Have you been searching for the best bike trails in Central Ohio?
Perhaps you’re a cyclist in Ohio looking to hit the trails this summer.
Well, I’m an Ohio native that has lived here my entire life.
Therefore, I have discovered many excellent bike trails as thebikr.
As a result, I’m here to share my many amazing adventures with you guys today.
Within the following post, I’ll detail 7 of the best bike trails in Central Ohio.
Without further ado, let’s get right into things today.
Are you guys ready?
Table of contents
- Discovering Central Ohio
- 1) Best Bike Trails Central Ohio- Alum Creek
- 2) Best Bike Trails- Olentangy River Trail
- 3) Best Bike Trails Central OH -Heritage Rail
- 4) Best Bike Trails- T.J- Evans Bike Trail
- 5) Best Bike Trails-Mohican Valley Trail
- 6) Best Bike Trails- Licking County Trails
- 7) Best Bike Trails Central Ohio- Horns Hill
- Discovering Newark
- What To Do Before Hitting The Trails
- Best Bike Trails Central Ohio Conclusion
Discovering Central Ohio
Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Central Ohio is a region rich in history and natural beauty.
From the rolling hills of Hocking State Forest to the bustling city streets of Columbus, Central Ohio has something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a scenic ride through nature or an urban adventure with plenty of shopping and entertainment options, Central Ohio is your ideal destination.
The biking scene in Central Ohio is vibrant and ever-growing, with a variety of trails and roadways,
From its early Native American roots to its pivotal role in the Underground Railroad, Central Ohio has a story to tell.
And what better way to explore this vibrant region than by bike?
Here, we highlight some of the top bike trails that cater to different skill levels and offer a variety of scenic vistas.
1) Best Bike Trails Central Ohio- Alum Creek
The Alum Creek bike trail is scenic along one of Columbus, Ohio’s most picturesque river corridors.
Therefore, making this one of the best bike trails in Central Ohio.
Originating from Westerville, the trail extends to Three Creeks Park, offering riders an immersive experience of the city’s natural beauty.
This 9.5-mile trail offers a stimulating challenge for intermediate to advanced riders.
With its combination of steep inclines, sharp turns, and switchbacks, it’s not for the faint-hearted but promises an adrenaline-fueled ride through lush woodland.
The trail has three major sections, each providing a unique view of the surrounding landscape.
The Alum Creek Greenway Trail is another variant of this trail system.
It takes cyclists on a journey from Westerville, Columbus, and Groveport.
The trail has easy access points, making it convenient for cyclists of all levels to join at various stages.
For mountain biking enthusiasts, the Alum Creek State Park offers two separate trails and a skill park.
You’ll likely find it here no matter what you want to achieve.
However, please note that some reported closures along the Alum Creek trail have been reported, with workarounds suggested for cyclists.
Always check the most recent updates before planning your trip.
2) Best Bike Trails- Olentangy River Trail
The Olentangy River Greenway bike trail, also known as the Olentangy Trail, is a scenic and popular route for cyclists in Ohio.
Starting from Worthington and extending to downtown Columbus, this trail spans approximately 13.6 miles.
As it follows the course of the Olentangy River, the trail provides beautiful views and encounters with nature.
It’s not just a rail trail – it is a greenway that runs parallel to the river.
The trail winds through various parks and nature preserves, offering an immersive outdoor experience.
The trail is generally considered easy, making it accessible for cyclists of different skill levels.
It takes an average of about 4 hours to complete the entire trail.
Along the way, there are several points of interest, including the Anheuser-Busch Sports Park and the McDonald Complex Athletic Fields.
The Olentangy Trail is not only a fantastic recreational resource for cyclists, but it also serves as a significant pathway connecting Worthington to Downtown Columbus.
Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the Olentangy River Greenway bike trail offers a unique way to explore and appreciate the natural beauty of Ohio.
3) Best Bike Trails Central OH -Heritage Rail
The Heritage Rail Trail in Ohio is a testament to the state’s rich history and its commitment to outdoor recreation.
This multi-purpose trail, converted from an abandoned railway right-of-way, stretches over 6.1 miles through Central Ohio, providing cyclists an excellent way to explore the region.
Running parallel to the main trail for about 4 miles is an equestrian corridor that begins at Hayden Run Road, offering horse riders a chance to enjoy the scenic route.
Starting in downtown Old Hilliard, the trail quickly transitions into the countryside, offering a flat, paved path suitable for all skill levels
. It takes an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes to traverse the entire length of this trail.
The Heritage Rail Trail is about the ride and the view.
The trail navigates through lush landscapes, covered woods, wetlands, and other scenic locations
. It’s adjacent to the 87-acre Heritage Trail Park, another excellent spot for outdoor enthusiasts.
There are plans to connect the Heritage Rail Trail with other trails, like the Scioto Greenway Trail, which runs along the banks of the Scioto River.
This will provide an even more extensive network for cyclists and hikers to explore.
4) Best Bike Trails- T.J- Evans Bike Trail
Located in Newark, this is one of the best bike trails I’ve ridden thus far.
Therefore making it one of Newark’s main trail segments!!
This route takes you from downtown Newark to the end of the T.J. Evans Panhandle Trail in Johnstown, covering an impressive 17.6 miles.
With portions passing through the city’s heart, this trail blends urban scenery and nature’s serenity.
The T.J. Evens bike path offers parts of both wooded and open spaces, bringing you up close to the city’s landscapes.
You’ll be able to take in all the sights along the way, with plenty of opportunities for photo ops.
For those looking for a challenge, an advanced bike track is available to test even the most experienced riders.
This trail starts in Newark, goes through Granville, Alexandria, and ends in Johnstown.
It is an excellent route for cyclists of all levels and offers beautiful scenery.
Along the way, there are several rest stops where you can enjoy the views, get something to eat, or take a quick break from riding.
I have done this route many times, and it always surprises me!
It’s worth checking out if you’re looking for an enjoyable ride.
5) Best Bike Trails-Mohican Valley Trail
For those seeking scenic beauty, this 4.5-mile trail won’t disappoint.
Cutting through the heart of Ohio’s Amish country, the trail offers stunning countryside views and crosses the iconic Bridge of Dreams.
Which is one of the longest-covered bridges in the entire state.
This multi-use trail was created from an abandoned stretch of the old Penn Central railbed, repurposed in 2001, into a pathway for outdoor enthusiasts.
It runs along the eastern edge of Knox County, following the former right-of-way of the old Penn Central Railroad.
One of the most captivating features of the Mohican Valley Trail is its inclusivity.
The trail accommodates cyclists, horseback riders, and even horses and buggies.
Horse-hitching posts are conveniently located at the trailhead, making it accessible for equestrian users.
The Mohican Valley Trail is part of the more significant 326-mile Ohio to Erie Trail, offering an extended adventure for long-distance cyclists.
The trail runs between the Holmes County and Kokosing Gap Trails from Brinkhaven to Danville, OH.
Riders often praise this as the best bike trail for its beautiful scenery, which includes a journey through shaded woods.
Therefore, providing relief during the hot summer months.
The trail is also shared with the local Amish community, adding a unique cultural aspect to the experience.
6) Best Bike Trails- Licking County Trails
Another treasure in our community is the Licking County Bike Trails.
With over 45 miles of trails, you can ride, walk, or run as much as you want.
The trails offer various access points, ensuring convenience for all users.
Several sections of the trails offer different experiences, allowing riders to choose their adventure.
The Licking County Trails bike path is an extensive trail network offering over 40 miles of paved paths.
These paths wind through beautiful countryside landscapes and charming downtown areas, providing a varied and enjoyable experience for cyclists of all levels.
One of the main segments of this network is the T.J. Evans Recreational Trail.
This trail extends from Newark to Johnstown, offering incredible scenery and a glimpse into the history of Licking County.
Most routes passing through downtown Newark utilize public roadways, some with dedicated bike lanes.
The Licking County Bike Trails are considered a hidden treasure in the community.
With numerous access points along the more than 45 miles of trails, they offer plenty of cycling, walking, or running opportunities.
Happy riding! See you on the trails!!
7) Best Bike Trails Central Ohio- Horns Hill
For mountain bike enthusiasts, Horns Hill Park is the perfect destination.
Dubbed the premier mountain bike trail system in Ohio, Horns Hill boasts excellent trails and an even better community.
Horns Hill Bike Trail, located at Horns Hill Park in Ohio, has rapidly become one of the state’s most favored mountain biking trail systems.
The trails are not only well-maintained and varied, but it’s also the vibrant community around them that significantly adds to their appeal.
The park boasts approximately 5 miles of purpose-built single-track downhill run.
These trails offer diverse features for riders of all skill levels, including berms, dirt jumps, rollers, small gaps, small walls, and wooden drops.
With such an array of obstacles, the trails provide an exciting and challenging ride for both novices and experienced bikers.
One of the standout attributes of Horns Hill is its comprehensiveness.
It packs a mix of everything mountain biking offers into a relatively ‘small’ bike park.
Whether you’re into super flowy and progressive green trails or seeking more challenging terrains, Horns Hill has something for everyone.
Don’t forget to explore the city of Newark after you hit the trails.
There are many gems you don’t want to miss out on.
As you pedal your way through these delightful trails, take some time to explore Newark itself.
Don’t forget to visit the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve, a stunning natural attraction home to various wildlife.
Also, stop by Three Sixty Bike Shop for a refreshing break to catch up with fellow bikers and share stories over coffee.
After a day on the trails, refuel at one of Newark’s local restaurants.
Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty meal or a light snack, you’ll find various options to satisfy your palate.
Shopping enthusiasts can browse local stores showcasing Newark’s rich heritage and culture.
From artisanal crafts to locally produced goods, these shops offer unique products that make perfect souvenirs.
Biking in Newark, Ohio, is more than just a ride; it’s a journey that takes you through breathtaking landscapes, vibrant communities, and unforgettable experiences.
What To Do Before Hitting The Trails
Before embarking on your bike adventure, pack essentials like water, snacks, sunscreen, and a basic repair kit.
Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.
Especially here in Central Ohio, the weather can change at any moment.
Each trail offers unique scenery and challenges, so pace yourself and enjoy the ride.
Each trail’s duration and difficulty level vary, so selecting a route that matches your fitness and skill level is essential.
But, regardless of which trail you choose, you’re guaranteed a memorable biking experience.
Central Ohio’s bike trails uniquely blend history, nature, and adventure.
Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, these trails promise a captivating journey through the heart of Ohio.
So grab your helmet, hop on your bike, and get ready to discover the hidden gems of Central Ohio.
Also, if you’re going to a park, always secure your bike with a sturdy lock.
If your bike will be unattended for any period, ensure it’s secure.
You don’t want to walk back, do you, lol?
Best Bike Trails Central Ohio Conclusion
As I pedal my way through the heart of Central Ohio, I am constantly reminded of why this region is a paradise for cyclists.
Each trail tells its story, from the adrenaline-pumping descents of Horns Hill Bike Park to the serene lakeside paths of Alum Creek State Park.
Therefore, no matter which trail you take, you will surely be in for an unforgettable adventure.
Imagine cycling through the Olentangy Trail’s picturesque landscapes, feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your face.
Picture the thrill of uncovering hidden gems like the challenging terrains at the Mohican-Memorial State Forest or the peaceful ride along the Scioto Greenway.
Every turn presents a new scene, every ride an adventure.
Whether you’re a seasoned mountain biker or a casual cyclist, the bike trails of Central Ohio promise a ride that’s nothing short of extraordinary.
So, dust off your helmet, pump up those tires, and embark on a journey that will leave your heart racing and your spirit soaring.
What’s your experience been like exploring these trails?
Have you embarked on any of the bike trails listed above?
I would love to hear about your experience and answer any remaining questions you may have.
Leave your comments, questions, or any feedback with the comments below.
I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on the next ride.
Until next time,
~Scott~ AKA thebikr
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