olentangy Trail include OSU Stadium and several parks.
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.
Sharp Trail Curve
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!