Towpath Trail

Olentangy Trail

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.]

Antrim Lake
Antrim Lake - Columbus, OH

Latest Update: 11/1/18 by OB - Flooding on Columbus Trails

Columbus, OH - "Flooding on the Alum Creek Trail, Blacklick Trail, and Olentangy Trail. Please use caution." more...

Semi Truck Stuck on Trail - 10/4/18 by OB

Columbus, OH - "Bicycle path north of Spring St. parallel to 315 is closed due to a stuck semi that struck two overhead bridges." more...

Also, a trail-realignment will be taking place Oct. 5 on the Olentangy Trail at the Henderson Rd ramp. more...

More on Proposed Connector - 9/23/18 by OB

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." more...

Trailhead Closed - 9/19/18 by OB

Columbus, OH - From, "...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..." more

Flooding on Columbus-Area Trails - 9/2/18 by OB

Columbus, OH - From Columbus MetroParks, "Please use caution. Flooding and storm debris along sections of trails. Crews conducting clean up."

Proposal to Close Trail Gap - 8/27/18 by OB

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." more...

Suspect Arrested for Alleged Attacks - 7/26/18 by OB

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..." more

Search for Flasher - 7/25/18 by OB

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." more...

Man Brandishes Knife on Trail - 7/20/18 by OB

Columbus, OH - "On the Olentangy Trail near King Avenue just outside of OSU's campus..." more

Flooding on Columbus Trails - 4/4/18 by OB

Columbus, OH - From Columbus MetroParks, "Flooding on the Olentangy and Alum Creek Trails."

Upgrades Coming in 2019 - 3/2/18 by OB

From, "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..." more

Flooding Worsens on Columbus Trails - 2/25/18 by OB

This alert is from Columbus MetroParks today.

Flooding on Olentangy & Alum Creek Trails - 2/16/18 by OB

This alert from Columbus MetroParks did not specify which areas may be affected along the two trails.

Section Closures near OSU Stadium - 1/29/18 by OB

From, "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." more...

High Water on Columbus Trails - 11/6/17 by OB

From Columbus MetroParks, "Please look out for flooded trails. We have confirmed high water (several inches) covering the Olentangy trail at the Goodale Blvd pedestrian walkway and the trail.

I-270 Section to Reopen Nov. 10 - 10/31/17 by OB

From ODOT, "A portion of the Olentangy Trail that runs under I-270 will now open on Friday, November 10, weather permitting.

"...This section of the Olentangy Trail has been closed since August 1, but weather permitting, it will be open this Friday."

Closure Extended Through 10/21 - 10/19/17 by OB

The closure of the Olentangy bike trail between Herrick Drive and King Avenue, previously scheduled to be in place from Wednesday (10/11) through approximately Wednesday (10/18), has been extended through Saturday (10/21) due to weather.

"The closure is needed while crews conduct tree removal required for future phases of the Cannon Drive Relocation project. One long-term benefit will be enhanced green space along the river. Existing construction fencing will be moved temporarily to accommodate cyclist and pedestrian traffic only along Cannon Drive."

Section Closing Aug. 1 - 10/10/17 by OB

From, "As early as Wednesday (10/11), the Olentangy bike trail will close between Herrick Drive and King Avenue for approximately one week.

"The closure is needed while crews conduct tree removal required for future phases of the Cannon Drive Relocation project.

One long-term benefit will be enhanced green space along the river. Existing construction fencing will be moved temporarily to accommodate cyclist and pedestrian traffic only along Cannon Drive.

Section Closing Aug. 1 - 7/14/17 by OB

From ODOT, "...The Olentangy Trail will be closed between Worthington Hills and Olentangy River Parklands at Wilson Bridge Road.

"Duration: 3 months, weather permitting.

There is a detour for experienced road riders. more...

Trail Section Closed - 6/22/17 by OB

From Franklin MetroParks, "Utility work has closed the trail between King Avenue and John Herrick Drive. Estimated timeline of 3-4 weeks.

"Canon Drive is an alternate route. (See detour map.)"

Attempted Abduction by Whetstone High School - 3/1/17 by OB

From, "...A female student and member of the softball team told police she was jogging before practice along the trail when a man pulled her into some bushes. She said she fought him off and was able to get away.

"Police described the suspect a white male, wearing black sweatpants and a T-shirt..."

Grant for Olentangy Trail Connector - 12/21/16 by OB

From, "...The 276-foot-long bridge across the Olentangy River Downtown will connect the Olentangy Trail with Nationwide Boulevard. The state awarded $485,000 for that project, said Brooke Betit, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The total cost will be $1.9 million."

Olentangy Trail Section Closing Again in August - 12/8/16 by OB

From, "The Ohio Department of Transportation is ready to reopen a Worthington-area portion of the Olentangy Trail, but only temporarily.

"Due to North Side Mega Fix-related work, ODOT had closed a piece of the trail between the north and south sides of Interstate 270 in August of 2015...

"...Next August, the same section of the trail will be closed for about two months. During that time, ODOT is expected to finish construction of the bridges."

Olentangy Trail Section Opens Dec. 8 - 12/1/16 by OB

The section of the Olentangy Trail under I-270 that's been closed since August 2015 is expected to open Thursday, December 8, weather permitting.

Even though the trail will be open, it will not be complete. There will be overnight closures and daytime flagging as crews complete work on or above the trail. There will also be orange construction fence and temporary safety railing.

Olentangy Trail Construction Alert Dec. 12 - Jan. 6 - 12/1/16 by OB

From, "Olentangy Trail -- 3rd Avenue to Lane Avenue -- Beginning December 12th through January 6th there will be soil boring equipment accessing several locations along the berm of the trail. Warning signs will be posted. The path will remain open. Use extra caution in this section of the trail during this period.""

Pavement Striping Work - 10/18/16 by OB

From, "During the week of October 17th-21st there will be pavement marking installations taking place along the Olentangy, Scioto, and Alum Creek Greenway trails. The trails will remain open and warning signage will be placed in the work areas."

Plans to Extend Olentangy North - 3/22/16 by OB

From, "...Columbus Recreation and Parks is developing the Worthington Hills project, which would extend the Olentangy Trail to Clubview Boulevard at the entrance to Worthington Hills and perhaps to Highview Drive to the north. The extension would include a place where the trail would cross Rt. 315 and create a defined multi-use trail in the area, according to city officials."

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Franklin County, OH

Class: A1++

Length: 13 miles / asphalt (includes .7 mi road section)

Condition: Very good

Facilities: In the parks along the trail.

Parking: Antrim Park (See trail map for more options.)

Worth Noting: The Olentangy Trail can be used as an alternate route, in the event of a trail closing along the Ohio-to-Erie Trail portion of the Alum Creek Trail.

Map: Olentangy Trail or Sm Screen Version

Elevation: Mostly flat

More Trails in this Region: SW OH Trails List

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!

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