Scioto River Trail

About this Location

The Lower Scioto Rail-Trail, or Olentangy/Scioto Greenways, is an early urban greenway at its best. The 6.15-mile multiuse trail hugs the banks of the Scioto River as it connects parks, links with other trails, and gives fabulous views of downtown Columbus. Portions of the route are considered the state’s oldest rail trail.

The trail starts just north of OH-104 and follows the west side of the Scioto River. However, the best place to park and access the trail is at Berliner Park, across the river from German Village. The park is a Hotspot for team sports, with ball diamonds and athletic fields. From the park, you can travel north or south on the rail trail.

If you head south, the trail travels through a lush forest all the way to the endpoint near OH-104.

Going north takes you to downtown Columbus. The start of this section is also densely forested, making it easy to forget that you are traveling in a large city.

At Greenlawn Avenue, you can ride or walk straight across the street or descend a steep slope below it to get to the other side. Once you get onto Greenlawn Avenue, cross the Scioto River on the Greenlawn Avenue Bridge. The bridge has just been rebuilt with a great bike and pedestrian-friendly path along the edge.

The next 0.3 miles along Front Street alternate between brick and concrete sidewalks. The route here is unmarked. Turn left and head west on Whittier Street to regain the paved rail-trail route.

You pass a trailhead at Lower Scioto Park on the left. The trail curves along the river on the Whittier Peninsula, the site of a planned park. I-70 roars overhead near mile 10, followed by a breathtaking view of the Columbus skyline.

First Bicentennial Park and then Battelle Riverfront Park provides vantage points overlooking the river, the urban environment, and a replica of Christopher Columbus’s sailing vessel the Santa Maria.

At North Bank Park, a good stopping point, you can enjoy the million-dollar view of downtown Columbus and the previously mentioned parks that make up its riverfront. Newly constructed restrooms and parking areas are available here, along with an excellent observation deck over the river from which to take in the views.

A short half-mile ride takes you across the river once again and into Confluence Park, on the spot where the Scioto and Olentangy rivers meet. From this park, the Scioto River Greenway goes another mile to the northwest, separate from but adjacent to city streets.
From Lower Scioto Greenway webpage

Notable Trails

Day hikes of varying distances are possible from trailheads on the Scioto River Trail.


  • Restrooms on site