Earlier this month, on Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow. As legend would have it, this means we get an early spring, right? Well, let’s hope.
When warmer days are here, Columbus area dog walkers may be interested in arranging a park field trip for their frisky friends. With the help of Google reviews, Yelp and Bring Fido, we’ve made an alphabetical list of the most popular Columbus area parks for pups.
Battle Darby Creek Metro Park
Rating: 4/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 4.8/5 Stars (Google)
Located 15 minutes from Columbus in Galloway, this park offers miles of dog-friendly nature trails. The acreage is situated by the Big and Little Darby Creeks. There is also a fenced area with pond access for off the leash play.
Several reviewers remark on how well-maintained the areas are. There is plenty of room to roam around and explore. You may even spot Bison during your visit, as this park is also their home!
Breck Community Park
Rating: 5/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 4.5/5 Stars (Google)
Breck Park is located in Grove City. It offers plenty of parking. One user remarked that those using the park were friendly and kept an eye on their pets. The park offers both off leash and on leash areas. There are areas are separated by dog sizes. Two areas are described as being 3 acres large, and another two are 1.5 acres in size.
Park rangers are on site to make sure that leash rules are being followed. There is a mention in the reviews that waste bags are available for pet cleanup. Also for your convenience are water fountains for your pets to have a drink. However, this feature may be shut off during wintry weather.
Companion Club Dog Park
Rating: 5/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 3.9/5 Stars (Google)
This private park is located in Delaware. The park is on 11 acres featuring pine trees and its Golden Pond. Like other parks, a pond is accessible by dogs for water play.
This is not a free park. You can either purchase a day pass for $25, or an annual membership for $395. Users are required to provide proof of immunizations of their pets. Pets must also be spayed or neutered to be allowed entry. Some pet owners may prefer a private park with more rules, especially those concerning pet health. In a public park, your animals could come into contact with other animals behind on their shots. A private park such as Companion Club offers more oversight as to who uses the facility, such as vetted dogs. It may be worth the money for a paid park if you have special concerns about your pet’s health.
Rating: 5/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 4.6/5 Stars (Google)
Fancyburg Park is a 25-acre family-friendly destination located in Upper Arlington. After 8PM, you can have your animals off-leash in the park. The Upper Arlington Parks & Recreation Department offers dog training classes from May through July. So while you’re planning those sunny days out, you could also pick up some skills!
Friends of Alum Creek Dog Park
Rating: 4.2/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 4.6/5 Stars (Google)
This big fun park located in Lewis Center has a beach area for dogs to fetch balls and wade in the water. The other section is a grassy open play area with plenty of shade trees. This park also has separate sections for small and large animals. When you’re done playing for the day, there are hoses provided to rinse the animals off before heading home. For drinking, there are pet water fountains.
One user offered a tip for alternate entry. They say to go Hollenback Rd and South Old State Rd, heading east on Hollenback toward the reservoir. Once you pass the marina, the park is on your left.
Keep in mind that this park is maintained by volunteers and may not always be completely cleaned up.
Rating: 4.8/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 4.7/5 Stars (Google)
Gowdown Park is located in Columbus and is 10-acres in size. Half of these acres are designated for dog use. 4.5 acres are allocated to large dogs and one acre is for small dogs. It features benches, a water fountain for dogs, pathways, and a paved parking lot. The park is fully fenced and is situated on a rolling terrain with ample shade. Waste bags are provided for your convenience.
Rules are that pets be spayed or neutered, aggressive behavior is prohibited, no toys or treats allowed, and children under the age of 9 are not permitted. One reviewer mentioned that the park users are friendly and that the animals play well together. Another user says that she drives over an hour to bring her dogs here because they enjoy it so much!
Mutt’s Paradise AumuseMutt Park & Training Center
Rating: 5/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 4.8/5 Stars (Google)
Mutt’s is another private park option and is also located in Delaware. It’s 6 acres of pup paradise and includes, you guessed it, a pond! One photo on the Mutt’s website shows a paddleboat on the pond which adds even more family fun. Like the previously mentioned private park, proof of vaccines is required for entry.
For your visit, you will need to have an appointment. It’s $10/per dog, per hour. If you have more than five dogs, the fee drops to $9. If you have a large group of 12 or more, you’ll pay a flat rate of $100/hour.
If you’re the kind of pet owner who dislikes being around too many strange dogs, you’ll appreciate having the park to yourself with this rentable park. There is no charge for foster animals, shelter animals or hospice animals. The park is open daily 11AM-7PM except for winter.
Three Creeks Dog Park
Rating: 4/5 Stars ( Yelp!) 4.5/5 Stars (Google)
Three Creeks Park is located in Groveport. Alum, Big Walnut and Black Lick creeks all come together at this place. More than 100 species of birds call this park home including great blue herons and owls. Beavers, minks, coyotes, and deer have also been spotted in this 1,100-acre park.
This park offers multiple trails and recreation areas to choose from. The dog park area takes up four acres of the park in the Sycamore Fields section. Pets are also allowed in the picnic areas. Outside the dog enclosure, dogs must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Walnut Woods Metro Park
Rating: 4/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 4.5/5 Stars (Google)
Imagine 1,098 acres of fields and woodlands featuring trees of pine, sweetgum, serviceberry, crab apple, and red maple. Walnut Woods Metro Park is located in Groveport and there you can enjoy restored wetlands and vernal pools. The dog park has a 3-acre area for large dogs (20 lbs. or more) and for small dogs (20 lbs. or less) a 1-acre area. Both areas have a shade shelter. There is additionally a separate area featuring a pond. One user said that they alternately take their dog to the creek for wading.
Beyond the area for dogs are paved trails that are also dog-friendly. Leashes are recommended for these areas, of course. One user enjoyed taking the Sweetgum trail with their dog. A reviewer mentioned that there is a nice agility course for added fun. They also remarked on the cleanliness of the park.
Wheeler Memorial Park
Rating: 4.2/5 Bones (Bring Fido) 4.5/5 Stars (Google)
Wheeler Park is a dog park in Columbus. There are two sections that open in a rotation, with one open at a time. This hilly park has plenty of trees and is fully fenced to keep animals in. It offers benches, free waste bags (but bring backups just in case) and a water spigot to keep your dogs hydrated. This park also offers plenty of parking for the crowds it attracts.
Despite the popularity, some reviewers have complained about some issues with the park. Sometimes there can be issues with grass sod erosion leading to a very muddy situation during wet weather periods. There lacks a partition between breed sizes. so those with smaller pets may feel intimidated.
Some complain that other dog owners aren’t very consistent with picking up after their dogs and preventing fighting attacks. While the park is lovely, without pet owners taking responsibility for their dogs, a planned fun day in the park can turn unpleasant. Columbus area dog walkers may want to skip this park if it’s terribly crowded, or on weeks when there has been precipitation. Catch it during a dry week on a less busy day and it could make for a nice outing.
Tip: You can always look up the Google profiles and see the peak times for each weekday in order to plan your trip!
While there are more ways than these 10 to have fun in the sun with your best friend, this is a place to start. Hit those trails and wag some tails this spring and summer!