An introduction to Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

Your 20 Metro Parks provide endless opportunities for you to connect with nature and have fun in the outdoors. With more than 28,000 acres of land and water to explore and 230 miles of trails to traverse, there’s plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the wonder and majesty of nature in Metro Parks. We’re free and only open every day for your enjoyment.

The mission of Metro Parks is to conserve open spaces, while providing places and opportunities that encourage people to discover and experience nature.

Our History

Created on August 14, 1945, Metro Parks is an independent political subdivision of the state of Ohio organized under Ohio Revised Code Section 1545 to conserve natural resources and provide natural area parks for people to enjoy. Metro Parks is a separate subdivision of the state of Ohio and is not under the administration of any other governmental unit.

The tremendous growth and enduring popularity of Metro Parks is due to the strong support of the community – as voters, as volunteers and as visitors. Metro Parks’ primary funding source is the 10-year, 0.95 mill levy approved by Franklin County voters in November 2018. The levy provides a sound financial base for operating and improving existing parks as well as acquiring additional land for future preservation.

Metro Parks has three designated categories of revenue: public sources (taxes, local government funds and government grants), operational fees (earned income) and other revenue (donations, interest income, etc).

Our Future

We continually work to responsibly manage our resources, while enhancing visitor experiences. We are dedicated to meeting taxpayer expectations while fulfilling our mission’s mandate.

Photo: Dave Jolley

News & Upcoming Events

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20 IN 23: The Last 10 Years

VIRGINIA GORDON Communications Coordinator This concluding article in the series of Metro Parks’ park histories focuses on parks that have opened in the last 10 years (Rocky Fork, Homestead, Scioto …Read More

If a Metro Park were a Cookie!

KATIE THORPE Outdoor Adventure Programmer Meandering through the woods on a long hike, your mind begins to wonder. Thoughts of the day to day routine might drift in, or the …Read More

Tim Talks: Resource Management projects maintain biodiversity in the parks

In our latest Tim Talks video, Resource Management staff talk about some of the projects and tactics used to maintain biodiversity in the parks, and to keep the Metro Parks …Read More

Behind the Parks: Meet Stephanie West at Blendon Woods

Stephanie West Senior Naturalist, Blendon Woods and Rocky Fork Metro Parks

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!