Scientists say the coronavirus is here for the long haul. As COVID-19 continues to spread, social distancing and intermittent lockdowns have become the new normal.
Taking care of your physical and mental health is more important than ever. Spending time with nature or a simple walk can be a pleasant and healthy distraction. Here are some of our favorite hiking trails and nature paths around Columbus and Phenix City. Enjoy!
Chattahoochee RiverWalk, Columbus
Length: 22 miles.
The Columbus Riverwalk is a 22-mile linear park that runs along the eastern bank of the Chattahoochee River. The paved trail begins in north Columbus at Lake Oliver and extends southward 22 miles to Fort Benning. The path is a popular destination for runners, walkers, and frequent visitors. It features excellent views of the river and wildlife.
Standing Boy Trails, Columbus
Length: 25 miles.
One of Columbus’ newest attractions, Standing Boy Trails, is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. The 1,500-acre property in north Columbus features beautiful, accessible trails for people of all ages and abilities.
When construction is complete, visitors will enjoy over 25 miles of natural-surface, multi-use trails. The property is a Wildlife Management Area that is owned by the Department of Natural Resources. Passes are required.
Phenix City RiverWalk
Length: 1.21 miles.
The Phenix City Riverwalk is a 1.21-mile structure located on the western bank of the Chattahoochee River. It begins at the beautiful open-air amphitheater and travels north. A good portion is shaded and offers an excellent opportunity for viewing wildlife.
The historic Dillingham Street Bridge and 14th Street Pedestrian Bridge connect the Phenix City Riverwalk to the longer Columbus side.
Idle Hour Park Nature Trail, Phenix City
Length: 1.1 miles.
In addition to an 0.8-mile paved loop encircling Moon Lake, Idle Hour Park in Phenix City features a 1.1-mile nature trail. The nature trail connects Sherwood Elementary School to Idle Hour Park and passes through a forest, a wetland area, and a pretty stream. The path is paved and well maintained. Both trails are suitable for all skill levels.
Columbus Fall Line Trace
Length: 11 miles.
What can you do with an abandoned railroad route? Convert it to an outdoor trail! The Columbus Fall Line Trace is a 12-foot wide asphalt trail that stretches 11-miles between the 14th Street Pedestrian bridge in Uptown Columbus and the Psalmond Road Recreation Center in Midland.
This popular urban trail features an eclectic cross-section of the community, including multiple intersections and neighborhoods. You can access from two park-and-ride lots and also from where the trail intersects with METRA bus routes.
Cooper Creek Park, Columbus
Length: 3.3 miles.
Located on the east side of Columbus; Cooper Creek Park features a large reservoir and wildlife habitat. The Cooper Creek Fitness Trail is a 3.3-mile loop trail with a mix of gravel and pavement. Recently, volunteers spruced up the trail’s fitness stations with new materials.
Historic Lakebottom Park, Columbus
Length: 1.7 miles.
Located in the heart of Midtown, Historic Lakebottom Park is the oldest, daily-use park and recreational facility and public greenspace within Columbus. A 1.7-mile gravel path loops the exterior and is a popular destination for walkers, runners, and families.
Bradley Olmsted Garden, Columbus
Length: 0.4 miles.
The Columbus Museum’s Bradley Olmsted Garden was designed in 1928 by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted. It features sweeping vistas, rose gardens, and beautiful plantings for dramatic effect. The park is open during regular Columbus Museum hours.
Dragonfly Trail Network, Columbus
Length: 34 miles.
The Dragonfly is the name of Columbus’s network of off-road greenway trails. The current 34-mile trail network includes the RiverWalk, Fall Line Trace, and a 1.4-mile connector. Another 27 miles are planned throughout Columbus, creating more than 60 miles of interconnected trails.
Columbus Botanical Garden, Columbus
Length: 1 mile.
The JoAnn Holt Walking Trail is part of the 20-acre Columbus Botanical Garden. The trail meanders through quiet woodland, taking visitors on a mile-long, secluded loop that begins near Our Mothers Rose Garden, passes by the spectacular Sam Wellborn Camellia Garden, and ends adjacent to the garden’s parking lot. Visitors are welcome to walk their dogs on the trail (leashes, please). The walking trail is open during regular Garden hours.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain
Length: 42 miles.
Stretching 23 miles over a high ridgeline in F.D. Roosevelt State Park near Columbus, Georgia, the Pine Mountain Trail offers some of the best hiking and backpacking adventures near Atlanta. Georgia’s largest state park has 42 miles of hiking trails. Experience rolling mountains, small waterfalls, towering pines, and more. A must-try path is Dowdell’s Knob loop; the views are breathtaking.