Easy hiking trails near me with waterfall in Ohio in Columbus. While Columbus has plenty of urbanization, it is located in a forest with glacial remnants that make for excellent hiking trails within and surrounding the city. The efforts to protect and preserve parks have created the possibility for urban dwellers as well as outdoors lovers to get their hiking needs without having to go far to get them.
There is a myriad of trails for hiking within the Columbus city limits and within the Metro Parks around town. There are excellent places to go in the Columbus suburbs, as well as state parks which are only a minute away from the city’s center.
If you’re looking to take a quick stroll or a full-day hike, take your time planning your hike by referring to our top list of trails for hiking near Columbus.
The majority of hiking trails within the Columbus city limits are classified as walking trails. However, this multi-use trail is among the best within the city if you want to take a wholesome stroll. The urban trail is the main attraction in downtown Columbus.
If you’re looking to take an afternoon break, take a seat in one of the benches that line the walkways, locate a shaded tree or just listen to the live music in the park. In the pavilion of Bicentennial Park. If you’re looking to fuel up while walking. Take a bite from the Milestone 229 restaurant. It is located on the Scioto Mile. Scioto Mile connects to other trails that run through the city and suburbs.
Camp Chase Trail:
It is the Camp Chase Trail is a pavement-paved trail that is a 10.9-mile segment of Ohio to Erie Trail which runs from Columbus until London. The whole Ohio from Erie Trail runs 326 miles and you can extend your trip by walking several sections at once.
The most distinctive feature that this path has is its 231-foot increase in elevation when you walk across the entire stretch. It follows a busy railway track that traverses agricultural areas which means you can expect amazing scenery while sharing the trail with cyclists and other hikers.
There is also the chance to visit an area known as the Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery in Columbus when you travel through the metropolitan region. It is located at the Columbus trailhead is at the East part of the trail and parking is at the trailhead.
Overlook & Dripping Rock Trail
One of the most-loved trails within the Columbus Metro Parks system is the trail that combines Overlook and Dripping rock within Highbanks Metro Park. Its 5.8-mile trail is only one of many trails in the park. But it is a popular choice for hikers due to the scenic terrain and the rolling terrain as well as the loop, which allows you to start and finish in the center of visitors.
The park lies on the banks of the Olentangy River and you’ll be able to see shale bluffs, shale ravines. Take a leisurely hike through the forests along the Dripping Rock Trail, as well as the state-owned nature preserve on the Overlook Trail. Which is 100 feet high over the Olentangy River, to look for nesting bald eagles in the area.
The Hemlock Trail:
If you’re looking for a short but nourishing trek, try the Hemlock Trail located at Clear Creek Metro Park. Its 1.5-mile trail is difficult due to the steep terrain that leads you through the sandstone border and a ravine. This is a great choice for the hottest day due to the shade provided by huge hemlock trees as well as the forests.
The park is famous for its more than two thousand species of animals and plants as well as fern-covered blankets. It is important to note that it is a one-way path therefore you’ll want to be prepared with additional water and time for the return journey to your vehicle.
A relaxing, family-friendly trail for hiking close to Columbus can be found located in the Overlook Trail inside of Blendon Woods Metro Park. Overlook Trail Overlook Trail is an easy 0.6-mile trail through the woods and is ideal for those who are new to hiking.
The trail is linked with the 0.4-mile Ripple Rock Trail that has gravel terrain, as well as difficult spots. It is also connected to the Hickory Ridge Trai. A 0.3-mile section that winds through forests.
A wonderful hiking experience in Blendon Woods is to join the three trails, and then add the 0.3-mile trail that leads to Walden Waterfowl Refuge and Thoreau Lake. Both of which are protected areas that are awash with birds and wildlife.
Rocks and Roots Trail:
Alum Creek State Park located in Delaware located just north of Columbus has a variety of fantastic trails for hiking, but one of the best is the Rocks and Roots Trail that includes the North and South Loop option. This is a moderately-skilled trail that is also popular with runners who want to experience difficult terrain and elevation changes. This trail, known as the Rocks as well as the Roots North Loop is a six-mile hike with stunning perspectives of the forest as well as an eddy lake.
Its South Loop of this trail is 6.1-miles that wind through gorgeous forest and draws an array of bird species. There are open hunting areas along this trail, which is why it’s called the South Loop.
So it is recommended that you wear bright colors when you’re hiking on this trail. A trailhead can be found as well as parking is available in an area of parking for the Alum Creek State Park office. Alum Creek State Park Office, which is located from Peachblow Road.
Big Run Park Loop:
It is the Big Run Park Loop at Big Run Park is a fantastic hiking trail that is suitable for all levels of skill. This 2.7-mile trail is asphalted and partly natural terrain, which offers a varied terrain. The topography is diverse on this trail which is easy to navigate through the park. Along with some hills, there are also rock steps as well as heavily forested sections. wood bridges, grassy areas as well as gravel areas.
You’ll likely spot plenty in the form of indigenous Ohio wildlife such as white-tailed deer, squirrels, and cardinals. There are picnic spots that are shaded in case you want to take a leisurely hike to enjoy an outdoor lunch or take it as a workout. Because of the constant change in terrain, make sure you take the appropriate shoes. Tennis shoes versus hiking boots are suggested.
Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve:
A single of the most stunning trails in the State is located 45 minutes southwest of Columbus in the Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. The trail follows the gorge’s steep slope, with views throughout the route.
Because the trail is a nature preserve that is protected by the state it is possible to view stunning natural scenery. Such as tiny waterfalls (which are gorgeous frozen in winter) limestone boulders tiny wildflowers that grow on the ground in the springtime. And the water rushing in the valley. The smells and sights in this natural setting will make your hike more enjoyable.
There is a trailhead as well as a parking area in Clifton. There is a trailhead and parking lot in Clifton and you can begin your trek at Yellow Springs in John Bryan State Park. Which flows into Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. It is possible to take a break or lunch at the old Clifton Mill close to the Clifton trailhead.
Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve:
The trail for hiking that runs across Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve in the southern part of Ohio is just 45 minutes from Columbus however it is well worth the trip to spend a day in the outdoors. It is located within Conkles Hollow Nature Preserve in the Hocking Hills region, an extremely well-known region for hiking across the entire state of Ohio The trails that run through the preserve is particularly beautiful.
This is a challenging trail, not recommended for those who are new to it because of the steep rock cliffs of sandstone and the 200-foot drop-offs which make the trail difficult and beautiful. There are two gorge trails, one upper and the other lower each with distinct vegetation and wildlife traits. This trail is recommended If you’re looking for a wide range of natural challenges, and also if you’ve already explored other trails in the region.
1444 miles Buckeye Trail loops the state of Ohio However, a pleasant portion of it close to Columbus traverses Caesar Creek State Park located about 45 minutes to the southwest from Columbus. The portion that is part of that Buckeye Trail that goes through the park is approximately 20 miles of hiking that is unpaved.
You may choose to take along the Buckeye Trail only or branch off to explore the other trails that are part of the park. You will see a beautiful waterfall as well as a swinging bridge. This Perimeter Trail is especially nice. The 0.81-mile trail runs around a beautiful portion of Caesar Creek Lake.
Rockbridge State Nature Preserve:
Another excellent hiking trail located out from Columbus (approximately 45 mins) is located in the Rockbridge State Nature Preserve. The 2.75-mile trail is attractive because it covers the stunning landscape that is in The Hocking Hills region however it’s not as crowded in comparison to other hiking spots like Old Man’s Cave.
The thing that makes this trail unique can be the natural bridge, which has a length of 100 feet and is just 10to 20 feet wide as it spans across an abyss. Therefore, It is the biggest ever built a bridge of its kind in Ohio and is just one of many natural attractions you’ll see along the trail.
This trail is ideal for those who are looking for easy easy hiking trails near me with waterfall, and those who wish to discover the natural landscape, including outcrops of sandstone, which are frequent in this region and are surrounded by wildflowers, birds, and waterfalls.
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve:
The 10-mile trail in the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve is worth the 30 minutes drive to the east of Columbus. The trail is an elongated sandstone gorge that runs along an aquifer of the Licking River. Sometimes, the cooler air coming from the gorge makes it an ideal hike during the scorching summer heat. The forest area in the foreground offers plenty of shade due to the Birch and hemlock trees.
The waterways and trails in the preserve are also popular among cyclists, kayakers, and hikers. The main trail that runs through the preserve is suggested because the layout lets you choose a leisurely or more strenuous hike based on your preference.
Gahanna Woods is a nature preserve that lies on the outskirts of the Columbus region. It is a beautiful forest with boardwalks, a wealth of beautiful flowers and plants, as well as beautiful forests that provide peace. And shade that you need It’s an easy and accessible getaway from the city for those who are on a short of time or just need to take a simple and relaxing hike.
Locals have stated that it is among the trails close to Columbus that’s a true secret. Be aware that the area frequently is flooded and the trails can become slippery when it rains. Therefore, we recommend visiting Gahanna Woods when it’s sunny and dry for the most enjoyable hiking experience.
Cantwell Cliffs Loop:
Another incredible hike within Hocking Hills State Park includes one of the Cantwell Cliffs trails. This hike will see you ascend stone stairs and climb the steep gravel trails to take in some breathtaking views of the park’s rocks and cliffs. A lot of the most well-known and well-known photo locations located in Hocking Hills are located on or close to this trail.
So it’s an ideal spot to visit to get one of the most stunning views of the park. This is among the most difficult trails that you can do in Hocking Hills, so be prepared for the steep hills and rough terrain when you begin this journey.
Jacobs Ladder and Christmas Rocks Trail:
If you’re looking for trails near Columbus that offer a bit more difficulty and elevation rise it’s Jacob’s Ladder and Christmas Rocks Trail is a great alternative. It is located within the Christmas Rocks Nature Preserve, the trail climbs up the cliffs of rock and through beautiful forests with plenty of gorgeous views and shade also.
As with many other spots for hiking close to Columbus, There are a number of impressive rock formations in the preserve which you can take in as you walk along the trail. The trail offers something for everyone in its four miles and we’d suggest it if you’re looking to get away from the concrete and asphalt of the city.
Glen Helen, Little Miami & Clifton Gorge:
It is regarded as one of the most adored nature reserves located in the Columbus region, Clifton Gorge is home to numerous beautiful routes and landmarks. The demanding and exhilarating Glen Helen, Little Miami along with the Clifton Gorge trail gives experienced hikers the opportunity to explore these undiscovered treasures.
The trail mostly is a gorge that surrounds Clifton Gorge, which is located along the Little Miami River, bringing hikers to the most beautiful and stunning rock formations in the entire state. Due to the diversity of terrain, and the difficulty in the trek, durable water-proof hiking shoes are advised.