Hours and Info

April 1-September 30: 6:30am-10pm
October 1-March 31: 6:30am-8pm

Phone: 614.906.3149
Nature Center: 614.846.9962
April-September: 9am-8pm
October-March: 9am-6pm
Reservations: reservations@metroparks.net

Programs at Highbanks


Highbanks is named for its massive 100-foot-high shale bluff towering over the Olentangy State Scenic River. Tributary streams cutting across the bluff have created a number of deep ravines in the eastern part of the 1,200-acre park. Ohio and Olentangy shales, often containing outstanding large concretions, are exposed on the bluff face and sides of the ravines.

Photo: Barbara Nye

Photo: Craig Biegler

Park Map

Click the map below for a zoomed/enlarged version



Big Meadows Path

1 mile
Easy – Hike – Bike – Pets – Paved
Goes through meadows and playfields.
Interactive Map: Big Meadows

Coyote Run

3.5 miles
Moderate – Hike – Pets – Cross-Country Ski – Grass and Dirt
Goes through woods and fields. Reserved for cross-country skiing when conditions are suitable.
Interactive Map: Coyote Run

Dripping Rock

2.5 miles
Moderate to Difficult – Hike – Gravel
Goes through forest and passes steep ravines.
Interactive Map: Dripping Rock


2.3 miles
Easy – Hike – Bike – Pets – Paved
Goes through woods and fields.
Interactive Map: Multi-Use

Oak Coves Path

0.4 miles
Easy – Hike – Bike – Pets – Paved
Passes meadows and playfields.
Interactive Maps: Oak Coves


2.3 miles
Moderate to Difficult – Hike – Gravel
Goes through a state nature preserve to an observation deck 100 feet above the Olentangy River.
Interactive Maps: Overlook

Scenic River

0.6 miles
Easy – Hike – Pets – Gravel – ADA
Goes through forest and alongside the Olentangy River.


0.9 miles
Easy – Hike – Jog – Gravel – ADA
Winds through a forest of sycamore, buckeye and cottonwood and alongside the river.

Wetland Spur

0.4 miles
Easy to Moderate – Hike – Grass and Dirt
Goes through forest to a wetland with an observation deck.
Interactive Map: Wetland Spur

Woman and child walk on the Sycamore Trail at the River Bluff area at Highbanks Metro Park
Photo: Timothy Palosaari

Highbanks Metro Park Jogger on Dripping Rock Trail
Photo: Virginia Gordon


Reservable Shelters

Mansion Shelter at Highbanks.


Shelter holds 100 people (80 under cover), has one trisected grill with an outdoor kitchenette, including sink, electricity, stone fireplace, a drinking fountain, play area and outdoor firepit. Shares restrooms with the Northern Shelter (restrooms open April 15 to Nov 1). Available All Day only.

Click Here For More Information, Photos, or to Reserve



Shelter holds 120 people, has two grills, electricity, stone fireplace and wood burning stove, sink, small counter, playground equipment, large playfield, volleyball posts and net, a brick patio and an outdoor firepit. Shares restrooms with the Mansion Shelter (restrooms open April 15 to Nov 1). Parking for 86 cars. Available All Day only.

Click Here For More Information, Photos, or to Reserve

Highbanks Nature Center

Nature Center Multipurpose Room

The meeting room is available for rental on an All-Day basis only, any day, Monday through Friday. Capacity 99 max.
ADA accessible.

Click Here For More Information, Photos, or to Reserve

Non-Reservable Shelters

Oak Coves Picnic Area

Picnic tables, grills, large playfields and playground equipment, and ADA accessible restrooms.
2 Shelters: Seating 64 each, 2 Large grills (plus two smaller shelters)

Big Meadows Picnic Area

Area has picnic tables, grills, large playfields, playground equipment and ADA accessible restrooms.
7 Small Shelters: Enclosed on three sides, Seating approximately 16 each, Grills
2 Open Shelters: Seating approximately 64 each, 2 Large grills

Korean Church, Pastor Keun S. Lee at Highbanks, Big Meadows Area
Photo: Gil Sears


Visitor walks her three dogs on the Coyote Run Trail at Highbanks.
Photo: Virginia Gordon

Joggers on the Dripping Rock Trail during the Commit To Be Fit hike at Highbanks
Photo: Mike Fetherolf

Youngster on the Big Wheel tri-bike at Highbanks' Outdoor Adventure.
Photo: Mike Johnson
Highbanks Park Map
Big Meadows Path: 1 mile
Multi-use Trail: 1.25 miles
Oak Coves Path: 0.4 miles

Kayaker on the Dragonfly Day Camp pond at Highbanks.
Photo: Sarah Hunter

Along the Olentangy River.

Cross-country skiing at Highbanks. Photo by Virginia Gordon
Photo: Virginia Gordon

The Coyote Run Trail (3.5 miles) and the Scenic River Trail (0.6 miles) are reserved for use as cross-country ski trails when conditions are suitable.

Girls find a crayfish at a nature camps at Highbanks.
Photo: Angela Latham

Scout Troops can reserve the Dragonfly Day Camp for day camping or overnight camping. Organized and sponsored youth and church groups can reserve it for day camping only. Call 614.508.8111.

Campers on the pond fishing dock in the Dragonfly Daycamp Area of Highbanks Metro Park.
Photo: Michele Boyd-Dailey

Along the Olentangy River.

Girl climbs the side of a fort at the Highbanks natural play area.
Photo: Dan Bissonette

Explore the 15-acre area with a forest and path to the Olentangy River, where kids and caregivers can safely roam and enjoy unstructured play in nature by climbing trees, playing in the dirt and other fun adventures. Turn left at the intersection in the Big Meadows Picnic Area and stop at the first parking lot. Entrance on left.

Ravine Wall at Highbanks Nature Center. Photo by Rob Clements.
Photo: Rob Clements

Discover nature and cultural history at the many displays and see wildlife at the feeders through the nature center’s windows.
April to September: 9am to 8pm
October to March: 9am to 6pm

Morning sunshine in the forest at Highbanks.
Photo: Greg Immel

The 206-acre nature preserve is named in honor of former Director of Metro Parks, Edward F. Hutchins. No off-trail activity is permitted in the nature preserve.

Highbanks Metro Park Mom, Son, and Furry Friend on Trail
Photo: Virginia Gordon
Highbanks Park Map


Big Meadows Path: 1 mile
Coyote Run Trail: 3.5 miles
Multi-use Trail: 1.25 miles
Oak Coves Path: 0.4 miles
Scenic River Trail: 0.6 miles

Domesticated dogs and cats are also permitted in picnic areas, parking lots and on roadways. Pets shall be on a leash no longer than 6 feet.

Grilling at Highbanks Metro Park.
Photo: John Potter

Two enclosed shelters and two open shelters at Oak Coves Picnic Area, and seven enclosed shelters and two open shelters at Big Meadows Picnic Area. All the shelters have grills, picnic tables, a play area and ADA accessible restrooms. Available to use free on a first come-first served basis.

Sledder on kiddie's sledding hill at Blendon Woods.
Photo: Dan Bissonette

Two sledding hills in the Big Meadows Picnic Area, one for children age 10 and younger.

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!