Big Walnut Dog Park

Dirty Boy
5000 E Livingston Ave
Columbus, OH 43227
Operating Hours:
Managed By:
City of Columbus
Days Closed:
Portable restroom
Park Size:
3 acres
Type of Park:
Other Notes:

Pond access for the dogs to swim and lighting for evening use. They have added a separate small dog area, benches, and swimming area.

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Jessica B Gibson's picture
Second favorite park in Columbus

We travel to Columbus a lot and out side of Alum Creek (beach access) this is our favorite. It has lights for night time play and an awesome pond with ducks to chase. It's hardly ever crowded, and there is plenty of benches and rocks to sit! More than enough room to run!!

Jenny C's picture
Great Park!

This is my favorite dog park. The people are friendly and owners are responsible (I go in late afternoon).

Janetbak's picture
Big Walnut

Visited for the first time. I was anxious to have a pond where my dog could swim securely. However, the pond area was riddled with so much feces it was necessary to watch every step to avoid the piles every few feet. Also, there were no bags provided to pick up after your dog. They had bag holders but all were empty on this visit. Could be a nice place if it was taken care of.

dizzycat75's picture
Aggressive dogs and irresponsible owners

I have been to this park with my 2 dogs about 8 times. The last time I went, my 40lb dog has constantly being chased and mounted by a husky much larger then she. When I tried to shoo the dog away, it started to turn on me. Then when we were trying to leave the park, a larger 50 something man (who should know better?) had 5 dogs there with him, one of which was a shorter, dark, long-haired mix breed named "Bear". We have had problems with "Bear" before and today was no exception. When I reached down to clip my dog's leash on, Bear bit me, breaking the skin and drawing blood. I told the man he needed to get his dog and he would need to provide the dogs rabies tag as it had just bit me and I was calling the police, which is exactly what I did. Needless to say, the man did not have tags for any of his dogs and he and his dogs were long gone before the police arrived.
I decided to never go back to this park. I started going to the Pizzuro dog park, which is much better, but ran into him and Bear there also. I reminded him of the incident and asked if he had registered any of his dogs and gotten them shots. He quickly left. Dog owners beware, there are bad dog owners out there and they are migrating to the better parks too.
Perhaps there should be better monitoring of the dog parks? I know animal control would get there pockets full if they actually monitored this park, with all the dogs at this park who are not registered and who are out of control!
Boooo for irresponsible owners!

obnoxred1's picture
Pretty decent park

I started going to this park because it's close to my home. Maybe it's because of the time I go(earlier in the day), but I haven't had consistent problems with aggressive dogs. Most of the dog owners I encounter are responsible and if their dog gets aggressive, they remove it. As with anyplace, occasionally you are going to run across the aggressive behavior, but the people who use this park on a regular basis don't condone or allow it to continue. This is a nice park, with lots of room for the dogs to run.

SK22000's picture
Too many aggressive dogs and people not cleaning up doggie doo

I have given this place a good try out and have definately decided not to go back again. For some reason there were huge piles of doo doo (from a bigger dog or a horse or maybe even a human!) in the under 25lb dog area. Too many people bringing aggressive dogs and not paying any attention to them. Nobody follows the posted rules and as I left today I saw a couple with a really big dog bringing a small child (probably between 3-5 years) into the big dog area. Not a good idea! I know from experience. Also I had some personal property stolen from me so i won't be going back there.

kodasmama's picture
kids at the dog park

i LOVE this dog park. it is by far my favorite in the area. it is never too crowded like pizzurro park and the pond is awesome. My boyfriend and I take our husky/wolf hybrid here all the time and we always have a great experience. He loves the pond area and we love how its separated from the other area and there's picnic tables to sit at. Everyone at this park is very friendly.

The only problem we've had is very rare but sometimes people bring young children into the park. I find this extremely irresponsible of the parents. The dogs are having a great time and are running around full speed and when there are children walking around it's very easy for them to be run into and knocked down and injured. Not to mention these parents don't know all the dogs at the park and many dogs are not usually around children which can cause major issues. Dogs are unpredictable and to put your child in a locked enclosed area with a pack of big dogs is seriously dangerous. Also, its disrespectful to the dogs and owners who are at the park. They are no longer free to run around carefree and have fun they now have to watch your child's every move. It's irritating!! We like kids and our dog mostly just ignores them but you never know! It's just not smart.

The only other problem we've had which happens everywhere is people with aggressive dogs. Yesterday my boyfriend took our dog to Big Walnut and another dog bit him and tore his lip open pretty badly. The people never left nor got their dog to another area. If your dog cannot be friendly you should leave. We've had times where our dog didn't seem to mesh well with another so we went to a different area of the park. People need to have a little more respect.

Overall this is a great dog park. Lots of room to run and lots of nice people to talk to. We plan on being there a lot :)

nordlundjr's picture
Nice Park

I have taken my dog here several times and have not had too many issues. My dog is a fast runner and is generally content to run back and forth across the grass as fast as she can. The last time I took her, however, there were several male dogs and none of their owners seemed to mind that their dogs were mounting my dog! Thank God she is spayed! Wish other owners would do the same! The muddy areas have been roped off to allow for new grass. All in all, a pretty good park. Hoping there will be a park on the west side soon!

d0ggiem0mma's picture

Too many aggressive dogs and irresponsible owners. No one follows the rules (no choke chains, prong collars, or aggressive dogs.)

The park is located in a TERRIBLE area. I used to live around the corner and we moved after the SWAT team showed up... twice. Before this was a dog park it was used for drug deals, prostitution, and dumping dead bodies. Those folks haven't moved out... they just bring their dogs with them now.

roscoe's picture
Too much trash

Not physical trash per say but the people who frequent this park are horrible and have very poorly socialized and aggressive dogs. Been here 3 times every time multiple different dogs are aggressive. Owners just let their dogs keep running after attacks and continue to live like those ill behaved people that fills a lot of SE Columbus. Sad really, the physical park itself is nice, but due to its location, the visitors that frequent the place make it not worth the while.

The_Dog_Lover's picture
had a great time at big walnut dog park...

i've been here before in the past and just got back today from a 2hr visit with my 4 year old doberman pinscher.i prefer to go earlier in the morning on weekdays if possible when there aint as many dogs.but i had no promblems from the dog's or owners not controlling there dogs.i like the swimming hole for the dogs to dog even got in the water briefly.the park is nice and provides over 3 acres of play space and a seperate area for little dogs if thats what youre seeking.i really enjoyed this visit and plan on returning real dog also had a blast and played with almost all the dogs and had no altercations with any of them.lets keep encouraging people to use these parks and remember we are all responsible for are dogs actions and to control the way they communicate with others while we are visiting one of theses establishments.if everyone plays there part then we can all ejoy these great parks and have a good expierience like i did.

Ryan's picture
Reality Bites

I guess from the older postings that this used to be a good dog park. Not so much anymore.

Our dog was attacked by four (4) dogs brought in by a couple. This happed within a 10 foot radius of the gate to the large dog area. Not only did the couple obviouly not read the general rules of the park that are posted on the web and at the actual dog park, but they showed no remorse whatsoever after the attack.

Once we had pulled their dogs off of mine (our dog had over ten bone deep puncture wounds with a punctured leg artery and massive arterial spray), I did my best to apply manual pressure to the vein. This couple did not even have the decency to ask if our dog was okay as we were leaving the park.

I will admit, I was very angry at the fact that they did not even bother to ask if our dog was okay. I did point this out to them. The man had the audacity to follow me out to the parking lot to try and get into a fight with me. Mind you, I am carrying a dog that is quickly loosing a good deal of blood. Personal comment here, but it takes a mighty big man to pick a fight with someone who is carrying an injured family member.

Long story short, this happened on 3/20/2010. Our dog currently is having problems with trapped air under his muscle at the trauma points. The doctor is cautiously optimistic that he will recover, but there is still a chance that he will loose his leg.

I know this is more of a personal story than review, but it does a lot to show the mentality of the average person that is local to the park.

allison's picture
too many bad experiences

I too, really want to love this park. It could be one of the more beautiful ones. But there are too many aggressive/ unsocialized dogs. I have visited this park several times last summer and have had more bad experiences than good. It's not the dog's fault. It's the ignorant owner's fault.

One couple brought five pit bulls. All were friendly except one, who was not very socialable and was toy aggressive. Even though the owner new this, they still played with the ball, which led to a dog fight with my dog against two of their pits.

I gave the park one last try last week and a lady was there with a mastiff mix. She had food she was using to train her dog. But the dog was food aggressive. Naturally other dogs could smell the food and gravitated to her, and her dog would get aggressive. Owners, if you know your dog is food aggressive and toy aggressive, don't bring these things with you. Dog bights are too expensive and dangerous. That same day, a lady brought a large white out of control dog in. The dog was leashed and barking at all the other dogs. He was pulling her all around the park and she had no control over him. Another owner made a comment "oh her she comes again with that mean dog". Her dog snapped at another dog the day before.

My visits were becoming too stressful and this was the last straw. I had had it with this park. Googled this website and then visited Pizzurro dog park in Gahanna this past weekend. It is by far the best. Ignorant owners: don't go to Pizzurro and ruin it!

Visitor's picture
Lack of leadership

I want to love this park, I really do. It is minutes from my house and the pups know it and love it. However, I have to agree with a lot of the other reviews. The place is horrendously muddy, dogs are aggressive and no one cleans up after their dogs. There is very little grass and the park is not tended. Having been to Pizzuro dog park, it will be hard for me to go back to this one. Pizzuro is cleaner, larger, has a kid's park right next to it, and seems to be well taken care of.

tehaleks's picture
Oh and...

Nobody was in the small dog park area, but after all of the behaviour displayed on this day, I noticed one owner with his large dogs leave the large dog play area go to the small dog area just to get away from all of the nuisances. I don't blame him, if I was staying I would have joined him.

tehaleks's picture
Never going here again

This is probably the worst dog park I have ever been to. It has a lot of potential - it's really spacious with two "air-lock" entries, and a couple of trees. It really could be nice.

But it was muddy everywhere, and the people at this park were ignorant and foul and it seemed like all the worst dog park owners were out at this park.

There was someone there with a pit on a prong-pinch collar the entire time, there are not only signs up saying this is not acceptable for play at the dog park, but any dog owner should know better especially if they are going to use that kind of collar. Not only did she not have it positioned correctly but she left it on the entire time (I was there for approximately an hour and she was there before and after I left). Then she had her dog on the leash while it tried to play and constantly pulled against the collar. Clearly it wasn't doing any good anyway, the dog didn't seem to care.

Then approximately 50% of the population there this weekend, out of around 20-30 people, had aggressive or unsocialized dogs. Most were mildly aggressive but some were downright unacceptable to be there. My dog who is usually a social butterfly, kept her distance and didn't even care to play with anyone there.

Then a group of women decided to get into an argument right in the middle of everyone. They didn't even have any shame or the decency to go discuss their issue to the side - they just got into it right in the middle and ignored their dogs.

I know usually I say that the bad people come and go and you can meet it anywhere, but there were just too many there that day.

Perhaps it was just a bad day, but I won't take my chances and waste my time. The fail of this dog park was just too much for this day and I will now go anywhere else but this place.

Aulkie's picture
Scenic and beautiful, large with dual entrances

I regularly go to the Westerville Dog Park, and Alum Creek Dog Park. Because Alum Creek Dog Park has major construction on the roads to get there, I thought we would try something different today, and explore this park although its about a good half hours drive.

I was stunned at its beauty. This park is huge, and treed, with dual entrances from two different lots. The trees were all changing colors and leaves were fluttering and twirling down to the ground. The ground is level and easy to walk, or in the dogs case race over.

The water area is accessible without leaving the park, and appears to be part of the creek. There are numerous picnic tables for the humans to enjoy, and flat top rocks to sit on near the fence lines.

We saw a blue heron standing quite nearby in the river fishing... well one dog saw it, my other was more interested in racing the fence lines.

There are numerous trash containers throughout the park-- please remember that we keep our dogs and others safe by picking up after them, so I carry my own bio disposable bags to leave no trace. Please remember that children can be seen as prey to some dogs when they run and flap their arms, and that some dogs find humans bending forward to be stressful. It sounds like we have some newcomers to dog park etiquette from some of the reviews of this particular park. But, none of the dogs were a problem today, and the people were very friendly.

Oh, did I mention I saw a skunk also? Not many dog parks with this kind of natural beauty. Give this park a try, you'll not be disapointed!

Visitor's picture
big walnut

Big Walnut Dog Park used to be nice but the area is not so good and lately there have been a lot of aggressive dogs come, has gone down hill...I no longer go there for this reason!

Visitor's picture
Great place to run

This is a great park where your dog can run free. It is very large and has separate areas for small and normal-sized dogs. There is a separate fenced swim area as well. The only draw back that I have found is that there is no running water onsite so you have to remember to take your own. Ample parking and fully lighted.

Visitor's picture

My dog LOVES this park! He is free to roam and really enjoys the open social area. There are three segments to this park; small dog area, large dog area and a swimming area. Each area is fenced in, and only the tiniest or most spry of dogs can get to the separate areas without the owners consent. I do know of some dogs that do misbehave because of lack of owner supervision, but the other people in the park jump in the moment something gets out of hand. It is a very friendly and helpful community.

Visitor's picture
Rememer that...

When reading reviews please remember that the problem lies with the owners not the dogs. These are isolated incidents. I have had my dog there several times and have never had a problem. I have however seen the same thing mentioned above at 2 other parks in the area I have been to. With that being said I personally feel that one can not base taking a dog to a specific park on 2 personal experiences. I have taken my dog back to both parks where past attacks have happened and it has been fine. My feelings on the Alum Creek park are that the grass is undeveloped yes, but the swim pond is an A+ and the lighting is nice as well.

Finn's picture
Not worth the trip!

I took my dog to dog parks all over the country and I was least impressed with this one. The area is completely covered in mud however it has a nice swim pond. There was hardly and grass at all. It was difficult for me to walk around because of the mud. My dog was beyond filthy when he was done playing. He was covered from head to toe in mud. I was also concerned about the the other dogs in the park. They were all really overly aggressive, something I have never seen in another dog park before. It is very easy to tell if the aggressiveness is playful or not and this was definitely not. If you have a fun dog that likes to play with others, I would not suggest this park.

Visitor's picture
Beware of dogs in dog park

We have been taking our lab to this park for a couple months.  The park is set up nicely for allowing your dog to run.  However, not everyone has control of their dogs.  We have seen many dogs growl and try to fight.  Our lab is very submissive and we had been taking her to socialize her.  Saturday afternoon she was running around playing with a small dog and a German Shepherd came up behind her and bit her.  The owners told me she was playing and has never bitten before.  Sadly for my dog, she was the one who suffered from their lack of control.  Not every dog that goes into these parks are socialized well enough to be playing off leash.  We had to take her to Med Vet since no vet clinics were open.   It cost us $260 and she was at no fault for this bite.  She had been gaining confidence from going until this happened.  Unfortunately we are not willing to take the risk that this will happen again and will not be going back.

Visitor's picture
I love this park!

I brought Ginger here a couple of times.  I am definitely sure that we will bring her back. I really like the park and its really good for Ginger.  She loves to come to this park and besides it gets a lot of her high energy down  :)  -Chrissy