When I think of paddle boarding I usually think more beach and less cornfield, but don’t fear paddle boarders! Columbus still has a few great places to test your balance on a stand-up paddleboard, or “SUP” if you’re feeling fancy.
The first time I tried stand-up paddle boarding I was in Costa Rica and I think I ate an entire beach worth of sand. Since then I’ve opted for calmer waters… Here are some beautiful places to go paddleboarding around Central Ohio.
Hoover Reservoir is a calm and quiet place to paddleboard. Boats can only go up to 10 mph so the chance of a big wake knocking you off your board is pretty slim. There are multiple boat ramps that you can use around the reservoir for easy starting spots. Pack a picnic lunch and have the perfect chill summer day in the park and on the water.
Alum Creek Reservoir
Alum Creek Reservoir is always popular for all kinds of water activities during the summer. You can put in off the beach on the south side for a more exciting paddle experience with the wake from the boats and jet skies, or you can head to the Northern portion of the lake for a quieter more relaxed, scenic trip. You can also rent paddleboards and other watercraft from the Alum Creek Marina.
There are six different access points of the Olentangy River. From North to South those are Broadmeadows Bridge, Northmoor Park, Tuttle Park, Olentangy King, Harrison Park, and Lower Olentangy Boat Launch. There are a few dams along the river, so for the least obstructed trip start at Broadmeadows Bridge and paddle for about 3 miles down to Northmoor Park.
If you’re looking for a more urban paddleboarding experience then look no further, you can paddle the Scioto Mile which flows right through downtown at Bicentennial Park. You can put in from the boat ramp on the South East side of the Scioto Audubon Metro Park.
Flowing south of the reservoir, Alum Creek is another beautiful, scenic place to paddle. There are tons of places you can put in such as Main Street in Westerville or Schneider Park in Bexley, but beware of shallow waters if it hasn’t rained recently.
Not an experienced paddleboarder with your own board? Check out these places to rent them!
Windrose Outdoor operates along the Scioto Mile downtown. Bring your friends or your family to rent a few paddleboards for either 1 hour or 2.5 hours. Board rentals come with 15 minutes of instruction.
As if there were not already enough amazing things to do in the Hocking Hills area, head to Lake Logan Marina to try your hand at paddleboarding! The marina offers paddleboard rentals by the hour. Grab your friends and head to Lake Logan for a relaxing afternoon paddling around the lake.
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