Live for the Thrill
Most people might not think of adventure when they hear Columbus, or even Ohio, but the capital city has plenty of places for you to get your heart rate up and enjoy the great outdoors this summer. See recommendations from:
This itinerary is perfect for adrenaline junkies and packed with experiences like mountain biking, ziplining, kayaking and more. It also includes some quieter spots across the city for when you need to take a breather.
Columbus has two rivers running through it—the Scioto River and the Olentangy River. These rivers are great for kayaking, as all as at the Hoover Reservoir Park in Westerville. Grab a partner and take a paddle boat out for a spin in Big Walnut Creek in Gahanna. Venture to southern Columbus and rent a canoe from Trapper John’s Canoe Livery in Grove City to make your way down Big Darby Creek.
Chestnut Ridge Metro Park, southeast of Columbus, boasts a 9-mile mountain bike trail that goes through the woods on an all-natural surface and features a 230-foot change in elevation. There is also a Pump Track, a loop of dirt berms and rollers, and is great for cyclists of all ages and abilities. You also can’t miss the new Berliner Singletrack mountain bike course at Lou Berliner Sports Park, the nation’s largest ball diamond complex.
Hiking, Disc Golf and More
There’s also a ton of great hiking trails in the city. Where you want a challenge or something more tame, there’s a park for everyone.
Highbanks Metro Park in Lewis Center is named for its massive 100-foot-high shale bluff towering over the Olentangy State Scenic River. Tributary streams cut across the bluff and have created a number of deep ravines in the eastern part of the 1,200-acre park.
In addition to hiking trails, Alum Creek State Park up in Delaware also offers boating, fishing, disc golf, and even horseback riding. Scioto Audobon Park just south of downtown Columbus also offers rock climbing.
For the kids, and kids at heart, check out Glacier Ridge Metro Park in Dublin. It has an obstacle course, as well as a disc golf course throughout. It also has a dog park, so you can bring your furry friend with you. Griggs Reservoir Park has a disc golf course as well and it also features a boat launch and a trail that passes by the dam that is accessible by foot, bike and car.
Hocking Hills State Park is only about an hour away from Columbus. Plan a weekend trip to go camping and ziplining or hiking through the park.
Thrills can also be found at several attractions here in the city. For golf lovers, plan a visit to TopGolf in the Polaris area. Duckpin bowling is an activity that is fun for the whole family—try your hand at one of the three Central Ohio Pins Mechanical locations. On a hot summer day, take the fun to the pool and visit Zoombezi Bay water park to race down the water slides. ZipZone Outdoor Adventures in the heart of Columbus offers unique adventures for families, including zip line tours, a tree top obstacle course, and a ground level kids park.
Walk It Out
If you need a place to catch your breath or enjoy the fresh air with your family, visit some of these places where you can walk along the trails (stroller-friendly), admire the flowers or enjoy a picnic.
- Park of Roses in Columbus
- Scioto Mile Trail goes along the river downtown
- Olentangy Trail goes through Antrim Park and Whetstone Park
- Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens near Bexley
- Schiller Park in German Village
- Goodale Park in Victorian Village
- Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville
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