Best Spots for Winter Dog Walking in Ottawa


Last spring I met someone who had stumbled across my blog, when searching for the best dog walking paths for winter outings (especially for pooches that don't want to socialize all the time).  Not surprising, that she found this blog, as I mention dog walkers quite a bit here - since they create such great walking paths (desire lines) for any urban nature lover who wants to get out in the winter!

But they were hoping to find some recommended paths in the west end that could be used as a weekend outing when they had more time to get out and explore.  They mentioned that in the winter dogs are not permitted on any NCC Greenbelt trails* as these trails are used by cross-country skiing and snowshoeing during these months.  Which limits dog-walking locations from the start of December through to mid April for those who want to get out into nature but don't want to go to popular dog parks such as Bruce Pit or Conroy Pit.  But there are some great greenspaces both in the greenbelt and other natural areas and also some in the suburbs.  Yes I know walking in the suburbs doesn't sound like lots of fun but there are wild areas there also that still give you and your pup that out of doors enjoyment while not being too far away from the city.  Sometimes even checking out another suburb's favourite dog-walking path is just what you & Fido might need!

Remember to always check signs for information about dog walking: whether dogs can be off-leash or if they must be on-leash and watch as there may be some restricted spots within larger areas where dogs are verboten.  Always look for information on site.

(Not in Ottawa but curious about how to find different dog parks beyond your regular haunts?  Check back soon!)


So if you are a local dog owner in the Ottawa area and like to be out in nature with your pooch (a.k.a canine best friend) here are some suggestions:

WEST END

  • Sheila McKee Park - Off of Sixth Line (down to Ottawa River) - On-leash City Park 
  • Behind Richcraft Recreation Complex (on Innovation Drive) and through Monk Env. Park (both On-leash City Parks) and take informal pathway to Beaver Pond (On-leash City Park) 
  • Craig Park to Gow Park to the small forest (Alice Wilson Woods) bordered by The Pkwy and Leacock Way - all On-leash City Parks
  • Monagan Forest (Fallowfield and Moodie Drive) - On-leash City Park
  • Off Lytle Avenue (near The Log Farm) which is off Cedarview - this is a nice half an hour walk through shrubby - open area. This is not City property - possibly NCC? You can see informal path on maps. (Please note that there are No dogs allowed in Lytle Park - off O'Keefe Court)

CENTRAL

  • Behind the Nepean Sportsplex - On-leash greenspace owned by the National Capital Commission.
  • Hunt Club - Uplands hydro corridor (access from various locations including McCarthy and Uplands Park) - Unsure as to ownership and/or regulations but I do see dog walkers here.
  • Central Experimental Farm (On-leash area) - great space to explore with your dog.  Two areas that are restricted to dogs: Ornamental Gardens and research fields.
  • Hearts Desire - Barrhaven (Off-leash area) - there are a number of linked parks along the Jock and Rideau here that offer some great natural spaces to explore.

EAST END

  • Bilberry Creek Valley Park north of the Queensway (access at Des Epinettes Avenue) - Off-leash City Park - over half a square kilometer of greenspace!
  • Princess Louise Falls and Fallingbrook Park (between Tenth line and Trim Road) On-leash City Park - great place to explore including linear park and open space above.
  • Aquaview Park (small but a nice walk!) can be extended north under hydro lines (includes crossing Innes at promenade Esprit Drive).  Or take it from the other end starting at Cardinal Creek Karst Path.  These are all on-leash parks and pathways.


If you are in the East End or visiting, remember Dogs are Not Allowed on Petrie Island (this includes the City beach area, the Bill Holland Trail and GrandmaĆ®tre Ecological Reserve).  All of the above city park suggestions can be reviewed on the City of Ottawa Dogs in Park webpage (that includes a map!)


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*Leashed dogs are welcome on the Capital Pathway at any time of year.

  • Greenbelt Pathway East (12.5 km - Green's Creek area: Northern section (Parkway to Blackburn Hamlet (Tauvette Street) Southern section (Ramsayville Road to Albion Road)
  • Greenbelt Pathway West (21.2 km - west end Shirleys Bay through Bells Corners to (east) Fallowfield Rd)
  • Watts Creek Pathway (9.6 km - west end March Road to (east) Carling Avenue)

Keep in mind that dogs are not permitted at any time at these N.C.C. locations: Shirleys Bay, Stony Swamp, Mer Bleue, Pine Grove.  (All of this information is taken from the N.C.C. website.)

This does make sense as there have been studies that the presence of dogs does influence wildlife behaviour including birds - so it's great that there are some conservation areas that are strictly for wildlife.


Enjoy your dog walking outings!








1 comment:

  1. Listed above are mostly quieter spots that are for the most part ON-LEASH areas. The person who had asked about recommendations was looking for some place to take her dog that wasn't that "social". She was looking for paths where she and her dog could enjoy a peaceful walk away from the crowds. She didn't want to take her dog to the off-leash dog parks such as Bruce Pit and Conroy Pit!)

    A friend of mine has suggested on Fbook, some locations that are OFF-LEASH that she takes her dog to and I wanted to add them here in case some readers ARE looking for off-leash areas:

    "- Centrepointe Park (central in the loop of Centrepointe Ave, off Baseline Rd, in the west end is good. Not technically off leash but everyone lets their dog off leash.

    - Kilreen Park (just south of Iris St near Greenbank) has a designated off leash area.

    - Brewer Park near Carleton is great - enough people walk there that they make paths even in the winter - watch out for thin river ice in the fall and spring though."

    Thanks so much Kathryn N.!


    Wild. Here. Note: BREWAR PARK is a MIXED-DESIGNATION area which means Dogs are Prohibited in part of the park. Look for signs (also in terms of whether the area is on-leash or off-leash).

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