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6 Dog-friendly trails around Ottawa to explore this fall

Once the air turns crisp and leaves turn into rich shades of ruby and gold, it’s time to explore the fall wonderland outdoors with your canine companion.  

Here are six of the best dog-friendly trails around Ottawa where you can marvel at autumn hues. 

The Crazy Horse Trail – Carp, ON

Length: 6.2km

Off-leash: No

Add this hike to your bucket list if you want to see the brilliant fall foliage. The Crazy Horse Trail is a hidden gem located in Carp, Ontario, about 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa. Navigating the path is simple; follow the orange markers on the trees. You’ll explore a forested area bursting in fall hues and go around a beaver pond, so your dog won’t run out of things to look at (or sniff).

The Sugarbush Trail – Gatineau, QC

Length: 1.9-km

Off-leash: No

Gatineau Park in Chelsea, Quebec, is one of the most breathtaking spots near Ottawa to marvel at the fall leaves. Within the park, there are ample trails to pick from, but if you are searching for something quick, opt for The Sugar Bush Trail. The easy loop trail only takes 30 minutes to complete and is popular for hiking, snowshoeing, and running with your pup. It is also stroller-friendly, so no family members will be left behind!

Fiddlehead Trail – Kars, ON

Length: 2-km

Off-leash: No

There’s no doubt your furry friend will love Baxter Conservation Area. There are 5-kilometres of trails to pick from that are open year-round, including the 2-kilometre Fiddlehead Trail. Inside, you can discover a diverse landscape of forests, meadows, nut groves, and wetlands. The walking paths are relatively simple, so they’re perfect for taking the whole family. 

Waterfall and Lauriault Trail – Gatineau, QC

Length: 4.5-km

Off-leash: No

This intermediate hike was a favourite of former prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. It will take approximately one hour and 15 minutes round trip from Mackenzie King Estate. Along the route, there are plenty of photo-worthy moments like the lookout over the park and cascading Bridal Veil Falls.

Mer Bleue Trail 51 – Ottawa, ON

Length: 6.3-km 

Off-leash: No 

Mer Bleue is a favourite with locals to see the autumn leaves. But if you want to bring your pet, skip the classic Mer Bleue Bog trail, as no dogs are allowed. Instead, you can skip the crowds and explore the approximately 7,700-year-old northern boreal landscape on Trail 51 with your pup from April 14 to November 30. 

Lime Kiln Trail – Ottawa, ON

Length: 2.1-km 

Off-leash: No 

Stony Swamp has plenty of stunning trails perfect for an afternoon hike. Open for on-leash dogs from April 15 to November 30; the Lime Kiln Trail will take you through woodlands where you spot plenty of local wildlife like birds and squirrels and next to old lime kiln ruins. 

Find more dog-friendly hikes and keep your pet protected

Did you know CAA has maps and guides you can use to plan your next trip with your pup? But that isn’t all; you can also discover how to keep your pet protected with CAA Pet Insurance.

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