5 Dog Friendly Activities in the Heart of Georgian Bay

If you adopted a pet during the past year, you aren’t alone — a recent survey showed that nearly 1 in 6 Canadians adopted a cat or dog since the pandemic began (Royale, 2021).  As lockdown restrictions begin to lift, Ontarians are starting to get out and explore — but that doesn’t mean pets need to be left behind. Below, we have compiled a list of five of our favourite dog friendly things to do in the Heart of Georgian Bay for you (and your furry friend) to enjoy this summer.

Before heading out, make sure to check out the specific rules around leashing your dog, and always stoop and scoop to keep our parks and trails clean.

1. Spend the day at Awenda Provincial Park

If you and your dog are looking to spend some time in nature, Awenda Provincial Park is a beautiful place to visit. They have seven hiking trails that range from 1 to 13 kilometres so there is something for everyone to enjoy alongside their on-leash pup. After your hike, you and your pet can cool off at the Pet Beach and enjoy the beautiful sandy shores of Georgian Bay.  

This summer, Ontario Parks is offering free weekday day use permits from Monday to Thursday. If you are visiting the park on a weekend, you can purchase your permit at the Gate House. 

Awenda’s website has descriptions of the difficulty and length of all their trails, as well as up to date info on the beaches. Click here for all the information you need to plan your visit.

2. Visit a Dog Park

It’s not just humans that missed socializing during lockdown – dogs did too! There are two off-leash dog parks in Midland, in Tiffin Park and Little Lake Park, for you and your dog to check out. The parks are open for all dogs with a current dog tag. Dog owners need to pre-register their pup at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre Customer Service Office.

Visit the town of Midland’s website here for more information on using the dog parks and how to register your pet.

3. Go for a walk at Wye Marsh

If your dog loves going for walks, treat them to an outing at Wye Marsh. Pets are not permitted on ski trails or in the Birds of Prey Fields (when it reopens), but can walk the rest of the trails on leash. Visitors are asked to check in at the visitor centre before heading out to explore the trails through both wetland and woodland that are open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm daily. If you visit, be sure to stoop and scoop and dispose of your pet’s waste in the bin on the back patio of the visitor centre.

For up to date information on which trails are open to the public, click here.

4. Cool off at a Dog Beach

If your dog is always splashing around in their water bowl, they might be itching to go for a swim. Penetanguishene’s Rotary Park isn’t just a pretty place for a walk, it’s also home to a dog beach. It’s the perfect place for your dog to splash around and enjoy some sunshine.

For information on the dog beach and a map of what areas are pet-friendly, click here.

5. Explore Tiny Marsh

Tiny Marsh Provincial Wildlife Area is located at the southern end of the region, and is a great destination for both humans and dogs. There is a series of trails complete with a boardwalk for you and your dog to explore. Dogs are welcome throughout the marsh, but must be on leash or responsive to recall. If you and your dog enjoy canoeing, you can also bring your own boat and explore the marsh by water.

To view a map of Tiny Marsh and see information on what facilities are open, click here.

Written by: Grace Dietrich
Tourism Marketing Assistant, Heart of Georgian Bay

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