While reminiscing about Fredericton, New Brunswick with my dog one image stands out: outdoor picnic tables scattered across an open grassy area at Picaroons Roundhouse, the province’s iconic microbrewery (that we happened to visit in Saint John too). Also, walking across the expansive pedestrian-only bridge extending across the scenic Saint John River was a memorable moment. And hey, so was our stay at the dog-friendly Delta Hotel along the Fredericton Trails System.
Come to think if it, we made a lot of memories in the short time we were in the very dog-friendly Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Stopping at Fredericton, New Brunswick at the tail end of our maritime journey last summer was almost a last minute choice – but a good one. Right after we spent several days exploring dog-friendly sites in Halifax, Yarmouth, and Digby, Nova Scotia, we headed west toward Ontario adding an extra stop in Fredericton. I’m glad we did.
Next road trip east, me and the dog are definitely spending more time in New Brunswick.
Dog-friendly Fredericton Downtown
Our dog-friendly Fredericton experience started by checking into the Delta Hotel by Marriot a short distance from the centre of downtown and along the Saint John River (also called the Wolastoq). The Delta in one of several dog-friendly hotels in Fredericton, New Brunswick (see below). At the Delta, head out the backdoor past the pool, then follow the walking trail beside the hotel. Within 15 to 20 minutes, you’re in the compact town centre full of dog-friendly patios and shops, Downtown is flanked by parks, residential areas, and the river, which you’re never really far from in Fredericton.
Two great things about downtown Fredericton: there’s a lot of independent stores, coffee shops, cafes, and restaurants and very few chains or corporate franchises. The second great thing, of course, is how remarkably dog welcoming most everyone is.
My pup was allowed in many shops, including the must-visit artisan collective Artful Persuasion – not void of handmade pet products, either. And she met a new puppy friend at Urban Almanac where you can find stylish outdoor furniture, gourmet coffee, and dog treats. Both shops are on York Street.
From Main Street Fredericton, it’s an easy walk to Officer’s Square, essentially the historic public park near the Fredericton Region Museum. Apparently, the museum is dog-friendly too.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the history museum’s canine tolerance with my high-energy two-year-old spaniel because it was closed the day we visited early in the season. But I have visited sans pup many years ago and remember this being a quirky place with a particularly maritime tall-tale about an over-sized now taxidermy bullfrog. You have to see it to (likely) not believe it.
Dog-friendly Dining & Drinking in Fredericton
Truthfully, though, this maritime town is about the restaurants, particularly those with patios along the waterfront. Most allow dogs on the patio without issue. For instance, the Lighthouse by 540 is the stop in town for a signature cocktail and finger foods. But worth the walk – and you’ll be walking in Fredericton – is across the river. The very wide picture-perfect river.
You can drive around to Picaroons Roundhouse across the Westmoreland Bridge if you want to – and that will save you the long walk back, especially if you’re staying at the Delta Hotel. But missing a stroll along the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge extending from downtown to Picaroons beside Carlton Park would be a shame, especially with an enthusiastic pup like mine.
Picaroons in the summer is a dog lovers brewery paradise. Picture red picnic tables, patio umbrellas, green grass, and a dog or two tied to every other table. Tables are dotted with pints of Picaroons and plates of chicken wings or nachos because Picaroons is full must spring and summer evenings.
Fence this place in, and you’d have one heck of a dog park. Although, I seriously doubt they’ll ever go that far. But they do have a very instagramable ‘stick’ library – a wooden box of assorted sticks – for their four-legged guests to dig through like a kid under the Christmas tree.
And here’s another reason I wish I had more time in Fredericton: this city loves its libations. Fredericton holds the record for the most local breweries, wineries, cider houses, and distilleries per capita than any other Canadian maritime town. Not missing an opportunity, the city developed the Taproom Trail map for visitors and locals to follow, and all tap rooms on the passport tour are pet-friendly except one (Mama’s Brew Pub).
Leash-free Dog Parks in Fredericton
Speaking of dog parks, I lied a bit. The Delta Hotel wasn’t our first stop – the leash fee dog park at the north edge of the city was. As with every road trip, I research ahead and plan our stops so my very high energy pup can run off hours in a confined car, preferably in an off-leash fenced zone, before we check-in anywhere.
This trip our first Fredericton stop was the Knowledge Park Drive Dog Park wedged between an industrial park and residential area. This large fully-fenced park has both small and big dog sections, plenty of parking, and definitely wasn’t over-run the hour we were there.
There’s a second off-leash zone call Cityview Park in central Fredericton across the river, though we didn’t find it. If you’re still up for more leash-walking, the 400-acre Odell Park and adjacent Botanic Gardens welcome dogs on leash.
Ultimately, back at the Delta Hotel we ended our short but adventurous visit to dog-friendly Fredericton, New Brunswick on what I believe to be the perfect maritime note: I was stuffed with bar food and beer, a little tipsy, with a pup who was right dog tired after walking miles of the Fredericton Trails and downtown streets.
Dog-friendly Fredericton at a glance….
For a city its size, Fredericton had a surprising number of leash-free and leashed only options within its boundaries (not all we were able to test-run in one visit). Plus, there are many places to walk leashed dogs for hours and several pet-friendly hotels in Fredericton.
- Odell Park (Waggoners Lane, Fredericton, NB) – In the centre of Fredericton, this 400-acre park includes a duck pond, arboretum, and botanic garden (beside the park). Named Odell Park because it is the former estate of Reverend Jonathan Odell, this wooded park offers about three miles of looped trails for a leashed-dog hike. While there are open fields, it’s not officially a leash-free zone. However, leashed dogs are allowed in the Botanic Gardens, if you’re willing to pick up after them.
- Killarney Lake Park (1605 St. Mary’s Street, Fredericton, NB) – Killarney Lake Park is located less than a 10-minute drive from the city and features four kilometres of trails within the 1200 acre property. There’s a playground for kids, picnic area, and beach but no leash-free area. Dogs on leash only, including on the beach.
- Officers’ Square – The historic square in downtown Fredericton is known as the Officer’s Square and is essentially a public park when not in use for festivals or the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Dogs are welcome in the square as long as they are on a leash.
- Fredericton Trails – The Fredericton Trails system is a network of trails that wind along the banks of the St. John River connecting several green spaces in the city. If you stay at the Delta Hotel, you can walk this trail from the hotel to downtown easily, but it takes time. Dogs must be leashed.
Off-leash Dog Parks in Fredericton:
- Knowledge Park Drive Dog Park (600 Knowledge Park Drive, Fredericton, NB) is fully fenced and offers large and a small dog areas.
- Cityview Dog Park (Cityview Avenue, Fredericton, NB) is the city’s first dog park, more centrally located on less than an acre of fully-fenced property. There are separate small and large dog areas and a sun shelter for people.
Active Pup Dog-friendly Adventure
Second Nature Outdoors – If you’re not content to view the Saint John River (Wolastoq) from the shore, you can rent canoes or kayaks by the hour or day from Second Nature Outdoors – or you can join one of the company’s tours. Dogs are permitted in the canoes and kayaks, but bring your own pet life jacket.
Dining with your dog in Fredericton
The following restaurants have pet-friendly patios during warm weather seasons:
- Picaroons Roundhouse – 912 Union Street, Fredericton – Again, Picaroons Roundhouse is a must if you’re in Fredericton with your dog (and even if you’re not with your dog). Huge outdoor patio, fun food, locally brewed beer and great vibe.
- Lighthouse by 540 – 615 Queen Street, Fredericton – Waterside restaurant under a looming (not real) lighthouse. Great spot for a cocktail or more and the patio is pet-friendly.
- King West Brewing & RustiCo – 304 King Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick
- Lighthouse by 540 – 615 Queen Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick
- Issac’s Way – 649 Queen Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick
- The Lot – 550B Queens Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Pet-friendly Hotels in Fredericton
The Delta, Crowne Plaza, Ramada, and Radisson Kingswood are all dog-friendly hotels in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Most charge additional pet fees and require you to call to reserve a dog-friendly room.
- Delta Hotels by Marriott Fredericton – 225 Woodstock Road, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Pets are permitted for an additional fee.
- Crowne Plaza Fredericton-Lord Beaverbrook Hotel – 659 Queen Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Note pets are permitted on request. Additional fee applies.
- Ramada by Wyndham Fredericton – 480 Riverside Drive, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Pet fee is $15 for a maximum of two animals per room.
- Radisson Kingswood Hotel & Suites – 43 Kingswood Way, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Call to ask for the ‘Pampered Pet Package’ which includes no pet fee and a pet welcome package.
Take Note: The Garrison Night Market in Fredericton, New Brunswick runs every Thursday from 4:30 to 9 pm from June to September. Strangely, this outdoor free event is NOT dog-friendly. Traffic downtown is also heavy on these nights.
Writer bio: Sherri Telenko has been a professional writer for decades and a travel writer for the last two. She’s a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America and travels almost weekly with her canine companion, Victoria. All written content is original, written by a person, and based on experience and research.