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).

Girl on climbing wall at Scioto Audubon
Photo: Larry Hamill

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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Furry Friends Make for the Best Hiking Buddies

LIZ CHRISTIAN Social Media and Marketing Specialist Hiking is fun, but hiking with your best friend is even better! Metro Parks has over 100 miles of pet trails throughout the …Read More

20 IN 23: The Story of Slate Run

VIRGINIA GORDON Communications Coordinator Slate Run, when it opened in 1981, became the largest Metro Park in the Columbus and Franklin County Metropolitan Park District. In 1963, a full 18 …Read More

25 Years of Summer Camp

ASHLEY YOCKEY Camp and Event Specialist It may be frosty and cold outside, but summer will be here sooner than you know! Here at Metro Parks, summertime is always on …Read More

Behind the Parks: Meet Larry at Blacklick Woods Golf Course

Larry Logan Maintenance Technician, Blacklick Woods Golf Course Hometown and background I was born in Columbus, but my family moved to Daytona in Florida when I was two years old. …Read More

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!