An introduction to Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

Your 19 Metro Parks provide endless opportunities for you to connect with nature and have fun in the outdoors. With more than 27,700 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).

Girl on climbing wall at Scioto Audubon

Our Future

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

Photo: Dave Jolley

News & Upcoming Events

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Meanderings: Pick up lines

KEN DANTER My friend, Robert, walked into his favorite restaurant. Spying an attractive woman at the bar with an empty seat beside her, he sat down and ordered his drink …Read More

Meanderings: Bird truisms

KEN DANTER Someone should publish a Field Guide to Bird Butts. A good over/under bet would be that 75% of all warbler sightings are of a bird high in a …Read More

Meanderings: Pickerington Ponds

KEN DANTER March 14, 2020 Meandering – The act of wandering in a meaningless, leisurely and aimless manner. Meaningless?….. Leisurely?….. Aimless?……How better to describe a day in the park? Suites …Read More

Meanderings: Can you see it now?

KEN DANTER JANUARY 2020 “I’ve got him. He’s in that tree. See? The one with a dark trunk and a branch going out to the right.” We’re in the middle …Read More

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!