Bath, Ohio has had its own post office since 1824, and while the Bath hamlet remains unincorporated, it operates as part of the 10,000-resident Bath Township in suburban Akron. With downtown creature comforts just a few miles away, Bath is also doggone close to some stunning natural scenery. The 400-acre Bath Nature Preserve offers a variety of nature trails for on-leash fun, and there are interpretive guides available online to help you figure out what plants Spot is sniffing.
If things get too wild out there, not to worry: there are two veterinary practices in Bath, and specialty and emergency care is available in nearby Akron. There’s plenty of fun to be had in metro Akron, too. The city’s many dog parks are calling, and the summertime favorite is Bow Wow Beach Park in Stow, a seven-acre off-leash public dog park complete with a lake for swimming and splashing. It’s one of the top-rated pet attractions in the Akron area and well worth the half-hour drive from Bath.
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is also nearby -- a massive 32,500-acre expanse of forests, lakes, and a rugged river. With hiking throughout the park and recreation areas catering to every level of adventure, you will never be short on room to roam near Bath.
A mere 3.5 miles from Bath, the beautiful O’Neal Woods Metro Park is a hiking haven. A former farm donated to Summit County as a nature preserve, the park is both accessible and wild. The Deer Run Trail is a moderately challenging 1.8-mile journey down to the river and valley floor. Hold on to that leash: just as the name implies, this trail might have your pups running after the many white-tail deer. The most ambitious walkers can catch the Buckeye Trail in O’Neal Woods: though we don’t think your fur family will want to try it all at once, the Buckeye extends for over 1,400 miles throughout the state. Also, the Botzum Trail has a trailhead just southeast of the park.
No fenced yard? No problem! The 2-acre Keyser Dog Park in Cuyahoga Fall’s Keyser Park is just 7 miles from Bath and gives your doggos a nearby spot for off-leash play. The park has a watering station, puppy pools, shade, and benches. For a bigger challenge, your pups can also catch the 1.6-mile Spring Hollow Trail at the adjoining 655-acre Hampton Hills Metro Park. Spring Hollow is the easier of the park’s two dog-friendly hiking trails, but is still quite steep and includes some stream crossings: short-legged friends might need to be carried over certain spots.
At 7.6 miles from Bath, the Sand Run Metro Park offers a variety of entertainment. Surprisingly wild for a suburban park, the challenging Dogwood and Mingo Trails in the Wadsworth Area are sure to get those tails-a-wagging. For uncomplicated cardio, the pawpular Jogging Trail in the Revere Road Lot is one of the city’s most beloved paved pedestrian paths. If you’re in training yourself, you can see how you and your pack fairs on the Parcours Trail in the Treaty Line Area: use the running and jumping obstacles at your own risk. If your fur family has earned a treat with that exercise, the locally-owned PetPeople of Akron shop in the Wallhaven neighborhood of outer Akron is just two miles from the park: try the Bark’n Bakery Biscuits.
One of the loveliest urban parks you’ll find is 10 miles from Bath: the Cascade Valley Metro Park South in the Chapel Hill neighborhood, with a system of six hiking trails that will suit any level of fitness. The flat half-mile Overlook Trail is ADA-accessible and comes with a spectacular view. The more rugged trails of the Schumacher Valley Area take you into such remote country that you’ll forget you are so near downtown Akron. A 3.2-mile trek along Highbridge Trail will take you to Gorge Metro Park and back, a journey that winds along the beautiful Cuyahoga River.
At more than 3,000 acres, the Brecksville Reservation is the biggest urban park in all of Ohio. It’s also well-connected: From Brecksville, you can catch the Cuyahoga Valley National Park section of the Buckeye Trail, a statewide trail system spanning 1,400 miles. If you prefer your challenges a bit more focused, try the Aukerman Park Dog Agility Course, a unique training area for your furry friends; bring a leash, as the course is not fenced. Or, for some peaceful vistas, take the easy trail to the Chippewa Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook. Best of all, Brecksville is just 15 miles from Bath.