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 28,700 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 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

The first Metro Park, Blacklick Woods, opened in October 1948. Initially 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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Bark Bash is at Prairie Oaks Metro Park

What is Bark Bash? Bark Bash is the super-duper event of the summer for you and your canine friends. The inaugural Bark Bash replaces the cancelled WAG! Fest and won’t …Read More

Park rangers and their hats!

CLINT EUTSEY Second Shift Manager / Patrol Supervisor Park Rangers wear many hats. Yes, one of them is the classic green campaign hat. However, it is the other metaphorical hats …Read More

Prairies in Bloom

IN OUR LATEST WANDER & WONDER VIDEO we take a look at some of the beautiful flowering prairies that add gorgeous colors to the summer heat and make a visit …Read More

Behind the Parks: Meet Chrissy at Highbanks

Chrissy Hoff Senior Naturalist, Highbanks Hometown and Background I’m from a small town in northern Ohio. I have always been interested in animals, especially wildlife. I have an enduring memory …Read More

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!