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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20 IN 22: The Second Child (Blendon Woods)

VIRGINIA GORDON Communications Coordinator The first child gets all the love. But somehow, when the second child comes along, and even though the love of the first is undiminished, plenty …Read More

Raising Quail

CARRIE MORROW Assistant Resource Manager As the summer begins to wind down, so do our efforts of raising and releasing northern bobwhite quail into our parks. Slate Run is in its …Read More

Behind the Parks: Meet Casey at Three Creeks

Casey Kirker Park Technician, Three Creeks Metro Park – Hometown I’m from Bexley, on the east side of Columbus. We lived close to Alum Creek. What I do at Metro …Read More

Amazing fall programs and events at Metro Parks

JILL SNYDER Visitor Engagement Manager The fall weather makes for a wonderful day in the park and there is so much to celebrate as the season changes. The cool crisp …Read More

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!