If you’re planning a visit to the capital of Ohio there’s plenty to do in Columbus. Outdoor enthusiasts have several great choices of activities. Let’s look at the top outdoor attractions in Columbus, Ohio.
Scioto Mile sits on 175 acres in the middle of downtown Columbus. It stretches along the riverfront and offers interconnected parks, bikeways, and walking paths. The park also features a 15,000-square-foot interactive water fountain that shoots water 75 feet into the air from its center. Don’t miss the nightly fountain light and water shows.
Included along the Scioto Mile is the 120-acre Audubon area featuring shorebirds and many birds of prey. The “Paddle the City” program runs during the summer, offering guided kayak and canoe trips. For the really brave adventurer, try the standup paddling class. If you prefer land adventures, rent a bike at one of the 46 stations in and around Scioto Mile.
Battelle Darby Creek
Sitting on 7,000 acres is Battelle Darby Creek Park. It winds along the Big and Little Darby Creeks, both considered state and national scenic rivers. The park is also home to restored wetlands and prairie areas featuring several herds of bison. Only a short journey from downtown, watch the bison roam the fields that have returned to native grasslands.
In the winter, go cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at the Battelle Darby Creek Metropark area. No matter what season your visit falls, make sure to check out the HotelPlanner website for excellent deals on hotels in Columbus.
Zip Line Tours
When weather permits, try the Zip Line Canopy Tour at Adventure Park. This forested area features five trails and 60 different challenges. The main treehouse platform has five separate elevated trails that take you through the treetops. Each trail is color-coded to note the difficulty of the line, just like a ski mountain. This park is not for young children — you must be 7 or older to take part.
Another great adventure awaits at Homestead Park in nearby Hilliard. The site includes barns, a covered bridge, and a replica train station. Activities include a skate park, fishing pond, and more. Indian Run Falls is close by, featuring a natural gorge, trails, and a walking bridge over the waterfalls.
The second oldest park in Columbus, the city bought Schiller Park in April 1867 for $15,000. Originally named Stewart’s Grove, German immigrants renamed the park in 1891 after the famous German poet Friedrich von Schiller. Anti-German sentiment forced the park to change its name to Washington Park during World War I, but later the park returned to its original name. A statue of Friedrich von Schiller sits at the center of the park.
Schiller Park includes basketball courts, a gazebo, picnic area, a pond, tennis courts, walking trails, and a playground. Beautifully landscaped gardens also dot the area.
There’s no shortage of recreation areas in Columbus. Check out the many parks in the area next time a business trip or vacation takes you to Columbus.