When exploring out of the city, we don't want to leave our best friends at home. While we're taking in the fresh air, we want them to roll around and play, too. So, here are 15 dog-friendly spots—and even a few “dog-approved” off-leash parks—near Toronto that will leave your furry friend excited, delighted and definitely tail-wagging.


Credit: don toye Flickr cc by 2.0

1. Sherwood Park


Length: 5 km
Time: 1 hours 
Off-leash? Yes

Multiple loops, boardwalks and an off-leash area? Sign us up! Your pup will be meeting other dog buddies so make sure they play well with others. Most of the terrain is flat but there are some uphill climbs where you may want to put them back on leash.

Trailhead: End of Sherwood Avenue, east from Mount Pleasant Road
Read more: torontodogstuff.com 
Distance from Toronto: 0 km


2. High Park Trail


Length: 5 km
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Off-leash? Yes (in off-leash area)

Take your four-legged friend on a little city getaway. Avoid the weekends, as it gets crowded.

Trailhead: At High Park
Read More: highparktoronto.com 
Distance from Toronto: 0 km


3. Lion’s Head Loop


Length: 15.3 km
Time: 3 - 5 hours
Elevation Gain: 400 m
Off-leash? No

Your dog will definitely need some water and a snack for this long hike! They’ll also want to take many breaks after the tougher parts—this hike is harder than it seems. At the end, cuddle up and look out onto the water.

Trailhead: Take ON-10 to Bruce County Rd.
Read more: alltrails.com 
Distance from Toronto: 255 km


4. Don Valley MTB trails


Length: 23.2 km loop
Time: 5 - 6 hours
Elevation Gain: 260 m
Off-leash? No

Perfect for an active dog that’s a good trail-running buddy! The trail is narrow, so you'll both have to be mindful of the cliffs and elevation. Your dog will love running across the river and through the easy green trails.

Trailhead: Loblaws at 55 Redway Rd., Toronto
Read More: trca.ca 
Distance from Toronto: 0 km


5. Scarborough Bluffs


Length: 5 km
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Off-leash? No

There are high peaks here, so keep your best friend away from the edges. Bring your pup to the beach afterwards, where they can keep their paws cool in the water.

Trailhead: Take Gardiner Expy E towards Scarborough and follow Brimley Rd S to your destination
Read more: toronto.ca 
Distance from Toronto: 18.3 km


Credit: Kevin Cabral Flickr cc by 2.0

6. Toronto Islands Trail


Length: 14 km out-and-back
Time: 3 hours
Off-leash? No

A hike and a boat ride? Your dog is going to be so excited for this adventure! This one will be nice and easy, so get out of the house on a hot day. But the trail is paved, so make sure it's not too hot for his paws.

Trailhead: Boat leaves from Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay St. and Queen’s Quay
Read more: torontoisland.com 
Distance from Toronto: 0 km

7. Boyd Conservation Area Trail


Length: 3 km
Time: 1 hour
Off-leash? No

These trails wind through the scenic Humber River Valley. Keep your dog on a two-metre leash, allowing her to scavenge for sticks. Note: park admission fees apply.

Trailhead: Take ON-427 to Vaughan 
Read more: trca.ca 
Distance from Toronto: 45 km


8. Nottawasaga Bluffs Trail


Length: 4 km loop
Time: 2 hours
Off-leash? No

This will be your pup's favourite place to visit, because they can explore through narrow crevices and caves.

Trailhead: Take ON-410 past Dufferin County to Nottawasaga in Glen Huron
Read more: brucetrail.org 
Distance from Toronto: 139 km


9. Hogg’s Falls Loop


Length: 5.4 km total
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Off-leash? No 

You and your pet can get plenty from this trail. Take 1.4-kilometre Loop A and if they have extra energy to burn, continue on to 4-kilometre Loop B.

Trailhead: Take On-410 to Dufferin County in Shelburne towards The Blue Mountains
Read More: ontariotrails.on.ca
Distance from Toronto: 163 km


10. Bruce and Pine Loop Trail


Length: 3.9 km loop
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Off-leash? No

This trail is beautiful, with rushing water to entice you! This one is perfect for splashing in and cooling off on a hot day.

Trailhead: Take ON-10 to Grey County Rd in Meaford, continue to Georgian Bluffs
Read more: alltrails.com 
Distance from Toronto: 185 km


Credit: Ken Mist Flickr cc by 2.0

11. Crothers’ Woods


Length: 9 km total
Time: 1 - 2 hours
Off-leash? No

Dogs love when walks turns into outdoor adventures and all of the buildings turn into trees. Run alongside your dog on sunny days or trudge through the mud when it rains.

Trailhead: Take Gerrard St W to Bayview Ave
Read more: toronto.ca
Distance from Toronto: 0 km


12. Culham Trail


Length: 11.2 km
Time: 2 - 3 hours
Off-leash? No 

Your doggo will love to sniff around the greenery while you take cute pictures on this multi-use trail, which is split into different sections. If you venture off the main trail, beware of ticks.

Trailhead: Take Gardiner Expy W to Mississauga
Read more: discovermississauga.ca
Distance from Toronto: 33 km


13. Bronte Creek


Length: 0.5 km and 2 km loops
Time: 1 hour
Off-leash? Yes 

Finally—let your dog run free! The off-leash park areas allow your pup to burn off energy while you look at the historic farm.

Trailhead: Take the 403 to Oakville
Read More: ontarioparks.com
Distance from Toronto: 47.8 km


14. Nassagaweya Trail


Length: 4.7 km one-way
Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 150 m
Off-leash? No 

Even though the trail is well-maintained, you’ll have to keep your dog on leash. Trek all the way up to Rattlesnake Point to sit and look out at the lake. You can even go for a little dip afterwards.

Trailhead: Take the 401 W to Milton.
Read More: ontarioconservationareas.ca
Distance from Toronto: 67.8 km


15. Cedar Trail


Length: 2.2 km
Time: 1 hour
Off-leash? No 

Your dog will love darting over these rolling hills! Especially when there are small doses of fresh water that they can drink at the end. This is a shady trail with plenty of opportunities to rest.

Trailhead: Take 401 to Scarborough though to Rouge Park entrance
Read More: rvcc.ca 
Distance from Toronto: 35.6 km



Where do you and your pup explore around Toronto?

Tell us in a comment below!


Related content on explore-mag.com: