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mia thompson

Mia Thompson

Pet Specialist

Doggone Good Times: Columbus's Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails

Hey there, Columbus pup parents! Are you tired of the same ol' walk around the block with Fido, passing by Mr. Johnson’s questionably sculpted shrubs for the umpteenth time? It’s time to break free from the backyard and venture into the wild – or at least the well-manicured metro parks of our lovely Columbus, Ohio. Trust me, Rover’s tail is wagging just thinking about it!

With a leash in hand and some treats in your pocket, let’s explore the crème de la crème of dog-friendly hiking trails where you and your canine companion can strut your stuff, all while soaking in Mother Nature's glory. They don't say Columbus is a "pawradise" for nothing!

Highbanks Metro Park: More Than Just a Walk in the Park

If you and your pooch are itching for a mini adventure, Highbanks Metro Park is your go-to spot. Just off Route 23 in Lewis Center, this park is a treasure with more than ten miles of trails that will lead you through enchanting woodlands, past a natural playground, and even to a scenic overlook with a view that screams, "Instagram me!" Remember, 'paws for the cause' and scoop that poop to keep the hills alive with the sounds of nature and not “eww.”

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park: Bison Watching with Your Best Friend

Imagine strolling along with your pup, and there, in the distance, you see a herd of majestic American bison. No, you’re not on a safari; you’re at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park on the westside of Columbus. With over 7,000 acres and a 14-mile trail network, it’s the ultimate game of “who can spot the bison first,” and let's be real, your dog probably has better eyesight.

Alum Creek State Park: A Splashing Good Time

Ahoy there! Set a course to Alum Creek State Park, where the trail isn't just a trail. Pooches can enjoy doggy paddling in the water, and trust me, they’ll love it more than that stinky pond at the park back home. So, don’t fur-get the towel; a good shake-off is inevitable, and nobody wants eau de wet dog on the car ride home.

Glacier Ridge Metro Park: Open Spaces and Happy Dog Faces

Glacier Ridge Metro Park in Dublin is where dogs can frolic in open spaces, sniff around in the wetlands, and let their tongues flap in the breeze. With many miles of trails and an 18-hole disc golf course, it's the ideal place to chase frisbees – you know, for humans and dogs alike.

Sharon Woods Metro Park: Elevated Fun for Everyone

Elevate your trail game at Sharon Woods Metro Park. With an elevated boardwalk, you and your canine sidekick can play ‘floor is lava’ without the commitment of the actual volcano. Just a skip and a hop north of Columbus, Sharon Woods offers miles of exploration and a picturesque 11-acre lake that’s so serene it’ll make you forget about that time Mr. Fluff destroyed your favorite slippers.

A Hidden Gem for City Dwellers: Overbrook Ravine Park

For Columbusites looking for a quick escape, there's the half-mile nirvana known as Overbrook Ravine Park (Aveniadventure). Nestled in Clintonville, this tranquil trail is perfect for those leisurely walks designed for deep canine contemplations, like whether to chase tail before or after snack time.

Dog-Friendly Hike Essentials: Don’t Furr-get These!

Now, before you let the leash lead you out the door, let's get serious for a 'fleeting' moment about what to bring:

  • Leash & Collar/Harness: Keep it close; there are squirrels with agendas out there.
  • Water & Collapsible Bowl: Stay hydrated; panting is not a fashion statement.
  • Snacks & Treats: Energy for the pup and bribe material for when they find an interesting bush.
  • Waste Bags: No pet-iquette without these!
  • First-Aid Kit: Better safe than sorry when you’re out being exploratory.

The Golden Rule of Trails: Be Kind and Mind the Furry Kind

While we're all about having good, clean fun, remember to respect fellow hikers – not everyone is keen on a friendly face-lick, no matter how adorable the licker may be. Keep your four-legged buddy on a leash, yield to others, and always keep nature exactly as you found it – untrampled, unpolluted, and un-'puddled' by our doggy pals.

Final Bark and Beyond

Columbus is crawling (or should I say, walking?) with dog-friendly hikes that boast the best of nature and the companionship of our beloved fur babies. It's time to trade the concrete jungle for picturesque paths and boundless energy that goes further than playing fetch in the front yard.

So tie those laces, grab that leash, and let's hit the trails where tails never stop wagging, and memories are just a bark away. Adventure awaits, Columbusites – let's make every hike a tail-wagging triumph for pups citywide!

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