The Olentangy Trail in Columbus, Ohio, was established in 1967, making it one of Ohio's first rail-to-trail conversions. It was later combined with the Scioto Trail in downtown Columbus to create a 30-mile greenway. You can start the trail system at its northernmost point if you begin at Worthington Hills Park, though there are many potential entry points. The Olentangy Trail continues through Olentangy Parklands, Antrim Park, Whetstone Park, Clinton/Como Park, and Tuttle Park, as well as several smaller parks.
The Scioto Trail connects with the Olentangy Trail just north of Northbank Park, where you can enjoy great views of the city skyline from the observation deck. It passes through Dodge Park, Scioto Audobon Park, and Berliner Sports Park, among other city parks with a host of amenities. In the parks along the Olentangy and Scioto Trails, you will find additional trails, sports facilities, covered shelters, nature preserves, lakes, and bathrooms. In the spring and summer, over 12,000 roses burst into bloom at the Park of Roses in Whetstone Park.
The trail passes through many urban features, including the Ohio State University campus. It's popular not just for hiking, biking, and jogging, but as a pedestrian-friendly way to walk from one city neighborhood to the other. Dog-friendly restaurants abound along the Olentangy and Scioto Trails. The Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern is just a block away from Worthington Hills Park. Locavore restaurant Market65 sits right outside of the Ohio Statehouse in the heart of downtown less than half a mile from the greenway. Gresso's, a popular pub and sports bar, is located only a block away from the southern Scioto Trail. It's been recognized by locals as having one of the best dog-friendly patios in town.
The Olentangy-Scioto Trail also winds through dense forest and wetlands. It's especially beautiful in the fall. You may see white-tailed deer and other urban wildlife along your route. Over 160 species of birds have been spotted along the trail, many of them concentrated at the wetlands preserve at Ohio State University.
Whether you use the Olentangy-Scioto Trail for exercise, birdwatching, or a means to walk to your favorite dog-friendly pub, you'll be glad Columbus has such a pawsome resource for humans and canines looking for a bit of fresh air.