The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission — in partnership with local communities, parks districts, and grassroots organizations — provides residents and visitors with information on where they can safely and legally access the water for paddle sports in Central Ohio’s neighborhoods.


Blueways are a connected stretch of rivers, lakes, canals, or coastlines, providing opportunities for recreation with the intention to educate and promote environmental stewardship among its users. They are the water equivalent of a greenway. Central Ohio Blueways works closely with Central Ohio Greenways to increase awareness and accessibility to Central Ohio’s five (5) major rivers and streams in an environmentally responsible manner.

The Scioto River
Big Walnut Creek
The Olentangy River
Alum Creek
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There are more than 100 miles of water to paddle along the Alum Creek, Big Darby Creek, Big Walnut Creek, Olentangy River, and Scioto River within Delaware, Franklin, and Pickaway counties. Central Ohio’s streams have plentiful public parks judiciously spaced along the waterways to create an unrivaled, urban paddling experience. Communities, parks districts, and grassroots organizations are more regularly building water access points and offering opportunities for people to paddle in their own neighborhoods.


This year, Central Ohio Blueways partnered with a group of amazing students in an Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) Capstone course at The Ohio State University. Over the course of the semester, the students spoke with stakeholders, learned more about the community’s concerns with access point development, and created a set of guidelines for ensuring new access points – or improvements to existing access points – are constructed in the most sustainable manner while preserving safety and accessibility.

Click here to view a Story Map of the Students’ final guidelines.


Enjoying a day out on Central Ohio’s streams requires some planning and knowledge ahead of time. It is important to understand how to paddle safely, legally, and with respect to the environment and history of the water before exploring Central Ohio’s Blueways.

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