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

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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Wander and Wonder: Spring bursts back to life

Discover blooming wildflowers, look for a a pair of bald eagles and listen as the sounds of spring come alive in your Metro Parks

Tim Talks: Family reconnects in Metro Parks

A family reconnects and unwinds at Metro Parks.

Turning the corner on spring at Metro Parks

KATHLEEN O’DOWD Guest Blogger As the sun’s rays melt the last of winter’s snow and flurries transform into spring showers, remember Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks for an immersive …Read More

Outdoor Adventure kicks off 2021 adventure card

If you’re looking for fun outdoor recreation activities, look no further than our 2021 Outdoor Adventure Card. Come out to a Metro Parks Outdoor Adventure program and grab a card. …Read More

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!