Once the site of a quarry where millions of pounds of sand and gravel were mined in the 1960s, Antrim Park is now a haven where runners can grind away the miles—or at least take a pleasant stroll to get away from it all. The spring-fed, fish-filled Lake Antrim (the former quarry) is circled by a path that’s perfect for a leisurely jog, or for an all-out time trial as you prepare for an upcoming 10K. Also, there’s the lesser-known path through the woods, which meanders through the forest and along the nearby Olentangy River before reconnecting with the circular path around the lake.
What are you runners out there waiting for?
Antrim Park is in North Columbus, on the west side of the Olentangy River, at 5800 Olentangy River Road, just north of Bethel Road and a little south of State Route 161. There’s a large parking lot, with a couple of portable toilets and a water fountain (by the bike rack). From the parking lot, walk under the SR 315 bridge and over to the lake’s observation deck to take a look around as you warm up.
Once around the lake is 1.2 miles, on a well-packed dirt and gravel path that’s easy on the joints. There’s lots of fast-moving traffic on the nearby SR 315, so you can never quite get away from it all, but with earphones or earbuds, you can get pretty darn close. The lake is smooth, a deep blue, and, every once in a while, ripples with jumping fish.
The path is quite popular, especially on the weekends, but never so crowded that it’s a problem. Stay to the right and be considerate of others. The Olentangy multi-use trail goes right by the west side of Antrim Lake, and lots of cyclists whiz by. Bikes are not allowed on the path around the lake. Dogs, on leashes, are allowed, and this is a popular dog-walking route.