I was in Columbus, Ohio with my older son this past summer during some scorching days. Despite the high temperatures, we spent lots of time walking around and exploring this city, as well we could during fairly widespread COVID closures.

One place we visited frequently was the Scioto Mile, the pleasant walkway along the Scioto River.

This river walk stretches along the east bank of the Scioto River. It was a great place to walk and to people watch .

During our time there, there were plenty of people out having picnics, biking, jogging or playing out on the lush grass.

It helped that with so much closed down due to COVID, and such nice weather beckoning people outside, this outdoor area was pretty much the only game in town during our visit. Irony alert: while strict measures seemed to be shutting down businesses downtown, the fantastic Easton Mall and the outlet in the suburbs were all doing brisk business, with COVID restrictions in place and staff and customers in masks and following maximum capacity guidelines.

Friends and families came to gather here throughout the day and during the long summer evenings during our stay.

Scioto River walk, Columbus, Ohio / Kimberly Sullivan

We had too many things to do during our days here that I wasn’t in the mood to wake up earlier, but I generally enjoy rising early to go out and explore a city with a morning jog. This would have been the ideal spot to do so. Next time …

There are panoramic vantage points over the Scioto and the Columbus skyline to be had from the center of the Rich Street Bridge.

Scioto River walk, Columbus, Ohio / Kimberly Sullivan

One of the things we loved was the statue of a buck created by artist Terry Allen. This was installed in 2015 when the entire riverwalk and park underwent a major renovation. Apparently he was inspired for his project when he learned that the name of the river – Scioto – meant “hairy deer” in the local Native American language.

Nice to know. Like many, I suppose, I had assumed the buck was a play on the state’s moniker of the Buckeye State (the buckeye is a type of shrub indigenous to Ohio).

Scioto River walk, Columbus, Ohio / Kimberly Sullivan

The bridge-dewlling buck is hanging out, leaning over the edge of the bridge’s rails and taking a break from his busy day to enjoy the skyline view alongside the tourists, so it’s a popular photo spot for visitors.

When visiting, I didn’t realize the artist had created a total of three deer statues, all at different points along the Scioto walkway. One is hanging out people-watching and the other is lazing on the grass, sunbathing, suspiciously like city dwellers on weekends or tourists taking a break under the warming sun. Next time I definiteley have to seek out the rest of the trio.

Scioto River walk, Columbus, Ohio / Kimberly Sullivan

Like the numerous sculpted deer that call the Scioto walkway home, enjoy your time wandering and relaxing along this pleasant river walkway.

And if you work up an appetite during your wanderings, just be sure to keep walking further south to enjoy a hearty German dinner and a well-deserved beer at one of the restaurants in German Village .

Scioto River walk, Columbus, Ohio / Kimberly Sullivan
Scioto River walk, Columbus, Ohio / Kimberly Sullivan