Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks plans to open approximately half of the new Quarry Trails Metro Park to the public by mid-October.
Located near Grandview Heights, Quarry Trails, the Metro Parks system’s 20th park, is a public-private partnership unlike any other in Columbus. In addition to being a standard Metro Park, Quarry Trails includes a housing development that sits adjacent to the park itself.
The project is the result of a partnership between Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and Thrive Companies, a local developer that purchased the site in 2017.
The heavily-anticipated Metro Park features miles of hiking trails, mountain bike trails, a 25-foot waterfall accessible via a limestone staircase, a 166-foot quarry wall where visitors can rock climb and rappel, water sports, and more.
Metro Parks public information manager, Peg Hanley, said those who want to kayak, paddleboard, and fish can visit two lakes at the southern part of the park. A sledding hill and dog park are expected to be included with later phases of the park’s opening.
Larry Peck, Metro Parks deputy director, said the plan is to have 60 to 100 acres of the park open to the public by the fall. The first-phase opening in mid-October is expected to include access to both lakes, the Scioto River, and the park’s trail system.
The Metro Parks board has authorized an $822,207 contract with Setterlin Building Company of Columbus’ West Side for a restroom and plaza to be included with the park.
The Quarry Trails Development will take up approximately 80 acres to the south and east of the new 220-acre Metro Park.
An additional 250 acres of land on the northern side of the site is also controlled by Thrive Companies. This area is still an active quarry site but could be developed in the future. The park and development are located on a former limestone quarry, with some of the stones rumored to have been used in the Ohio Stadium and the Statehouse downtown.
As listed on the website of the developer, Thrive Companies, the community project includes apartments, townhomes, free-standing condominiums, and space for retail, community, and office buildings.
Steve Bollinger, Thrive Companies Principal and Executive Vice President of Development, said that he expects the first move-ins to begin in “October or November.” The partnership offers benefits to both parties. Quarry Trails Development gains a unique amenity while the Metro Park will have access to critical utilities and infrastructure. Additional updates on the park, including the exact opening date, will be made on the Metro Parks website and social media pages.