|The 33-acre Island MetroPark is an urban oasis conveniently located in downtown Dayton filled with picturesque landscape and mature tree growth; a rich cultural heritage; recreation amenities and opportunities abound; and a waterway that borders both sides of the park. The park was originally a part of the Report on Proposed Park Systems done for the City of Dayton. The report was submitted by the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm; world renowned and famous for enhancing the natural beauty of urban sites with their designs. It’s noteworthy that the whole report stems from the urging of John Patterson (co-founder of the National Cash Register Company). In 1995, MetroParks started a rehabilitation of the park to protect the character set forth by Patterson & the Olmsted’s; and now offers amenities needed for today’s active and healthy lifestyles. They include:
Paved Bikeways / Recreation Trails
The park has over 2 miles of trails for walking, skating, running and bike riding.
The landscape beds of Island that border walkways; the playground area; and the Bandshell is beautifully manicured to provide an urban oasis. The sycamore and maple trees throughout the park provide a canopy for great picnic opportunities. The willow trees that border the lagoon area makes for a serene passage down a small waterway.
Playgrounds and Water Play Area
The Playground and the Water Play area at Island MetroPark is an interactive waterplay system that provides an active recreation opportunity, and supports healthy lifestyles for kids.
OPEN MEMORIAL DAY THROUGH LABOR DAY - The Water Play System has closed for the season as of Sept 2, 2014.
Regular hours - Memorial Day through August 14:
11a-7:50p Monday thru Sat; 1p-7:50p on Sunday
Late summer hours - August 15 through Labor Day:
Monday-Friday 4-7:50pm, Saturdays 11am-7:50pm, and Sundays 1-7:50pm.
Open-air shelters make an excellent setting for functions – from casual BBQs to wedding receptions, birthday parties to family reunions. Shelters are located in beautiful, natural settings and come with tables, grills and mowed play areas. Some include electricity, water, and other amenities. Most shelters accommodate 35 people, several are much larger. All are ranger patrolled, quiet and designed to offer a degree of privacy. By making advanced reservations, your group will be guaranteed use of the site.
View the shelters available at Island MetroPark >>
Picnicking without a reservation
If a reservation notice isn't posted in a shelter, it is available at no charge on a first come, first served basis. In addition to shelters, green space with picnic areas are available for spontaneous get-togethers.
Island MetroPark was formerly known as the White City Amusement Park in the late 19th century. The park had a dance pavilion, amusement rides, canoe lockers, refreshment stand, and other recreation features. In 1910, Dayton started leasing the park land for $3,000 a year, and in 1911, a recommendation to buy the land was proposed in the report submitted by the Olmsted Brothers. There were enhancements to the park after the Great Flood in 1913. On July 13, 1913, the Dayton Canoe Club held is first regatta. On June 20, 1914, the park formally opened as Island Park. The park became an ideal location in the coming years for programming that included bathing, picnicking, canoeing, boating, dancing, ice skating, water carnivals, evening band concerts, and general recreation. In 1940, a Bandshell was erected, and opened under the name of the Leslie L. Diehl Bandshell where programmed concert attendance totaled 80,000 in 1943.