By 1808Delaware, Experience Columbus

In our “In Our Backyard” series, we look at offerings in easy driving distance that add to and enhance the outstanding attractions and events closer to home.

This time, we look at a new offering that promotes hiking and other trail usage that is not only right on our doorstep, but connects to trails and walkways in Delaware County.

Earth Day and Celebrate Trails Day highlight America’s best outdoor experiences, inspiring travelers to immerse themselves in the beauty of spring. There’s no better way to explore the outdoors in Ohio than with the Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass, a collaborative experience from Experience Columbus and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). Visitors and locals can learn more about the pass by stopping by Experience Columbus’ Mobile Visitor Center during Celebrate Trails Day taking place during Green Columbus’ Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Genoa Park in downtown Columbus. The festivities, which are free and open to the public, begin at noon and end at 7 p.m.

This year’s Celebrate Trails Day and Earth Day Celebration activities include guided walks starting at 1 p.m., health screenings and favorite local street food vendors offering a taste of the city and drinks, including locally roasted Black Kahawa coffee and a beer garden. Bring your bikes and take part in a family-friendly ride that rolls at 2 p.m. For travelers who can’t bring a bike, the city’s CoGo bike share program offers wheels for rent. Giveaways will add to the fun. Some of the city’s most popular bands, including Orion and the Constellations, Daniel Dye and the Miller Road Band, Honey and Blue, and George Barrie Band will perform live starting at 12:30 p.m.

Following the celebration, visitors and locals alike can reap rewards by taking part in the Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass. Created along with MORPC last fall, the digital pass inspires friends and families to hike, bike, jog or even paddle their way to enter a monthly giveaway for $100 gift card to Columbus businesses and restaurants. With winners chosen at random by Experience Columbus, users check in along the trails via their virtual passport to be entered to win that month’s gift card.

The GPS-enabled and easy-to-use Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass features 22 different outdoor experiences around the Columbus region. Three of the check-in points are found in the heart of the city. For example, Scioto Trail is home to Genoa Park and Bicentennial Park, which play host to an impressive slate of summer festivals and feature a one-of-a-kind fountain, restaurant and a performance pavilion, as well as panoramic views of the Scioto Mile riverfront parklands. The Olentangy Trail takes visitors 14 miles from the city center to its northern trailhead, traversing widely diverse neighborhoods along the Olentangy that shine like a string of pearls. Along the way, Olentangy Parklands in Worthington serves as a way station for Olentangy Trail users. This hub of activity is a destination of its own with its popular skateboard park, indoor restrooms, water fountains for dogs and their owners, a shelter with a bike fix-it station, tennis and pickleball courts, a sledding hill, soccer fields and plenty of free parking.

The Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass joins existing curated Experience Columbus guides to the best the city has to offer, which include the Columbus Distillery Trail, Columbus Coffee Trail, Short North Art Trail and CBUS SOUL Sculpture Trail.

Details on the Columbus Outdoor Trails Pass are found at ExperienceColumbus.com/OutdoorTrails.


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