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Metro Parks

Outdoor Free
Public Gardens, Fishing, Dog Parks, Bird Watching, Hiking Trails, Biking Trails, Lake, Gardens, Birthday Parties, School Trip, Healthy/Active, Educational, Green
Highbanks Metro Parks, Columbus, OH, Lewis Center, OH
URL: Metro Parks  Phone: 614-846-9962

Activity Overview

The Metro Parks system is a group of 16 parks in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area. These 16 parks include over 24,000 acres of protected land in seven Ohio counties. They offer a wide array of programs to educate the public about nature as well as facilities for activities such as boating and hiking.

Visit one or more of the Metro Parks while you're in the Columbus area to explore the beautiful Ohio wildlife on display and enjoy family activities like disc golf in the summer and sledding in the winter!

Things to Do

  • Visit Highbanks, the most popular of the Metro Parks, which is named for its 100-ft high bluff that overlooks scenic Olentangy River. Its features include a nature center filled with interactive displays, a bird watching station, several trails, and two sledding hills that are perfect for the fun winter activity.
  • One of the most unique parks is the Slate Run Historical Farm, which allows families to see what life was like on Ohio farms in the 1880s. Volunteers in traditional clothing will teach you about how to preserve meat and introduce you to the farm animals like pigs, horses, and turkeys.
  • Take your little ones to the 25-acre natural play area at Prairie Oaks where they can climb trees, wander off the trail, and play in the mud. The entrance to the area is located off the Beaver Lake parking lot on Lucas Road.

Metro Parks Insider Tips

  • If you want to bring your dog or cat along on your family outing, visit Walnut Woods. The park's Buckeye Area has a 3-acre large dog park which has a doggie swimming area, as well as a 1-acre small dog park. Visitors can also have pet dogs and cats with them in picnic areas as long as they're on a leash.
  • Older children and adults who are interested in a fun physical fitness challenge should head to Scioto Audubon to try the Columbus Rotary Obstacle Course. It includes a tire run, balance beams, monkey bars, a log run, climbing an 8-foot wall, and doing tunnel and belly crawls.
  • For a relaxing weekend walk through woodlands filled with beautiful wildflowers and diverse wildlife, visit Inniswood Metro Gardens. This 121-acre nature area has plenty of trails for you to wander, including the Chipmunk Chatter Trail that cyclists can use to pedal through the woods.

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