The 9 Best Places To Take Your Dog Swimming

Summer 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.

Ready to splash around?


Pooch Playground at Pizzurro Park

Distance from Downtown Columbus: 10 miles
There is a creek next to the Pooch Playground at Pizzurro Park where canine companions can get thier 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.

Antrim Park

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Distance from Downtown Columbus: 11 miles
Antrim Park is a great place to take your doggo when you want him to leave dog-gone tired. Keep your dog on-leash while you walk a couple laps around the lake. Then find a beach so your dog can dive in and cool off, leash-free. There are beaches all over the place for pups to splash in. Be mindful of fishermen while you’re there. You don’t want your dog getting tagled in their fishing line or to scare away a big catch. My old lab, Duke, took his very first swim in Antrim Lake. So this park has a special place in my heart.

Dog Park at Walnut Woods Metro Park

Distance from Downtown Columbus: 15 miles
One of the main perks of the dog park at Walnut Woods, is that it has a fenced-in swimming area for the pooches. If your dog is prone to roaming too far when he’s off leash—which causes you to have a mini heart attack until you find him—then this place has your pup’s name on it. Now the swimming area is for woofers 20-pounds and up, but there’s a 1-acre dog park just for the little barkers.

Darby Bend Lakes at Prarie Oaks Metro Park

Distance from Downtown Columbus: 17 miles
Darby Bend Lakes at the Parie Oaks Metro Park has alloted a beach for doggos 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.

Battelle Darby Creek

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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 pupper swimming along Big Dary 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.

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 looking to take a dip in Alum Creek can feel free to jump in at this park of the lake.

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 don’t mean your doggy won’t have a puptastic time! There’s even a picnic area so you can enjoy a meal while your pupper tires itself out.

Dog Park at Portage Lakes State Park

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Distance from Downtown Columbus: 126 miles
The Dog Park at Portage Lakes State Park is ideal for frolicing on land and in the water. Your dog will make so many new friends! Test out your dog’s retreiving abilities and play fetch in the water for hours. You’ll leave with one sleepy, soggy, and happy dog.

Cooperation Station Dog Park at Mosquito Lake State Park

via Mosquito Lake Dog Park Facebook

Distance from Downtown Columbus: 180 miles
The 5-acre off-leash dog park at Mosquito Lake State Park has seperate areas for dogs both big and little, and a special doggy beach. It’s a great place to spend the entire day. It’s got plenty of shade and drinking water for both doges and hoomans. There’s so much room to explore that your fur-baby won’t be able to stop his sniffer!

Now, let me see that doggy paddle!


Originally published 6/27/2017. Updated with additional content by Chelsea Wiley on 6/13/18.