Prairie Oaks Metro Park (at Darby Bend Lake)

2755 Amity Road
Hillard / West Jefferson, OH
Operating Hours:
Managed By:
Columbus Metro Parks
Days Closed:
Park Size:
Type of Park:
Not Fenced
Other Notes: This park has a swimming area for the dogs.
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AxelsMom's picture
Great Park for Swimming

This is a great little swimming area for dogs. We usually go to Alum Creek Dog Park for swimming, but decided to check out Prairie Oaks for a change. Prairie Oaks is much cleaner than Alum Creek; the water is cleaner and there is less mud. Also, your dog actually gets to swim, as the water is pretty deep after about only 5 feet. At Alum Creek, the water level can be so low your dogs feet never leave the ground. The Prairie Oaks lake has no motor boats, which is also a plus. There is no fence that encompasses the entire dog area, but as another reviewer pointed out, there are few distractions to encourage your dog to go elsewhere.

The only things that would make Prairie Oaks better would be a larger poop bin (there's only one and it is tiny!), more frequent poop bin empties, if the dog area was a bit larger, and if it was closer to my house (we live on the east side of Columbus, so it's quite the trip.)

Also, it is VERY confusing to find the dog area once in the park. You have to enter the Park using the Amity Road entrance, and the dog area is the North-East most lake (there are three lakes), on the Western edge. Took about 30 minutes for me to figure that out; some more signage would be nice!

OzziesMama's picture
Great Trails for Walking Dogs

We've been going here for a couple of years and love this Metro Park since it's close to home. There are a few dog-friendly trails of different lengths for hiking with your buddy including trails along the Big Darby Creek. Although my dog does not swim, he likes mingling with the other dogs at the swimming area. While I'd like a fenced area, I don't think it fits well with the park's mission of natural prairie and wetland preservation. Prairie Oaks hosted WagFest last year which was a great place for it. Bottom line - the park is pristine and very dog-friendly. Make sure you bring drinking water along if you take the trails.

Visitor's picture

This park is soo clean, its amazing. Two of my dogs love to do the swimming, yet for the dogs that dont like swimming, there is still area for them to run. Better yet, the trails around the park are good for k-9 and human to go walking on together. Its just great.

Sharonm7's picture
This is a Very nice dog park!

Columbus Metro Parks did a great job with this park. It is not fenced, but there are few distractions to make 'wandering' dogs leave the area. There is small gravel placed conveniently in the swimming entry, so it is dry and very clean. Typically after a swim, Leo (my St. Bernard) is a muddy mess, but here he was clean enough to hop in the car! There are 'poop bags' provided, and the water is clean for drinking... thx Metro Parks!

Visitor's picture
dog area

please add a fenced in area.