A small town less than a square mile in size with about 1,500 residents, Bremen, Ohio is still large enough to support the lovely Howell Park as well as an elementary school, public library, and a quaint Main Street lined with brick storefronts. The beautifully landscaped paths of Howell Park make an ideal spot for a quick walk, and it’s perfectly safe to explore all of Bremen by sidewalk. If a mishap occurs, never fear: there are several veterinarians in nearby Lancaster, the closest only 11 miles from Bremen.
Downtown Columbus is only 42 miles away, so there’s plenty of urban adventure available for your fur family nearby. With more than 100 dog-friendly restaurants in Columbus and a dozen dog parks in the metropolitan area, it’s easy to play the day away. The southern suburb of Groveport is 33 miles from Bremen and features Three Creeks Dog Park at Sycamore Fields. With shopping, dining, and the giant Walnut Woods Metro Park nearby, your pups will have a pawesome day out.
For a wilder adventure, head 14 miles west of Bremen to the Shallenberger Nature Preserve. The figure-eight shape of the Shallenberger Trail allows you to loop through the 88-acre park and emerge back at the parking lot, with woods and wildflowers to admire along the way. Squirrels and other small wildlife enjoy the preserve as well, so keep a tight grip on your leash.
The city of Lancaster, just 12 miles from Bremen, is the nearest commercial hub and also a park lover’s paradise. Lancaster’s Fairfield Heritage Trail is a 9.5-mile scenic footpath through Lancaster. The northern trailhead is, appropriately enough, across from the Fairfield Area Humane Society. So, pick up a new friend and start your tour-des-parks. You’ll pass a historic covered bridge on your way to Larenco Park, and then it’s south to Burnham Park and the Hocking River, through lush Cenci Park with an optional loop around the lake, back up to Olivedale and Martens Parks, and eventually to the commercial district on Bly Road. There are two dog-friendly restaurants in downtown Lancaster, so fuel up on the patio after all that exercise. And then...more parks! There's an off-leash, fenced dog park in Rising Park on the north end of downtown!
Near the village of Rockbridge, 14 miles from Bremen, you’ll find the Clear Creek Metro Park. This enormous nature preserve is home to thousands of species of plants and animals for your pups to sniff out on the pet-friendly Creekside Meadows Trail, and then join you for a picnic. Just a few miles south are the Cantwell Cliffs. This hiking area is technically part of Hocking Hills State Park but, because of its geographic distance from the main park, it is often overlooked. These rugged and often steep trails take you in and out of a rocky gorge. Leashed dogs are welcome, but with these craggy cliffs, it is essential your pack stays on marked trails.
Lake Logan State Park is 14.5 miles from Bremen in the town of Logan, and the perfect playground for you and your water dogs. You can dog-paddle a canoe around the 400-acre lake or go for a slide on the winter sledding hill. Though dogs are welcome at the pet-friendly campground, they are not allowed on the human beach. That’s okay: with three hiking trails exploring the lakefront and surrounding woods, you’ll find plenty of space to play. If you forgot the picnic, head into Logan for dinner at Millstone BBQ. Their loyal regulars love the food and the friendly staff who welcome pups with a bowl of ice water on the covered patio.
22 miles from Bremen, Hocking Hills State Park is a pet-friendly nature preserve with plenty of hiking among the sandstone hills, forests, and caves. Close to South Bloomington in spite of its Logan mailing address, the park feels utterly wild in spite of its proximity to Columbus. There are 11 hiking trails to explore with your on-leash pups, from the easy 0.25-mile Ash Cave Trail to a 6-mile moderate section of the Buckeye Trail. Note that hunting is allowed in certain parts of the park, so check the map for hunting areas and be aware of your fur family’s safety. With pet-friendly camping within the park and pet-friendly cabin rentals nearby, it’s easy to extend your stay.
If your fur family would prefer an in-town trail experience, consider the Canal Winchester Trail in the southern Columbus suburbs, less than 30 miles from Bremen. Park at Hanners Park near the athletic fields and catch the trailhead for a comfortable five-mile walk, paved and easy on tender paws. You’ll tour the lovely Canal Winchester historic district before reaching Westchester Park. If your pack still has energy to burn, there’s a three-acre fenced, off-leash dog park in nearby Walnut Woods Metro Park, just northwest of downtown Canal Winchester. The Walnut Woods hiking trails also welcome on-leash pets.