Venture: Getting Out Without a Car

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Experiencing the arts, culture and cuisine beyond the Ohio State campus can be a daunting task for students without a car. So exploring the great outdoors seems damn near impossible.

Yet one of our city’s greatest strengths is that wonderful natural resources sit within close proximity to where people live, work, eat and imbibe. Here are five places you can explore without your own wheels.

Bike. The Olentangy Greenway Trail runs through a good chunk of Campus, and it’s an excellent way to travel to neighborhoods like Harrison West, the Short North, Clintonville and Worthington. Bring your lock and take some time to explore the city parks nestled alongside the Olentangy River. Visit for more info.

Stroll. The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens includes lovely collections of trees, flowers, shrubs and vegetables. From North High Street, take the No. 2 COTA bus south to High and Broad streets, then transfer to the No. 10 bus east. The conservatory will be on your right. Visit for info on programs and events.

Toss a disc. OSU disc golfers have an 18-hole home course at Jesse Owens West Park, 1031 Carmack Rd. on West Campus. Concrete tees and a total length of 4,495 feet make it a legit test of skill. Equipment and scorecards are available on site and free of charge. Visit for more info.

Watch birds. The Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, 352 W. Dodridge St. on North Campus, combines science with adventure. Take a quick walk up North High Street to find trails, marshes, an education center and tons of interesting birds. Visit for more info.

Climb. After tackling the indoor routes at the Recreation & Physical Activity Center, bring your gear down to Scioto Audubon Metro Park, 400 W. Whittier St. in the Brewery District, which is home to a wonderful outdoor wall. From West 12th Avenue and College Road, take the No. 7 COTA bus south to South High and Whittier streets, then walk a few blocks west.