Our suggestions for dog-friendly outings in the Outaouais!
Doggie in the car, backpack filled and hiking boots laced up: you’re all set for a fun winter outing! However, have you checked that your dog is allowed on the trails? To avoid any unpleasant surprises, consider our suggestions when planning a getaway with your four-legged friend in the Outaouais.
1. A winter hike in Gatineau Park (Collines-de-l’Outaouais)
Gatineau Park offers more than 10 kilometres of winter trails where dogs on a leash are allowed. In a wooded and snowy setting, you can walk on four main trails, three of which are beginner level: from the Hull sector, the Pioneers Trail (1.3 km) and the Capital Pathway (1.6 km), and from Old Chelsea, the Sugarbush Trail (3 km) and the Lauriault Trail (4.5 km, difficult level). The trails are mechanically groomed once a week.
33 Scott Road, Chelsea
Consult the interactive map to see which trails are OK for dogs, and check the trail conditions before you leave. Dogs are prohibited on the Pink Lake, King Mountain and Luskville Falls trails, as they are home to fragile ecosystems. Dogs are also forbidden at the park’s beaches, picnic areas and campgrounds.
2. The Parc des Montagnes Noires in Ripon: for active owners and dogs!
The Parc des Montagnes Noires (Black Mountains Park) in the heart of the Petite Nation is a wonderful place to discover with your pet. In winter, more than 10 kilometres of trails are dedicated to walking and canicross. There are also 13 kilometres of recreational trails where you can enjoy your favourite activity with your dog, such as cross-country skiing, fat biking or kicksledding. Admire the rugged scenery and the breathtaking vista from the summit of Mont Grand-Pic, where an observation tower offers a 360-degree view of the region.
39 Montagne-Noire Road, Ripon
The park is open year round from dawn to dusk.
Free for Riponnais passholders. For residents of the Papineau RCM: Infant/toddler: Free Child: $4 Adult: $8 Family: $20 | For non-residents: Infant/toddler: Free Child: $5 Adult: $10 Family: $25
The mountain is ideal for all outdoor activities, including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, winter biking and tube sliding! The trails are accessible from five parking lots. The Des Pins shelter is open at all times for warming up by the fire.
3. A vigorous climb on snowy trails in Mount Morissette Regional Park (Vallée-de-la-Gatineau)
From its 400-metre summit, Mount Morissette offers a panoramic view of the snowy landscapes of the Gatineau Valley, including majestic Blue Sea Lake. Nature lovers will be delighted by its 13 kilometres of dog-friendly hiking and snowshoe trails. A shelter with a wood stove and a lookout await you at the top. Don’t miss the 18-metre-high observation tower and the famous heritage fire tower.
Du Lac Long Road, Blue Sea
Open year round.
Trail #3 (6 km) is considered the most difficult and is recommended for experienced hikers.
4. Off the beaten track with the PERO (Vallée-de-la-Gatineau)
Explore the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau backcountry on the 11 trails maintained by the Pôle d’excellence en récréotourisme (PERO)! From Bouchette to Denholm, Grand-Remous or Cayamant, you and your dog are sure to enjoy these vast natural spaces. Waterfalls, mature forests, lakes, peaks, a covered bridge: a variety of magnificent landscapes await you. With different lengths and difficulty levels, there’s a trail for every hiker (and dog).
Various locations in the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau.
All trails are open for hiking and snowshoeing, except the Cedar Lakes trails in Messines, which are reserved for cross-country skiing in winter. Visit the PERO website (content in French only) to see the trail map, which shows the length and difficulty level of each trail.
5. The Pontiac Forest (Pontiac)
Winter sports enthusiasts, Ski Pontiac awaits you and your canine companion! Venture into the Pontiac forest on the magnificent cross-country ski (classic and skate), snowshoe and hiking trails. There are nearly 15 kilometres of beautiful trails, always well groomed. Best of all, dogs (groomed or ungroomed) are welcome!
6 Pine Lodge Road, Norway Bay
Dogs are not allowed on groomed trails. You can borrow snowshoes for free! To reserve a pair, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. A city stroll in Old Aylmer
Travel back in time on the Old Aylmer historical tour! Download the BaladoDiscovery application to your cell phone to learn more about the stately homes, the merchants of old, and the sites that have shaped the city’s history. The 1.5-kilometre walk is great for your dog on a leash. Even in winter, it’s a worthwhile stroll: a brief stop at a local café to choose your favourite hot drink will make the outing even more enjoyable. Finish your walk at Des Cèdres Park, overlooking the Ottawa River.
Principale Street, Gatineau
By preloading the tour on the BaladoDiscovery app, you can access the tour maps and content without an Internet connection. Earphones are recommended.
To discover more dog-friendly trails in the Outaouais region, visit Balise Québec (website in French only). Most places require that you keep your pet on a leash on the marked trails, and always pick up your pet’s waste. For the City of Gatineau, consult the citizen portal for regulations and recommendations (content available in French only).
No doubt about it, we’re very lucky! The Outaouais is a vast territory to explore, and your beloved four-legged friends can also enjoy it. And we think you’ll like our suggestions for outdoor winter fun in the city as well!