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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Helpful Winter Hike Hints

The turn of the new year is an exciting time in our metro parks. The Winter Hike series is in full swing, with large turn outs at Blacklick Woods, Sharon …Read More

A rootin’-tootin’ supper at your campfire

GREG WITTMANN Three Creeks Naturalist Light the fire and grab your dutch oven – it’s campfire cooking time with Two Hungry Naturalists’ Greg Wittmann. Watch how to make cowboy baked …Read More

Wander and Wonder: Give the gift of Metro Parks

Give the gift of Metro Parks and treat your friends and family to a world of adventure, wonder and fun!

Tim Talks: Winter activities

Experience a true winter wonderland and challenge yourself to a variety of outdoor activities.

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!