United States

Columbus, OH

A comprehensive guide to the best places to run in Columbus.

Capital of the U.S. state of Ohio, Columbus is the 15th largest city in the United States. The city has a diverse economy and gets good ratings for its livability and business climate. It is also home to The Ohio State University, which is one of the largest in the country. The geography of Columbus is defined by the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers just north-west of downtown, and several smaller tributaries that run through the Columbus metropolitan area. For a modest-sized city, there’s a wonderful variety of running in Columbus, with a large network of trails taking advantage of the area’s rivers & lakes and scenic open farmland.

Among the best places to run in Columbus are paths along the Scioto River, the 13-mile Olentangy Trail, Alum Creek Trail, and several parks. The huge Ohio State University campus also offers some nice running options. For a destination run, head to Mt. Vernon to catch the Kokusing Gap Trail.

Public transport in Columbus mainly consists of a bus system, run by COTA, the Central Ohio Transport Authority. Also, CBUS is a FREE downtown Columbus circulator running every 10-15 minutes from the Short North Arts District to the Brewery District.

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Columbus is a city with cold winters and hot summers. In January, average highs are just above freezing, with night-time low

s dipping to 20F (-6C). There can be a fair bit of snow. You’ll need warm clothing for running in winter.  Summers are ho

t, with average July high temperatures of 85F (29C) and warm nights. There is more precipitation in winter than summer.

Considering Columbus is a popular place for business travelers and vacationers, the city offers a wide variety of hotels. There’s a wide selection of hotels in the central downtown area, east of the Scioto River, and inside I-71 and I-670 that circle the city. Any one of these downtown hotels are within a mile of the river and other good running areas.

The Courtyard by Marriott, The Westin Columbus, and The Renaissance Columbus, are said to be some of the best options. Here are a couple more specific recommendations:


The Courtyard by Marriott

The Westin Columbus

The Renaissance Columbus

Le Meridien Columbus

Red Roof Plus

Northeastern Columbus/ Near Airport:

Columbus Airport Marriott

Four Points Sheraton Columbus Ohio Airport

Hilton Garden Inn Columbus Airport

University District:

Holiday Inn Express & Suites


Front Runner – Fun runs Thursday nights at 6:30 pm. Leaves from store location.

Columbus Running Company – Group runs Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. and Wednesdays 6pm.  Leaves from store location. Additional info on group runs: https://columbusrunning.com/pages/group-runs

Fleet Feet Sports Columbus – Frequent running clinics available. Click here for dates and details.

Speedy Sneakers – Various races throughout the year. Click here for dates and details.

Road Runner Sports Locations in Hilliard and Worthington. 

New Balance Columbus

Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in Columbus, OH

Area Running Calendar #1 Courtesy of Speedy Sneakers. 

Area Running Calendar #2. Courtesy of Columbus Running Company.

Lady Tutu 5k and Little Princess Dash – April. Register here.

Run to Erase Epilepsy – April. Register here.

Arnold 5k Pump and Run – March.

Pi Day 5k – March.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Half and Full Marathon. October.  Goes through Germantown and Schiller Park.