There’s nothing better than going for a hike in a conservation area, and if you are a dog owner, then a hike with your four legged companion in a conservation area even better! Conservation Halton invites you and your furry pal to explore all seven of our conservation areas. Our parks offer a wonderful opportunity to get out and explore many kilometers of trail and with your dog – or dogs – at your side.
Dogs (and their owners!) are welcome at all our conservation areas. We do ask that you keep a few things in mind when you come to visit us, for you, your dog and all our other visitors’ enjoyment:
1) Please keep your pet on a leash and under control AT ALL TIMES. A leash is less than 2m (six feet) long, and under control means the dog should be under your full control at all times.
2) As with all our users, please keep to the marked trails to minimize the impacts to our environment.
3) Remember you are in the countryside – there are natural risks to your pet from steep drops, encounters with wildlife and being in unfamiliar surroundings with new smells.
4) Be aware that there are diseases which naturally affect our native wildlife and can pose a risk to dogs; lymes disease, parvo virus, distemper and rabies are all naturally occurring in our wildlife and can be fatal in dogs.
5) Chasing a squirrel may seem harmless enough; but remember, you are in the home of many species of wildlife which may not find being chased so amusing.
6) You might have the friendliest dog there is, but not all our visitors like dogs and some may be scared of them. Please respect your fellow visitor by not allowing your dog to rush up and say hello to everyone.
Where can I take my dog?
Pretty much everywhere! Dogs are welcome on all our trails and in all our conservation areas EXCEPT:
- Dogs are not allowed on the swimming and boat rental beaches at Kelso.
- Dogs (except service dogs) are not allowed inside any visitor centre at any area.
- Dogs are not allowed on the Wildlife Walkway nor in the Raptor Centre area – if you have a Service Dog, please call ahead before your visit (905-854-2276) so we can ensure you and your dog can participate in our programming.
Can I take my dog for a swim?
Yes! On a hot day, (or any day for some dogs!) cooling off after a walk is needed. You can take your pet for a dip (on leash) at:
- Kelso Conservation Area – there is an area west of the Boat Rentals beach where dogs can access the water – if you are unsure where, ask a staff person to show you.
- Mountsberg Conservation Area – there are a number of areas in conservation area and in the Mountsberg Dam area where a dog can have a swim – keep an eye out for fishermen so as not to disturb them
- Please do not leave dogs in vehicles even for a short amount of time. Where the shade of a tree falls can change in minutes and even on cool days, inside a vehicle can get very hot very quickly
- Please always carry and use a bag to clean up after your pet – even if it looks like it’s off the trail, our staff regularly go off trail to inspect trees, cut grass or treat the vegetation so please respect our staff by picking up waste
- Our conservation areas are special places and protected for the wildlife that calls them home – please help us look after that home by keeping your dog leashed and on the trails at all times.
Love’em and Leash’em
Conservation Halton has a Love’em and Leash’em campaign which highlights the top five reasons for keeping your dog on leash:
Be sure to watch for our Park Rangers and Parks Staff at the Parks and on the trails for more information, or if you have any questions.