GREAT DOG-WALKING SPOTS

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  • Dog Walking in Victoria, BC

GREAT DOG-WALKING SPOTS

If you’re traveling with your dog, chances are you’d like to give them room to run and/or play with other dogs.  Here are some dog-friendly walks and parks any furry ‘kid’ would love:

  1. Dallas Road – A very popular off-leash area for walking your dog.  Chances are you’ll meet every breed of dog under the sun having a blast running, fetching and sniffing!  The views for humans aren’t too shabby either!
  2. Macaulay Point Park – Lots of room to run and play as well as hit the rocky beach to do some much-loved stick fetching!
  3. Thetis Lake Park – trails and woods galore.  A huge area for throwing balls/sticks, a lake, trees, bushes … what more could a doggy ask for?
  4. Elk Lake/Beaver Lake – tons of trails, fields, lakes – a doggy heaven!

Most all regional parks allow dog walking – some are off-leash friendly and some have restrictions.  Here is a comprehensive list of areas including parks around Victoria:  (Courtesy of Citizen Canine)

Here is a listing of the off-leash parks in Greater Victoria:

Capital Regional District Parks:

Dogs can be off-leash in most CRD Regional Parks with the following exceptions:

Ayum Creek Regional Park Reserve in Sooke is the only regional park area where dogs are prohibited year-round.

Dogs must be on-leash in the following parks and trails:

Beaches and picnic areas in most CRD parks have seasonal restrictions on off-leash dogs.

Central Saanich

  • Island View Beach Regional Park
  • Centennial Park

Colwood

  • West End of Colberg Peninsula (off-leash dogs are not permitted in the Esquimalt Lagoon Bird Sanctuary)

Esquimalt

  • Macauley Point Park
  • Saxe Point Park (west side only)
  • Highrock/Cairn Park
  • Captain Jacobson Park

Highlands

  • Francis/King Regional Park
  • Lone Tree Hill Regional Park
  • Mount Work Regional Park/Durrance Lake

Langford

  • Mill Hill Regional Park
  • Mount Wells Regional Park

Metchosin

  • Taylor Beach
  • Devonian Regional Park
  • Matheson Lake Regional Park
  • Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park

North Saanich

  • Coles Bay Regional Park
  • Horth Hill Regional Park

Oak Bay

There are many parks in Oak Bay; some with no restrictions and some “No Dogs Allowed”.

  • Windsor Park – off leash seasonally
  • McNeil Bay Beach – off leash sunrise to sunset – 12 months/year
  • Loon Bay Park – no restrictions
  • Oakdowne Park – no restrictions
  • Cattle Point – no restrictions
  • OB Municipal Hall Park – no restrictions
  • Hayes Park – no restrictions
  • Marina Park Beach – no restrictions
  • Walbran Park – no restrictions
  • Anderson Hill Park – Jan-Dec: Leash Optional Sunrise to Sunset, but on-leash recommended during nesting season, April, May and June
  • Trafalgar Park – no restrictions
  • Uplands Park – on leash during nesting season, April-June
  • Windsor Park (between sunrise and 9 o’clock a.m. on any day from July 1 to August 31; and between sunrise and 11 o’clock a.m. on any day from September 1 to June 30. Dogs must be leashed when the park has been reserved for, and is being used by, an individual, group or organization as evidenced by a permit issued under the authority of the Oak Bay Parks and Recreation Commission.

Dogs are prohibited in the following areas:

  • in the fenced Rose Garden in the easterly portion of Windsor Park;
  • in the Native Plant Park,
  • in the golf course and chip trail area of Henderson Park;
  • in the Turkey Head Walkway area of the Oak Bay Marina Lookout;
  • on McMicking Point;
  • on Kitty Islet;
  • on Willows Beach at any time between May 1 and September 30 in any year.

Dog access map.

Saanich

Dogs may be off-leash in any Saanich park with the exception of the Lochside Trail within the Blenkinsop Lake area, and Rithet’s Bog. They are prohibited year-round from the Swan Lake/Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary and Quick’s Bottom. They are prohibited during the months of May to August inclusive in the following parks:

  • Cadboro Bay-Gyro Park and the public beach at Cadboro Bay lying between the easterly boundary of Gyro Park and the boundary of the Municipality of Oak Bay, EXCEPT before 9:00 a.m., Lakeside Park
  • Cordova Bay Beach area lying between the northerly boundary of Cordova Bay Park and the southerly boundary of the Walema Avenue right-of-way
  • Mount Douglas Park Beach and that part of Mount Douglas Park bounded by Cordova Bay Road, Ash Road, Douglas Creek, the natural boundary of the ocean and the northwesterly boundary of the park, EXCEPT the asphalt road surface lying to the northwest of the picnic area between the two gates.
  • Bear Hill Regional Park
  • Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park
  • Francis/King Regional Park (except boardwalk)
  • Mount Work Regional Park
  • Mount Douglas Park
  • Mount Tolmie Park
  • Cuthbert Holmes Park
  • UVIC lands
  • Parker Park

Sooke

  • Sooke Potholes Regional Park
  • East Sooke Park
  • Whiffin Spit
  • Roche Cove Regional Park

VICTORIA

When Citizen Canine was founded, the City of Victoria had only one off-leash area (on Dallas Road). Today, the city has 12 off-leash areas for dogs. You can view a PDF map at the following link: www.victoria.ca/dogs/pdfs/off-leash-parks.pdf

                                                                     Off-Leash Times

Gonzales Hill Regional Park                     all times

Topaz                                                             Monday to Friday 6-10am & 4-10pm
Saturday & Sunday 6-8am & 5-10pm

Oswald                                                           all days 6am to 10pm

Arbutus                                                           all days 6am to 10pm

Victoria West                                                  all days 6am to 10pm

Alexander                                                       all days 6-10am & 4-10pm

Redfern                                                          all days 6-10am & 4-10pm

GonzalesBeach                                              all times Sept 1 to May 31

Clover Point to Dallas Road at Douglas    all times

Clover Point Park                                           all times

Beacon Hill Park south of Dallas Road, from Douglas Street to Clover Point Park                                  all times

Please remember: dogs are not allowed in Ross Bay Cemetery, Pioneer Square Park, and the “no dogs” area in Beacon Hill Park, near Douglas Street, south of Good Acre Lake.

For more information about Victoria city bylaws and other information relevant to dog owners, check out this document.

Basic rules to remember, when using off-leash areas:

  • Make sure your dog is wearing a current licence tag on their collar.
  • Pick up after your dog and dispose of waste in a garbage can.
  • Keep your dog outside of playground boundaries.
  • Do not allow your dog to dig holes in a park.
  • Do not let your dog jump up on people.

Ensure you have control of your dog at all times, whether on or off-leash.

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About the Author:

I've lived in Victoria over 30 years and I still can't believe how great this city really is! My husband, Bruce, and I have traveled the world but coming home to Victoria is still quite often a celebration. Together, we want to share our love of the city and the area by giving you an 'insider's' insights of where to go - what to do - and how to get there!

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