Guide to 8 of The Best Places to Hike Near Columbus

Adventure, Family Friendly, Fitness, Things to Do


Written by Step Out Columbus

Published on August 4, 2023
Hayden Run Falls by Jeff Bymaster via Facebook

Calling all Ohioans (specifically those residing in or living close to Columbus)! We’ve got a list of some amazing spots to take your next hike. Whether your goal is to tread through miles of uphill climbs, or to just take a slow walk of appreciation in Central Ohio’s lush landscape – we’ve got something for everyone here in this list.

Hiking doesn’t have to be reserved for the warmer months, but since the temperature has been so beautiful lately – we think now is a good time to start trekking.

Lace up your tennis shoes (or your hiking boots), fill up a bottle of water, and get ready to sweat.

Blendon Woods – Sugarbush Trail

4265 E Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus, OH 43230

Take a hike through oak-hickory forests at Blendon Woods’ Sugarbush Trail. There’s no shortage of beauty to uncover within Blendon Woods’ 653 acres. Keep your eyes open for all kinds of wildlife, like songbirds, ducks, geese, and wild turkey. If you’re a nature enthusiast or enjoy birdwatching, visit either of the two observation centers to see the waterfowl. This is a dog-free hike, so you’ll have to leave your fur babies at home; just don’t forget to tell them they are very good.

Photo by Blendon Woods Park via Facebook

Hayden Run Falls

4460 Hayden Run Rd, Columbus, OH 43221

Take a quick hike to one of Columbus’ most well-known waterfalls that stretches as high 30 feet at Hayden Run Falls. Yes, compared to other waterfalls – 30 feet may not seem all that impressive. However, this somewhat small (but mighty) waterfall is definitely worth the trip. You’ll want to reserve this hike for a day that directly follows a heavy rain, as the falls will be much more powerful!

Photo by Brian Klingler via Facebook

Olentangy Trail

Olentangy Trail, Columbus, OH 43210

The Olentangy trail is well-loved among us Cbusers, to say the very least. It is a beautifully-dense and green trail that stretches 13.6 miles along the Olentangy River. This is a great spot to bring your dogs, as long as they are leashed! Who could say no to some outdoor bonding time with a cute four-legged buddy? The Olentangy Trail is also a popular spot for biking and running, so hikers – prepare to hear quite a few, “on your lefts!”

Olentangy Trail by Angkana Mccutcheon via Facebook

Alum Creek Trail

Alum Creek Trail, Columbus, OH 43219

The Alum Creek Trail is approximately 25 miles in length, and is a link between Westerville, Columbus, and Three Creeks Park. Alum Creek Trail is one of the better ways to feel somewhat removed from the bustle of the city without straying all that far away from Columbus. This trail is a good option for hikers on all levels, but may be more appealing to beginners as the terrain is mostly flat!

Alum Creek Trail by Kylie Grace Moore via Facebook

Camp Chase Trail

8465 Alkire Rd, Galloway, OH 43119

This may be one of the smaller trails near Columbus, but it’s still worth the mention. Camp Chase Trail runs along the Camp Chase Railroad and is about 12.5 miles in length. Though the trail may not be as vast as the others, it’s a good option for a quicker hike. The boardwalks make it easy to find your way, but be careful not to slip!

Photo by Friends of Camp Chase Trail via Facebook

Quarry Trails Metro Park

2158 Old Dublin Rd, Columbus, OH 43228

In it’s past life, the Quarry Trails Metro Park was once the largest contiguous quarry in the United States. Now, it exists as one of Columbus’ hotspots for biking, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, and even sledding in the colder months. One of the biggest attractions about Quarry Trails is its gorgeous 25-foot waterfall and small lakes to drop a line and fish. This type of terrain is a draw for moderate-level hikers, and is a bit more rugged than most other trails near Columbus.

Quarry Trails Metro Park by Angela Rubio via Facebook

Big Walnut Trail

409 E Johnstown Rd, Columbus, OH 43230

If you’re on a time crunch and want to get outdoors for a quick hike, the Big Walnut Trail is one of the best places to do it! It’s a humble 1.6 mile out-and-back hike that offers optimal bird-watching spots, fishing areas, and more. Also, feel free to bring your doggos as long as they’re leashed!

Sharon Woods Metro Park

6911 Cleveland Ave, Westerville, OH 43081

This park is heavily wooded and makes you feel as though you’re far away from any kind of city-living. Sharon Woods Metro Park has several trail options at varying fitness levels, designed for specific activities like dog-walking, biking, and walking. If you plan to bring your kiddos, there’s a playground area to make for a perfect family-outing!

Sharon Woods Metro Park by Kim Strosnider via Facebook

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