Happy Trails; Happy Tails – Dog Travels to Peterborough, Ontario

dog at GreenUP park in Peterborough, OntarioMuch to my surprise, Peterborough, Ontario is dog-friendly. Why I’m surprised, I’m not sure. When you have the Trent-Severn Waterway and lock system running through your city, you have a lot of trails and walkways.

Dogs love trails, especially my energetic pup, even if his ACL is still healing.

To the waterfront we go, but first….

My dog, Victor, and I are in Peterborough, home of Trent University, for the PTBO Pet Summit – a first-time event organized by WholeDogNow that brought a few concerned pet owners together with a long list of presenters including Dr. Ian Sandler of Grey Wolf Animal Health Inc. (More on that soon). Victor did OK wandering from room to room but sitting still is not his thing.

The minute the summit ended, we headed to the beach.

Rogers Cove in Beavermead Park (2011 Ashburnham Drive) isn’t officially a dog destination, though there was room for Victor to run along the short curve of sand along the shore of Little Lake near the parking lot and boat launch. Even after a romp along the sand, he still had energy to follow the walking trail and discover one of my favourite seemingly endless dog-walking trails to date.

Clearly, the 53-acre Beavermead Park is not just for dogs, but you’ll find them there. Many were off-leash (although leash rules apply) and that’s fine by me. Young kids stop to give Vic a cuddle – “We have three at home,” dad says.

Even better, we discover a historic lock, part of the Trent-Severn Waterway connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Huron. Picturesque and photo ready.

Tired from the day and run, we stay overnight at the pet-friendly at no extra charge Motel 6 (133 Lansdowne St. E.). Good value, fridge and hairdryer, decent rooms (but needed an extra sweep thanks to dog fur), and good size bathroom. Bring a dog bed.

Best part: Motel 6 is minutes via car from the city’s only leash-free dog park, and it’s worth checking out. Watch for the Farmcrest Park sign (1900 Ashburnham Drive), park near the road. Then follow the paved paw-printed trail to the Peterborough Dog Club Dog Park. Three – yes, three – separate fenced areas allow dogs to frolic freely. A smaller narrow one allows little dogs like mine to take a time out from bigger bouncy pups.

The park is popular this muddy Sunday morning though wood chips in the big Rotary Club-sponsored park helped. Victor liked the slow winding walk there best.

That is until we crossed the street.

GreenUP Ecology Park, a curious idea directly across the street from the Farmcrest Park parking lot, is five acres of paths winding past sustainable landscape ideas and resources, a native plant nursery, and children’s play area. Officially open late May, we’re here early in the season so Victor, once again, has the run of the place. Keep walking toward the water and we connect with yesterday’s starting point.

Funny, here in Peterborough all paths lead to Beavermead Park. And if motels aren’t your thing, you can camp at Beavermead too – with the dog, of course.

Travel Guide: According to city website, Peterborough trails and  walkways are plowed during the winter, so that’s a bonus. The Rotary Greenway Trail is 20 km long, and the Jackson Creek Kiwanis train is a 4 km stretch in Jackson Park. Peterborough is also home to the world’s largest hydraulic lift lock that rises 20 meters up and opened in 1904.

If you love farmer’s markets, checkout the Saturday morning partially dog-friendly market. A short drive outside the city is ZimArt outdoor private sculpture gallery – we’ve been there too.

Stop on your way home 30-minutes outside of Peterborough and meet the charming mules of Primrose Donkey Sanctuary. Checkout our visit on www.horsetrotting.net.  

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