Dog days of summer

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Hocking Hills pet friendly cabins and activities for you and your pup


Who better to spend some late-summer days with in the Hocking Hills than your best friend – the four-legged one. There may be more dog-friendly options in the region than you know.

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Take a dog-friendly outing


Dogs are allowed on trails in the state parks of the Hocking Hills. Be sure to obey the law and be considerate of your fellow hikers by observing the six-foot leash law. Popular trails between Old Man's Cave and Ash Cave are designed for heavy traffic – they’re great for dogs that are friendly with people and other dogs. If you’d like to try longer or less-traveled trails, continue on to Lake Hope State Park with its 30-plus miles of hiking trails. In areas of the Wayne National Forest developed for recreation, pets must be leashed; in backcountry areas they do not have to be leashed as long as they’re under voice control. Avoid trails that skirt cliff lines as well as horse trails.

Both canoe liveries that run the Hocking River are dog friendly. Your pet will have to be on a leash until you push off in the boat – when Fido should definitely not be leashed for his or her own safety in the possible event of capsizing. This is a perfect outing for a water-loving dog.

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Skip the doggy bag and dine in


No need to leave your pet in the car when you get a bite to eat. Two Hocking Hills restaurants that are dog friendly are the Millstone Southern Smoked BBQ and The Ridge Inn. Both have outdoor seating areas that can accommodate your leashed companion. Most restaurants do not allow dogs, so call ahead to check.

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Hocking Hills Pet friendly cabins, cottages and campgrounds


The Hocking Hills State Park campground allows dogs, as do most campgrounds. Generally, Fido will need to be leashed as well as have proper tags and proof of vaccinations. Many Hocking Hills cabins and cottages are pet friendly – pick up a copy of the free visitors guide to the Hocking Hills to find a detailed list of lodging, including where pets are allowed. Among those who tout themselves as pet-friendly are American Heartland Cabins, Good Earth Cabins, Greenbrier Ridge Cabin, Old Man’s Haven, Springwood Cabins and Stafford Hill Cabins. Many more allow pets; most require prior approval and charge a pet fee or a pet deposit. A growing number of chain motels and hotels allow pets, including the Budget Inn and Holiday Inn Express.

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Make a splash


Most years, both the Lancaster and Athens city pools host a dog swim event at the end of the pool season. These even usually occur in mid to late August; call for information. The Fairfield Humane Society in Lancaster has a dog park and Athens has two dog parks.

Know where not to go


To avoid the trouble of arriving at the trailhead only to find a “no pets” sign, be aware that pets are not permitted in state nature preserves, including Conkles Hollow and Rockbridge. These preserves are managed for the local ecosystem, not recreation. Clear Creek Metro Park only allows pets on one mile of the entire trail system, so that’s best avoided as well. Lake Logan State Park does not allow dogs on the beach.

Book your cabin today for a pet-friendly retreat


Find the perfect pet friendly hocking hills cabin by using our Availability Search Tool, where you are able to select the days of your stay, number of people you’re traveling with and even filter by amenities, including “pets with approval”