Bringing your dog to Ontario Parks
Pets enhance holiday time for their owners, but they can easily disturb times of relaxation and the outdoor atmosphere for others. Dogs are welcome at all Ontario Parks, and are permitted on campsites, park roads and most hiking trails, except for a few specific campgrounds and sensitive areas.
However, dog owners must be respectful of nature and their fellow park visitors. To accommodate both those with and without pets, we ask that you adhere to the following rules related to dogs. Violations may result in a minimum fine of $95.00;
- Dogs are not permitted in the following areas:
- beaches and swimming areas (unless a designated dog beach)
- comfort stations
- roofed accommodations (except designated dog friendly sites)
- waters adjacent to interior campsites where campers obtain drinking water
- all areas posted prohibiting domestic animals (service animals excluded)
- Always keep dogs on a leash no longer than 2 metres (6 feet) in length, unless in a designated off-leash area or designated roofed accommodation
- Do not allow dogs to damage or disturb park vegetation and wildlife
- Do not leave dogs unattended or allow them to make excessive noise
- Pick up after your dog’s waste (stoop-and-scoop bags are available at most gatehouses)
With so many enticing sights and smells, dogs can become overstimulated in a park setting. Regulations are in place to keep your pet safe and to avoid unfortunate experiences such as losing your dog (which can be a harrowing experience: http://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/lost-dog-reunited-with-family/).
Please note that dogs are not permitted in the following campgrounds:
- In addition to the Mizzy Lake Trail, pet free zones in Algonquin Park Campgrounds are: Achray Campground - campsites 20 to 39 and Canisbay Lake Campground - campsites 53 to 101. Mew Lake Campground - campsites 95 to 131. All Yurts in Mew Lake are pet free except Cabin 37 which is dog friendly (2 dogs max). Pog Lake Campground – campsites 201 to 231
- Awenda (Snake Campground)
- Balsam Lake (walk-in campsites)
- Grundy Lake (Red Maple Campground)
- Pinery (campsites 248-299)
- Voyageur (one loop in Iroquois B Campground)
To find out whether a park has a dog-free trail, please refer to the “Activities” tab of a park’s webpage, under “Hiking.” You can also call the park to confirm whether they have any pet-restricted or pet-inclusive areas or facilities.
Dogs in roofed accommodations
Starting April 1, 2020, dogs will be welcome in select roofed accommodations for a fee of $20 per night. Dog owners are responsible for any damages caused by their pet. Only two dogs (regardless of size) are permitted per roofed accommodation. The additional fee is assessed per night, not per dog.
Please find the list of dog friendly cabins, yurts and trailers below:
|Park||Resource Type / Name|
|Algonguin - Mew Lake||Cabin - 37|
|Arrowhead||Cabin - 224|
|Bon Echo||Yurt - 153
Cabin - 612
|Charleston Lake||Yurt - 315C|
|Fushimi Lake||Cabin - 43|
|Killarney||Yurt - 6|
|MacGregor Point||Yurt - 90|
|Pancake Bay||Yurt - 365|
|Pinery||Yurt - 480C|
|René Brunelle||Cabin - 100|
|Rushing River||Trailer - 403
Trailer - 405
|Silent Lake||Yurt - 5
Cabin - 201
|Sleeping Giant||Cabin - 4|
|Windy Lake||Cabin - 201|
Dogs in the backcountry
We understand the temptation to take a more relaxed approach to pet rules on backcountry trips, however all rules still apply and help to prevent negative interactions such as:
- At portages and access points where many groups with pets can assemble, dogs can become aggressive causing stress and injury.
- Unleashed dogs can quickly get into other people’s packs and food causing conflicts between campers.
- Some people are not comfortable with unleashed dogs, and will not welcome being approached by your pet.
- When backcountry wardens enter campsites, dogs can become aggressive while protecting the campsite as their home.
- It may seem so at times, but you and your pet are not the only backcountry visitors; it is important to continue to clean up after your pet;
Pet safety in the backcountry
Taking pets into the backcountry requires additional safety precautions. Keep these hazards and tips in mind to keep your pet safe and comfortable:
- WiIdlife: off-leash pets are vulnerable to conflicts with wildlife. Pets can quickly be sprayed by a skunk or suffer with porcupine quills resulting in a trip-ending emergency. Bears will be attracted to your pet’s food, so secure it in the same manner as your food. Unleashed dogs may lead a bear to you and your campsite.
- Poison Ivy: while off-leash, your pet could bring poison ivy back to the campsite on their fur without you knowing it and spread it to you and all your gear. This leaves all members of your group open to unwelcome exposure.
- Ticks: pack a tick removal kit, and know how to search for and remove ticks.
- Know your dog: hiking on a hot summer’s day is tough for pets, especially senior dogs. Consider the scope of your activities and plan with your pet in mind.
- Pet First Aid: think about what items you might need for minor pet injuries.
- Pet lifejacket: your pet will be just as surprised as you are if your canoe tips. Don’t let a mishap turn into a tragedy; consider having your pet wear a lifejacket while in the boat.
- Food: bring extra pet food in case your trip is extended due to weather or other emergencies
Dog friendly areas
Many of our parks feature designated dog friendly areas:
|Park||Zone||Pet Exercise Area||Dog Beach|
|Balsam Lake||Southeast||Not Available||Available|
|Bronte Creek||Southwest||Available||Not Available|
|Charleston Lake||Southeast||Not Available||Available|
|Earl Rowe||Southwest||Available||Not Available|
|Esker Lakes||Northeast||Not Available||Available|
|Finlayson Point||Northeast||Not Available||Available|
|Ivanhoe Lake||Northeast||Not Available||Available|
|Marten River||Northeast||Not Available||Available|
|North Beach||Southeast||Not Available||Available|
|Point Farms||Southwest||Not Available||Available|
|Rock Point||Southwest||Not Available||Available|
|Sharbot Lake||Southeast||Not Available||Available|
|Sibbald Point||Southeast||Not Available||Available|
|Six Mile Lake||Algonquin||Available||Available|
|Sleeping Giant||Northwest||Available||Not Available|
|Wasaga Beach||Southwest||Not Available||Available|
|White Lake||Northwest||Available||Not Available|