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Athens, Greece was renowned for being a city of learning, and the same can certainly be said for Athens, Ohio. It is true that Athens is home to salt mines and coal mines, but, unlike other mining towns, those are not Athens' most popular industries or its largest employer. Ohio University employs more people than the combined mining industries and is a cornerstone of the community.
Start your adventures in Athens at Sells Park with your dog. There is a small nature area here where you can roam and enjoy the fresh air. This park connects with Strouds Run State Park if you would like to take a good hike together. Strouds Run State Park is over 2,000 acres of hardwood forest that are open for you to camp and hike. A leash law is strictly enforced here, but your dog is more than welcome to join you.
If you head west, you will find The Fox Lake Wildlife Area. This is an impressive nature area with two spots for fishing. The entire 420 acres are open for exploration. Bring a leash and a lunch so that you can spend the whole day examining animal tracks, watching birds, and walking the hiking trails.
There are plenty of adventures awaiting you and Fido in and around Athens!
West State Street Dog Park is said to be the best dog park in the area. This large dog park has plenty of room to run and romp in. The double gate keeps everyone where they should be. There are two watering stations, but they're turned off in the winter. Your dog will enjoy the agility equipment almost as much as you will enjoy the shaded seating area. You will find doggie bags located at the gate and the trash cans, which are regularly restocked by park staff. This is the pawfect place to let Fido sniff out some new friends!
East State Steet Dog Park is a little bit different than the one on West State Street. The key difference is that there is no shade for you sit in, and it also lacks grass and water facilities. You will need to bring your water all year long. The benches get very hot in the summer, but the dogs don't seem to mind! There's plenty of room here for pooches to play in, which is the main draw of the park. Some locals complain that this park was poorly planned, but visitors often note it is a great park, especially if you bring your own chair.
Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is a 22-mile trail supported and maintained by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. It was once a rail line, but now it is a paved trail where you can enjoy exploring with your dog. You will need to have good walking shoes. There are rest stops along the way, but make sure to bring plenty of water for you and your pooch. Don't forget that you will need doggie waste bags to clean up after your dog as well. If you want a good, long hike that is easy and enjoyable, then the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is the place to go!
Jackie O's Taproom started off as a simple brewery that filled kegs full of specialty brews. Then, they decided that filling bottles and selling them to the public was the way to go. Now, you and your dog can go by and grab a brew any day of the week! You can even sit on the patio and sip as you relax. While they don't have a menu of their own, you'll find a selection of food trucks nearby where you can grab some grub. Please bring a water dish and water for your dog. Leashes are required as well.
While you're in Athens, you should take your dog on a dinner date at Broney's Alumni Grill. All of the outdoor seating is dog-friendly. You and your dog can chow down on classic pub food like nachos, wings, and burgers here. They have several brews on tap, or you can order by the bottle. Your pup will need to stay on-leash, and you will want to bring a water dish with you. This is a great place to hang out with friends, especially if you want to bring your fur buddy along for the night out. Bone Appetit!
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