Scioto River Trail–Scioto and Olentangy River Confluence
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Tips for birding Scioto and Olentangy River Confluence
A restaurant, Confluence Park, is situated to take in the view of where the Olentangy and the Scioto Rivers meet. There is ample parking at the site. The Scioto Greenway Trail passes through this area, and one can get a good view of the rivers meeting from the trail bridge that goes over the Olentangy immediately to the east of the restaurant. This Hotspot has been a place where Black-Crowned Night Herons have occasionally been seen.
Confluence Park serves as the northern trailhead for the trail, as the endpoint a mile away does not have any public facilities. It also serves as the southern trailhead for the Olentangy River Greenway, a 13-mile trail to the northern community of Worthington.
About the Lower Scioto Greenway
The Lower Scioto Rail-Trail, or Olentangy/Scioto Greenways, is an early urban greenway at its best. The 6.15-mile multiuse trail hugs the banks of the Scioto River as it connects parks, links with other trails, and gives fabulous views of downtown Columbus. Portions of the route are considered the state’s oldest rail-trail. The trail starts just north of OH-104 and follows the west side of the Scioto River. However, the best place to park and access the trail is at Berliner Park, across the river from German Village. The park is a Hotspot for team sports, with ball diamonds and athletic fields. From the park, you can travel north or south on the rail-trail. If you head south, the trail travels through a lush forest all the way to the endpoint near OH-104. Going north takes you to downtown Columbus. The start of this section is also densely forested, making it easy to forget that you are traveling in a large city. At Greenlawn Avenue, you can ride or walk straight across the street or descend a steep slope below it to get to the other side. Once you get onto Greenlawn Avenue, cross the Scioto River on the Greenlawn Avenue Bridge. The bridge has just been rebuilt with a great bike and pedestrian-friendly path along the edge. The next 0.3 miles along Front Street alternate between brick and concrete sidewalk. The route here is unmarked. Turn left and head west on Whittier Street to regain the paved rail-trail route.You pass a trailhead at Lower Scioto Park on the left. The trail curves along the river on the Whittier Peninsula, the site for a planned park. Interstate 70 roars overhead near mile 10, followed by a breathtaking view of the Columbus skyline. First Bicentennial Park and then Battelle Riverfront Park provide vantage points overlooking the river, the urban environment, and a replica of Christopher Columbus’s sailing vessel the Santa Maria. At North Bank Park, a good stopping point, you can enjoy the million-dollar view of downtown Columbus and the previously mentioned parks that make up its riverfront. Newly constructed restrooms and parking areas are available here, along with an excellent observation deck over the river from which to take in the views. A short half-mile ride takes you across the river once again and into Confluence Park, on the spot where the Scioto and Olentangy rivers meet. From this park, the Scioto River Greenway goes another mile to the northwest, separate from but adjacent to city streets.
From Lower Scioto Greenway webpage
Restrooms at locations identified on Scioto Trail map.