Escape from Grandview’s skull island*

Published November 21, 2013 by justicewg

*Not really an escape story, more of an exploration. Not Grandview’s island, this small isolated piece of Columbus is a peninsula at best. No skulls were found, but no other name has been proposed for this part of town.

My buddy Eddie Urbex recently posted this story on his private blog, with his permission I’m re-posting it here.

Escape from Grandview’s skull island

I’ve been keeping my eyes on a prime new area for exploration. I spent months of watching for patterns in the workers day jobs and the patrols by the cops. I figured out the best time to start my next adventure. It worked pretty well, no one caught me.

first bridge

This is the approach to the new bike bridge on the Scioto trail. Traffic coming off 670 west on the Grandview exit will have a full view of you on the way up and crossing the bridge. I did some crouching and made it up and over OK.

view first bridge

Really big bridge. I think it is this size so that emergency vehicles can drive over it.


The riverside is so choked with trees and bushes that there is no good way down to the water. This is what stopped me in previous attempts to paddle a boat over to explore. Might be another opening around the bend but I just saw lots of trees.


View of island with downtown is background. It has a mixture of stony areas, some grass, scrub brush and trees. Not a full on bushwhack but not easy to explore.

view bridgetop

Looks like they scraped back the area near the path and seeded it. I bet those poles will hold up a high fence. No big problem for urbexers but I hate to get hung up on them.

second bridge

The second bridge crosses the scioto near the city water plant. As bike bridges go it is long.

water plant dam

The view from the bridge, above the water plant dam. I’m betting the fences will be high around this area to keep the swimmers away. Every year somebody gets sucked into the washing machine at the base of these low head dams and dies.

Plenty of land up for exploration on this island. Dead men’s chests (and other body parts) are waiting for you if you have the skills.

DO NOT BREAK THE LAW like my buddy Eddie. The bike bridge will be open to the public sometime in December, according to the Columbus Recreation and Parks, Greenways office. There are places to fall and get hurt on the path now – you can wait a few weeks.

(later) It is open! Just in time for the snow to hit.

The new bike path is great, and it will be better if the planned extension along the Scioto up to Griggs Dam is completed (no word on that project). There is a fundamental problem for the residents of Grandview Heights using this bike path though, getting onto the trail is not easy. Geographic constraints mean you are limited to using Grandview Ave. to cross SR33 and there is no bike path on the east side of that street through a high traffic area. I wouldn’t want my kids to use that route when they were young. Even if you can avoid the steep Grandview hill by taking a bypass (like the road down to the pool), you still have to go though the section from Goodale to Watermark. Not fun.


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