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Exploring the Roses, Prairie and Playgrounds of Whetstone Park

Whetstone Park in Columbus, Ohio offers a lot of fun within its 136 acres! Located in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus, Whetstone Park has its own prairie, two playgrounds and the famous Park of Roses!

I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful park in the late spring/early summer so that you can see the roses in bloom. The Columbus Park of Roses is a must-see destination in Columbus, Ohio! But there are plenty of other things to see and do in the park, no matter when you visit!

So, pack your picnic basket and head out for a day of exploring and playing!

Whetstone Park of Roses Gazebo.

Where is Whetstone Park?

Whetstone Park is in the Clintonville neighborhood, on the north side of Columbus. The official address is 3923 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43214. This address will take you to the Whetstone Community Center. Use this parking lot to access athletic fields, the community recreation center and one of the playgrounds.

You will actually turn west onto Hollenback Rd. to access the park. You’ll want to continue down Hollenback Rd. to access the prairie and the Columbus Park of Roses. The official address for the Columbus Park of Roses is 3901 N. High St.

5 Things to See and Do at Whetstone Park:

I am listing these activities in the order you will find them as you turn west off of High St., and into Whetstone Park. The park is behind the Whetstone Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Keep that in mind if you want to tack on an indoor option to your visit to the park!

1. Whetstone Community Recreation Center

Whetstone Park has it’s own Recreation Center where you can take classes, play sports, lift weights, take music lessons and much more! The grounds are home to tennis courts, ball diamonds, picnic shelters, a playground and more!

Two boys on the playground at Whetstone Community Recreation Center.

If you’re focused on the outdoor activities at Whetstone Park, you’ll want to check out the playground that is right next to the Whetstone Recreation Center! This playground was more of a hit than the playground further into the park for my kids who are elementary aged.

The playground at Whetstone Community Recreation Center.

There are a lot of climbing features at this play structure plus some fun, twisty slides.

There is a parking lot right outside the recreation center that is super close to this playground.

2. Whetstone Prairie

A deer poking his head out of the grass in the Whetstone Prairie at Whetstone Park in Columbus, Ohio.

This part of the park came as a complete surprise to me when my husband and I stumbled upon it in the Summer or 2020! Imagine my surprise at not only finding an unknown prairie, but coming face to face with a deer! I certainly did not expect that!

Whetstone Prairie.

I learned from the Columbus Recreation and Parks website that the prairie is a relatively recent addition. The prairie was planted in May 2004. The area is now home to vernal pools and native Ohio plants and woodland.

Mowed path around Whetstone Prairie at Whetstone Park in Columbus.

There is a mowed path around the prairie area for easy walking. Along the way you can check out educational signage and look for butterflies (and apparently, deer)!

Pollinators in the Whetstone Prairie, Columbus, Ohio.

I found this area very peaceful. It would make for a great educational outing or field trip for homeschoolers! Parking for the prairie can be found along Hollenback Rd. or park in the lot for Columbus Park of Roses.

3. Columbus Park of Roses

The Park of Roses is practically a separate park within Whetstone Park. It’s one of Columbus’ most unique parks with distinct borders and its own parking lot. When you park in the lot, head up the hill to see the roses in their splendor.

Fountain in the Park of Roses at Whetstone Park.

The Park of Roses is home to 350 varieties of roses. Peak bloom is in mid June, but you will be able to see some version of the roses throughout spring and summer! But you can always visit this part of Whetstone Park, no matter the season! You’re free to enjoy the walking paths all year round!

Roses in Whetstone Park, Columbus, Ohio.

4. Playground in Whetstone Park

Play structure in Whetstone Park.

The playground at Whetstone Park is a little bit old school, a little bit modern. It has a mix of features, including the fire truck that most kids gravitate towards! This old, metal fire truck has been a draw for my boys at all ages!

Fire Truck play structure in Whetstone Park in Columbus, Ohio.

The playground area has some picnic tables and benches which are convenient. And while the closest indoor restrooms are at the Recreation Center – definitely driving distance – there have usually been port-a-potties at the playground area.

Boy on the playground in Whetstone Park.

If you’re visiting Whetstone Park with kids, you’ll definitely want to plan for a stop at the playground. While it could use a little upgrade, it’s still fun for kids and gives them a much needed opportunity to play. Maybe include this playtime as an reward for making it through the rose gardens without trampling any heritage rose bushes.

Swings in Whetstone Park.

For playground parking, continue on Hollenback Rd and make a right on Olentangy Blvd. within Whetstone Park. The playground has its own parking lot.

5. Fishing Pond

Fishing pond in Whetstone Park in Columbus, Ohio.

Whetstone Park is also home to a fishing pond! If you visit the Columbus Recreation and Parks website, it is updated with when the fishing pond has been restocked! Fishing is allowed here but anyone over age 16 must have an Ohio fishing license.

Two boys on a bridge at the fishing pond in Whetstone Park.

Whetstone Park is a trailhead for the Olentangy Greenway Trail that connects Worthington to Downtown Columbus. Whether you’re on bike or on foot, this is a pretty area of the park to travel through. The pond can be found past the playground on Olentangy Blvd.

Ducks in the pond at Whetstone Park.

I hope you enjoy your visit to Whetstone Park, one of Columbus’ premiere city parks and attractions! If you’re looking for more things to do in Columbus, check out Over 100 Fun Things to do in Columbus Ohio for lots of inspiration!

More Parks to Visit in Columbus:

things to do this weekend in columbus ohio

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