It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Since fall the BEST season, it’s only right that we get out and enjoy it. There are plenty of amazing parks in and around Columbus. And while I love the seclusion that inner-city parks offer, there’s nothing like getting a little further out into nature. That’s especially true once the leaves start changing.
The hikes on this list vary in difficulty, length, and scenery. However, there is one thing they all have in common: They are all absolutely stunning this time of year. Here are 5 awesome fall hikes around Columbus.
Gahanna Woods Nature Preserve
This Nature Preserve is home to some of the most unique flora in Ohio, including “the best remaining complex of buttonbush swamps and vernal pools in central Ohio” according to ODNR. The trails are not challenging, but they are beautiful. The Woodland Pond Trail can be wet in the spring due to the vernal pools, so there will be lots of boardwalk along this route. The second loop trail is the Beechwood Trail. These trails are considered easy to moderate.
Location: 1501 Taylor Station Rd, Gahanna, OH 43230
Website: Gahanna Woods Nature Preserve
Clear Creek Metro Park
Located about 45 minutes southeast of Columbus, Clear Creek Metro Park has nine trails to explore. The Creekside Meadows trail is a 1.7 mile, pet-friendly hike. This trail follows the banks of Clear Creek through beautiful, open fields. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, consider taking the .9 mile Lake Trail to get beautiful views of Lake Ramona. The Creekside Meadows trail is considered easy.
Location: 185 Clear Creek Rd, Lancaster, OH 43130
Website: Clear Creek Metro Park
Highbanks Metro Park
Highbanks offers a variety of trails for a variety of skill levels. But the best trail in the fall has got to be the Coyote Run trail. In the winter, this 3.5-mile trail is reserved for cross-country skiing, but in the fall, it takes guests through all sorts of terrain, including woods and fields. Coyote Run has a difficulty ranking of moderate.
Location: 9466 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center, OH 43035
Website: Highbanks Metro Park
Battelle Darby Metro Park
There’s nothing like a creekside view of fall, which is why the Terrace trail at Battelle Darby Metro Park is an absolute must-do. This 2-mile trail is gravel, traveling along the creek for a stretch, before journeying through woodlands. I had childhood birthday parties at this park, so I know I’m a little biased, but it is a magical place to explore in Autumn.
Location: 1775 Darby Creek Dr, Galloway, OH 43119
Website: Battelle Darby Metro Park
Slate Run Metro Park
Known primarily for its Working Historical Farm, Slate Run Metro Park also has beautiful, fall scenery. The Covered Bridge trail at Slate Run is probably the easiest hike I’ve mentioned, but it’s also one of the most stunning. This half-mile trail meanders along a gravel path, with breathtaking views of fall foliage. The Covered Bridge on the trail is a picture-perfect place to stop, grab a selfie, and enjoy the beauty Ohio has to offer.
Location: 1375 St. Rte. 674 North, Canal Winchester, OH 43110
Website: Slate Run Metro Park
READ MORE: Your Complete Guide To Slate Run Metro Park