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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A dedicated bench at Rocky Fork Metro Parks helps to keep alive Fred Bown's memories of his wife, Sheree.

Submit your art work for the Winter Hikes Mug design contest

Metro Parks is looking for your unique design to place on the 2020 limited edition mug that will be given to participants in the 13 Hikes of Giving annual food …Read More

The lure of fall

If you like to fish, the fall months offer some  great fishing opportunities in your Metro Parks. The serene settings can’t be beat as you cast your rod in the …Read More

Tim Talks: Find your trail

Lace up your boots or hop on your bike and cruise along your favorite trails. With hundreds of miles of trail, you’ll find just what you need in your Metro …Read More

Get Outside, It’s Your Nature!