Warmer weather fun isn’t just for humans, you know. Your best friend, aka your perfect pup, wants to get out and enjoy the weather too!
It’s not always easy to find dog-friendly swimming holes, which is a real bummer for those pups who are basically half-fish (looking at you, retrievers!) Luckily, Columbus and the surrounding area is a pretty great place for water-loving dogs to get their paws wet.
Full disclosure, some of these dog-friendly swimming holes are a bit of a drive. But when you see your dog’s tail wagging happily as she runs headfirst for the beach, it will all be worth it.
Dog Park at Pizzurro Park
Distance from Downtown Columbus: 10 miles
There is a creek next to the Dog Park at Pizzurro Park where canine companions can get their paws wet. To dry off, take your dog into the 4-acre fenced-in area and have it jump over, under, and through the obstacles of the agility course.
Website: Dog Park at Pizzurro Park
Walnut Woods Metro Park
Distance from Downtown Columbus: 15 miles
Walnut Woods is a fantastic park to visit for pups and humans alike. In addition to the adorable little dog park, you can also take your dogs on trails that lead right up to the water. Walnut Woods is the most Instagrammable park around, so make sure your pup is camera-ready before your big watery adventure.
Website: Walnut Woods Metro Park
Darby Bend Lakes at Prairie Oaks Metro Park
Distance from Downtown Columbus: 17 miles
Darby Bend Lakes at the Parie Oaks Metro Park has allowed a beach for dogs to go swimming. Fluffers and borkers of all shapes can come out and have a great time. The incline into the water is gradual which makes it a good place to take first-time swimmers and little dogs.
Website: Prairie Oaks Metro Park
Battelle Darby Creek
Distance from Downtown Columbus: 18 miles
Hoomans and their pooches are invited to explore Battelle Darby Creek’s 800-acre designated hunting area during the off-season months. There are plenty of places to take your dog swimming along Big Darby Creek. If you’re looking for a place to make a splash all year round, there are designated doggy beaches at Osprey Lake and Pleasant Valley.
Website: Battelle Darby Creek
Alum Creek Dog Park
Distance from Downtown Columbus: 22 miles
Alum Creek Dog Park opened in 2006 and has become one of the most popular dog parks in the area. The 4-acre park has fenced in areas for dogs big and little, but those pups looking to take a dip in Alum Creek can feel free to jump in at this park of the lake.
Website: Alum Creek Dog Park
Dog Park at Salt Fork State Park
Distance from Downtown Columbus: 95 miles
Let your dog free from his leash and set up a lawn chair at the Salt Fork Dog Park. It’s a little smaller and only around an acre in size. But that doesn’t mean your dog won’t have an amazing time. There’s even a picnic area so you can enjoy a meal while your pupper tires itself out.
Website: Salt Fork State Park
Dog Park at Portage Lakes State Park
Distance from Downtown Columbus: 126 miles
The Dog Park at Portage Lakes State Park is ideal for frolicking on land and in the water. Your dog will make so many new friends! Test out your dog’s retrieving abilities and play fetch in the water for hours and I promise, you’ll leave with one sleepy, soggy, happy dog.
Website: Portage Lakes State Park