We’ve done our research and found the best places for hiking in and around Columbus. Below you will find a variety of parks and trails that are the ultimate nature spots in the city.

Blendon Woods Metro Park

Blendon Woods Metro Park is in the northeastern part of the city. Lake Thoreau is located in the park and features a waterfront refuge. There are several observation desks around the pond and you can even fish here. Additionally, this park is perfect for bird watching. You can find several trails along the park. Most of these are considered easy trails and some are shorter than a mile. However, the best place to bird-watch is the Sugarbush trail. It is 2 miles and can be considered moderately difficult to hike. 

Blacklick Woods

Another metro park, Blacklick Woods is a natural habitat for tons of animals and is frequented daily by locals. There are over 640 acres of fields, ponds, and swamps. There are tons of trails, most of them used every day for avid walkers and runners. The Blacklick Creek Greenway connects other metro parks in the area. It is ADA accessible and is about 16 miles long. There are picnic spots and rentable lodges available. It’s the perfect place to get the whole family together and spend a day. 


This is one of the biggest parks in Columbus. It is along the Olentangy State Scenic River. It is a tributary of the Scioto River. This park has plenty of spots for picnics and lodges you can rent for events. Many of the paths and trails here are multipurpose. Some folks come to visit and get some exercise. Others come to bike or take their dogs for a fun walk out of the norm. Coyote Run is a trail that is reserved for cross-country skiing in the wintertime. Many of the hikes here, as opposed to the other parks, can be considered more difficult to hard to complete. This is due to the steep ravines, forests, and wetlands.

Prairie Oaks

You may have been able to tell, but this park is full of large prairies and grasslands. Bridle trail is one of the popular trails to travel by horseback. If you have just moved to Ohio or searching for Columbus apartments for rent, then this is a perfect new activity to try. There’s not much compared to horseback riding through the prairies, smiles on your family’s faces, and the scenic Big Darby River flowing beside you. 

If you’re looking for trails that are a bit more traditional, Coneflower is 2.5 miles of grass and dirt and moderately difficult. Sometimes this is used for cross-country skiing as well. There are several other hikes here, most under a mile. These trails are perfect for young ones or those who need to take it easy.

Walnut Woods

Lastly, let’s get to our favorite out of the bunch. Edging the trails you can find tall and gorgeous pine trees that look straight from a novel during the winter months. There are restored wetlands in this area as well. Most of the trails feature some sort of grassy or gravel sections. All of the trails here are considered easy. It’s not only an awesome location to get your workout in, but it’s perfect for a photo shoot or picnic. 

You can find other nursery trees in this park too. Sweetgum, pine, oak, red maples, and crab apple are all trees located here. With so many lakes and forests in and around Columbus, no wonder there are so many options for hiking, biking, or hanging out. These five options are not even a quarter of what is available in the city. The rest you will have to check out for yourself. 

However, use our guide to get you started! Once you have taken to the parks and trails of the city, you’ll become more familiar and can decide which ones are the best for you and what you’re looking for.