Best Dog Friendly Hikes in the Waterloo Region

What are the best dog friendly hikes in the Kitchener Waterloo area? There are some wonderful ones to choose from for sure and the Kitchener Waterloo area is full of beautiful places to explore with your four-legged friend.

With an array of lush forests, wood chip trails and picnic-friendly spots, KW is the perfect place to kick back and relax with your pet.

Take a look at our picks of the best dog-friendly hikes in the Kitchener Waterloo area, to keep you and your pet occupied.

1. Bechtel Park Trail

Located north of the centre of Kitchener

A firm favourite of dog parents this is a short but spectacular park trail. At just 3.2 km, it's a pretty simple track, but it will give your dog the much-needed fresh air that they want. This wood chip trail is very beautiful, and is located just north of the centre of Kitchener in Bechtel Park.

For the summer months and into the fall, it is a perfect trail as the rich forested area will shield you and your dog from the sun. There are off-leash areas that are fenced off so that your dog can be free to roam, but the designated walks are on-leash trails.

2. Iron Horse Trail

Located in south-west Kitchener

As it traces an old railway line that used to run from Waterloo to Kitchener, this path is full of history. The abandoned railway line is nestled in the city and is situated in the Victoria Park area in Southwest Kitchener. For you and your dog, it's the ideal city escape.

The trail itself is perfect for any ability level, and if you're running with your dog, it's ideal since walkers and cyclists have marked paths. It's a decent length, 5.5km long, and it's great for an evening summer walk.

3. Laurel Creek Conservation Area

Located north west of downtown Kitchener

This route is easily accessible for those who want to take a time out of the city and relax with their dog in nature, just minutes outside of Kitchener and Waterloo. Wildlife and birds are abundant in the conservation area, as well as three forested trails with a river and plenty of picnic areas.

At 4.5 km, this hike is also a great length, and will give your dog a much-needed run around without tiring any of you out too much. It's open all year round and even has camping, canoeing and kayaking, so if you want to make it a weekend you can.

4. Westside Trails

Located in Waterloo

The Westside Trails are a great place to relax and enjoy nature with your dog, with over 12 km of woodland walks. The trail features urban wetlands, rare plants and breeding birds, so this hike is full of wonderful natural wildlife to discover.

For any forest-loving dog, it's an utter delight, but they will need to be kept on a leash as the trails are protected conservation areas. If you want a real workout, there are steep slopes on some of the trails that are perfect if you want to push yourself.

5. Walter Bean Grand River Trail

Trailhead located east of Kitchener

The Walter Bean Grand River Trail, with years of recreational history behind it is the ideal spot for a riverside stroll with your pet. It has several access points and is also a popular place for dog walking, running, rollerblading and cross-country skiing!

It's a total of 78 km, so you'll probably want to take only a part of the trail at a time. It can be a perfect route to revisit again and again with your dog, as it's such a vast trail area. It takes you through Waterloo, Cambridge and Kitchener and has points of access throughout each area. The Walter Bean Trail has stunning scenery and spectacular views of the Grand River, which should not be missed!

Want to try a trial that has plenty for humans and dogs to see and do? The GeoTime Trail uses interpretive signs to trace the city of Waterloo's geological history.

This 412-kilometer (2.8-mile) trail represents one million years of geological history with each metre. Each millimetre corresponds to 1,000 years.

The trail shows us where geological periods begin and end, when different biological organisms first appeared on Earth, and when major disasters occurred. There's also a sundial where you can learn how to tell time.

This trail opened in 2007, commemorating our 150th anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the University of Waterloo, and the city's 150th kilometer of trail. It was the first of its kind in Canada, and it was detailed in Canada's contributions to the 2008 UNESCO-sponsored International Year of Planet Earth.