Columbus, Ohio

Ensuring Every Central Ohioan Has Safe, Equitable Access to Trails for Recreation and Transportation

Scioto Greenway Trail | Photo by Amy Kapp

Project Spotlight: Central Ohio Greenways

With Central Ohio expected to grow by up to 1 million people over the next 30+ years, bringing an increased demand for more walkable neighborhoods and mobility options in an area that already contains 2 million people, trails have become a critical element for providing a high quality of life to a diverse population.

Through Central Ohio Greenways (COG)—a project of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and in partnership with many public, private and nonprofit stakeholders—Columbus, Central Ohio's capital city, is setting itself up to be a model for connected, 21st-century cities by creating a nearly 600-mile world-class network of trails accessible to every Central Ohioan for recreation and active transportation.

Columbus’ trails have historically provided strong north-south connections through the city and its downtown, and COG is now working to develop east-west connections between major trail corridors in an effort to create new safe, equitably distributed walking and biking connections through the city’s many underserved neighborhoods. 

COG is also working to extend its trail corridors north, south, east and west into seven surrounding counties, providing new connections to employment centers, greenspace and other destinations in the greater Central Ohio region.

For example, the Alum Creek Trail, completed in 2015, now provides a seamless connection across three cities and saw a 40 percent growth in usage in just one year of its completion. The Camp Chase Trail, also completed a couple years ago, now provides important connections for two inner-city communities that have been historically underserved by trails.

Both the Alum Creek Trail and Camp Chase Trail help connect the developing 300-mile-plus statewide Ohio to Erie Trail, which  connects Cleveland through Columbus with Cincinnati.

Featured video

Columbus: The Future of Connectivity

Rails to Trails Magazine, Green Issue 2017

Learn how Columbus’ developing trail system is opening up new avenues for health, transportation, economic development and exploration—and improving the quality of life for residents.

Produced by Amy Kapp and Rails to Trails magazine in partnership with DS Simon Media

Facts and Figures

Partners: Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Central Ohio Greenways Board, City of Columbus, Franklin County Engineer’s Office, Metro Parks. For a full list of COG partners, go to the Central Ohio Greenways website.

Featured Projects: Central Ohio Greenways

Mileage: 220 existing paved regional trails

Trails: Alum Creek Trail, Big Walnut Trail, Blacklick Creek Trail, Camp Chase Trail, Darby Creek Trail, Downtown Connector, Heritage Trail, Hellbranch Trail, Ohio to Erie Trail, Olentangy Trail, Scioto Trail, T.J. Evans Trail

Goals: Active transportation, increased mobility, health and wellness, recreation, economic development, connections to nature, regional sustainability

Learn More: View COG Interactive Map

Scioto Greenway Trail | Photo by Amy Kapp
Scioto Greenway Trail | Photo by Amy Kapp

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