Metro Parks of Columbus Ohio

Local

The Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks is a public agency serving the people of Central Ohio with natural parks that are clean, safe, and provide outstanding natural areas. There are over 230 miles of trails and over 27,000 acres of land within seven central Ohio counties making up Metro Parks. They're designed to conserve open spaces and provide an opportunity for people to discover and experience nature. Our Metroparks are some of the most unique in the country and we are an independent political subdivision of the state of Ohio. Designed to conserve natural resources and provide natural areas for people to enjoy. There are dozens of parks throughout the Metro Park system so finding the perfect park for you and your activity level is easy.

Check out some of our most popular parks below.

Batelle Darby Creek

This Park features more than 7000 acres of forests, prairies, and wetlands and stretches along 13 miles of the Big and Little Derby Creeks. There's hundreds of acres of restored wetlands and prairies and bison are often to be seen roaming the park freely with two enclosed pastures. Hunting is also acceptable in this Park with ice-skating in the winter, fishing, biking, canoeing, picnicking and sliding. This park is also dog-friendly.

Blacklick Woods

This over 600-acre park is filled with nature preserves, and nature center, picnicking, and fitness circuits laced with trails winding through the swampy forest, and huge, historical trees.

Blendon Woods

Blendon Woods is a 650-acre park with the natural play areas, disc golf, day camps, and winter activities. This unique Park is cut through the ravine offering exposed rock and sandstone, oak and hickory forests, and a great place for birdwatching, especially flocks of wild turkeys wondering throughout the park.

Chestnut Ridge

Chestnut Ridge is located just off of Winchester Road in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. This is a beautiful location for mountain biking, fishing, or just taking the dog for a walk. The Ridge expands about 4500 feet and rises over 1100 feet. This beautiful 486-acre park offers some of the most gorgeous views in the area.

Clear Creek

Clear Creek is Ohio's largest natural state reserve with over 5300 acres of woodland along sandstone cliffs, ravines, and creeks. This is a great place for fishing, picnicking, or simply observing nature in its natural habitat.

Glacier Ridge

Glacier Ridge is a 1000 acre park once covered with farmland. There's a board walk through the wetlands and a 25 foot observation tower as well as cross country skiing, Frisbee disc golf, natural play areas, obstacle course and horseback riding. This park is located in Plain City Ohio.

Heritage Park

Heritage Park is located at 7262 Hayden Run Rd. in Hilliard and is an 87-acre trail with a 6.1-mile route converted from an abandoned right away. It's perfect for biking, walking, and horseback riding and is primarily just the trail.

Highbanks

This unique trail is named for its massive 100-foot high shale bluff towering over the Olentangy state scenic river. There's picnicking, winter activities, nature centers and day camps, canoeing, biking and picnicking.

Homestead

Also located in Hilliard is a 44-acre park featuring picnic and play areas, fishing, and is pet-friendly. There are shelters, playground equipment, volleyball and basketball courts and a three-quarter mile paved trail. This also winds through the park and connects to the Heritage Trail.

Inniswood Gardens

Located in Westerville, the Inniswood Gardens is a beautiful 123-acre nature preserve with streams and woodlands, wildflowers and while life offering a beautiful backdrop to this scenic area.

Pickerington Ponds

Located in Winchester, this is a premier spot for birdwatching with over 250 species. This the nature preserve is perfect for picnicking or biking and features over 1600 acres of deer, beaver, fox, and other wildlife.

Prairie Oaks

Over in Jefferson is a 2200-acre park featuring canoeing and boating, winter activities, horseback riding, picnicking, and natural play areas.

Rocky Fork

Located at 7180 Walnut St. in downtown Columbus is over 3 miles of walking trails that wind through woods and fields. It's ideal for biking, walking, or horseback riding and there's a play area for children and a large shelter for family picnics.

Scioto Audubon 

This park is located at 400 West Whittier St. in downtown Columbus on the Scioto River. It's a 120-acre park offering picnicking, an obstacle course, fishing, canoeing and boating, biking, rock climbing, and nature centers.

Sharon Woods

Sharon Woods is located at 6911 Cleveland Ave. in Westerville and is a mixed use of forests and fields with an 11-acre lake, nature preserves, and over 760 acres of Ohio's natural habitat. Visitors can fish, bike, picnic, sled, and enjoy the natural play areas of the park.

Slate Run

Located in Canal Winchester is a day camp park perfect for horseback riding, pets, picnicking, natural play areas and fishing.

Three Creeks

Three Creeks is named for the confluence where the Alum, Big Walnut, and Blacklick creeks all join together. There are hundreds of birds, coyote, deer, and an 1100 acre park perfect for fishing, canoeing, picnicking, and more.

Walnut Woods

Located in Groveport is a 1000 acre park full of woodlands, fields, and bordered by Walnut Creek to the north. There's picnicking, winter activities, fishing, biking, and canoeing.

Greenway Trails

This trail system is part of the Alum Creek, Blacklick, Darby Creek, Heritage Trail, Olentangy trail Scioto , trail, the downtown connector trail, and the Camp Chase trail part of the Ohio to Erie trail. There are hundreds of miles of trails throughout the system and their use for recreation as well as alternative transportation. If you're looking to see a lot of our area, heading on one of the Greenway Trails is one of the best ways to do it.

The Columbus area Metro Parks also has a variety of shelters and lodges that can be reserved all day. Daycamp started about $50 per day or $200 per week and there are all day or half-day shelters and lodgings throughout many of the parks.

In addition to day camps there are farm school tours, passport programs, dog parks and pet trails ideal for your four-legged friend, nature centers, volunteering opportunities, and of course school activities as well. Our Metro Parks is a well-rounded system that offers an endless supply of activities for both summer and winter. If you're looking to get more involved in our park system, start with one of these amazing nature parks throughout the Metro Park system of Ohio.