These Are The 5 Most Perfect Routes For Runners in Columbus

City Guide, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Things to Do, Tours & Walks


Written by Step Out Columbus

Published on March 20, 2024
Photo courtesy of The Ohio State University on Facebook

Seasoned runners and runner wannabes (I am part of the latter category, btw), you owe it to yourself to make your runs as enjoyable as possible. The best way to do that, in our extremely humble opinion, is by changing up where you run relatively frequently so you don’t get bored with it.

But if you’ve already used up all of your running spots or if you don’t know where to begin, look no further than this list right here.

We’ve got the best trails, neighborhoods, and everything in between to ensure you find your new favorite places to lace up and burn some calories!

Neil Avenue in Victorian Village/Arena District

Start Here: North Bank Pavilion 311 W Long St, Columbus, OH 43215

This stretch of Neil Avenue is one of the coolest stretches of road in the entire city (and if you ask us, we’d say it’s the coolest in the state). You can start downtown in the Arena District, running past Huntington Park before being thrust into the tree-lined portion of Neil Avenue that is watched over by beautiful Victorian houses. Springtime and Autumn runs are especially beautiful around here, but anytime of year is a treat. Plus, just 2.5 miles north of the North Bank Pavilion leads you to…

Photo courtesy of Marjan Bakan on Facebook

The Ohio State University’s Main Campus

Start Here: Thompson Library 1858 Neil Ave, Columbus, OH 43210

Thompson Library sits on the far west side of OSU’s famous “Oval” commons, which is the perfect track if you prefer to run without having to actually travel too far away from your starting point. The Oval is full of paved paths, each pointing you in the direction of a different part of campus. Here, you are also a short jog away from Ohio State’s main gym, the RPAC and its magnificent neighbor, Ohio Stadium (a.k.a. The Shoe)! If you do choose to run on OSU’s campus, we recommend waiting until the afternoon or evening hits, as it can get super crowded while classes are in session.

Photo courtesy of Rylee D. via The Ohio State University on Facebook

The Olentangy Trail

Start Here: Olentangy Parklands 600 W Wilson Bridge Rd, Worthington, OH 43085

This trail is a go-to spot for many runners in Columbus, particularly because it winds you through so many different neighborhoods and settings and how easy it is to get to. Winding alongside the Olentangy River and SR-315, the Olentangy trail takes you on a journey from Worthington all the way downtown to the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers. This drops you off at yet another incredible spot to run…

Photo courtesy of Valerie Bridgeman on Facebook

The Lower Scioto Greenway

Start Here: Scioto Audubon Metro Park 400 W Whittier St, Columbus, OH 43215

Similar to the Olentangy Trail, the Lower Scioto Greenway winds itself alongside the Scioto River on Columbus’ west side for another extremely scenic and beautiful track worthy of your exploration. The Lower Scioto Greenway is so frequently chosen as an ideal running spot due to its prominent place within the Scioto Mile. What I love about it is that it’s similar, yet very different from the Olentangy Trail, so neither of them get old!

Photo courtesy of Jack Schultz on Facebook

Alum Creek Trail

Start Here: South Trailhead of Alum Creek Trail & Start of Blacklick Creek Trail, Blacklick Trail, Groveport, OH 43125

The Alum Creek trail runs alongside, you guessed it, yet ANOTHER body of water. Are you noticing a pattern? Us Columbus-ites love running near water! But when you see the pure beauty that trails like the Alum Creek Trail offer, it’s hard not to see why people love it so much. The Alum Creek Trail runs for over 20 miles, taking you from the suburbs and into the wilderness, then from the wilderness to the urban sprawl of Columbus, and then back into the suburbs and wilderness. It’s truly incredible because it offers so much variety.

Photo courtesy of Don Milnor on Facebook

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