Griggs Reservoir and Park is a large park along the Scioto River in western Columbus. The entire park runs along 2.25 miles of the reservoir from the dam up to Lane Ave.

In 1904, the city began construction of a dam on the Scioto River just north of Columbus to provide for an adequate water supply. Julian Griggs, the City’s chief engineer used a plan developed by Samuel Gray, an engineer from Providence, Rhode Island. The City hired John Gregory, a consulting engineer from New York, to coordinate the building of the dam. The dedication of the dam was in 1908.


Its height is only 35 feet (11 m), but it forms a reservoir almost 6 miles (9.7 km) long with a 1,200,000,000-US-gallon (4.5×109 l) capacity. I am always amazed at these large structures. A dam that was built over a hundred years ago still stands today. When I visited there was quite a bit of water flow over the dam. It made an almost deafening roar on the downstream side, but as soon as you walked to the upstream side it was quiet and serene. A few logs and sticks were caught at the top of the dam. It was just below freezing with some light snow showers. I really like how some of the icicles have built up on the overhanging logs.




I’ve always enjoyed signs. They are supposed to display a warning or information in a small area. At the dam there are two overflow release structures. You can sort of see them on the bottom of the first photo. If the water level in the reservoir gets too high they can release water downstream through the structures. There are quite a few signs indicating this action.


Further downstream are a bunch of signs warning of swimming around the dam. Poor fellow didn’t have a chance.


Upstream of the dam is more park area. There are quite a few tables around and places to park. It’s amazing how calm the water appears just above the dam.

Dam_Upstream1 copy_s

I can’t wait to come back in spring or summer. I put a few more pictures in the gallery if you would like to take a look.

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