If it was a secret, I’d say Kivi Park in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada was the best-kept secret in Sudbury. Only, it’s no secret. Especially among dog people who take their dogs to Kivi Park (4472 Long Lake Road) frequently.
In fact, Kivi Park is a popular family destination on weekends and dog walking locale on weekdays (when it’s open) for locals looking for the serenity of 480 forested acres, minutes from their sub-divisions and apartments. A large playground keeps little kids busy and wide, easy-to-jog-and-stroll trails in the main part of this 480-acre urban conservation site invite active young moms with toddlers in tow.
Kivi Park is a ten- to fifteen-minute drive from downtown Sudbury, a city known for rocks, mining, and being a five-hour drive north of Toronto. And the park was entirely donated. More on that soon.
As promised, here are 7 reasons you should take your dog to Kivi Park:
1. Wide Well-marked Trails
Kivi Park is expansive, more than it looks from the entrance parking lot. Near the ‘outdoor lounge’ – a metal fire pit surrounded by Muskoka chairs and picnic tables is a large map outlining the 55.7 km colour-coded trails cutting through the conservation site. Some are wide and short, easy to navigate with your dog, and dotted with poop bag dispensers and wildlife-proof garbage cans.
There are even GPS codes posted along the way for those who might get lost and need to report their locations. But it’s hard to get lost. First, most trails are well-groomed. Second, there’s the colour coding thing – look for plastic dots stapled to trees. For example, Yellow is the shortest at 1 km long and Blue is the longest at 7 km. Orange, green, and red are in-between.
Either the yellow or orange trail is easily completed full-circle in an hour or so, even with a crazy spaniel tied to your waist … clearly, my experience. Other trails are longer and more challenging to navigate. Even still, there are acres of dense ‘back country’ accessible from another entrance point. It’s that entrance point that will get you to the more remote Crowley Lake.
2. Crowley Lake Canoeing and More
If you and your pup are the backcountry adventurous types (me and my dog are not), Crowley Lake in Kivi Park is where you want to head to canoe, kayak, or do some stand-up paddle boarding and I’ve seen people take their Fido along for that slow-moving water ride.
Crowley Lake is off the beaten path and open seasonally, June to October. Equipment is available for rent by the day if you call ahead to arrange it with the park’s outfitter. Rentals of canoes or paddle boards are $25 per day.
3. Dog Clean-up Stations
You know a place is anticipating dogs when it provides dog clean-up stations throughout the park. Of course, the ‘clean up after your pup’ rule is in place here and with bags provided at the entrance, and garbage disposals at points along trails, you’ve got no excuse not to (or to leave bags tied to tree branches).
Seriously though, this simple thoughtful addition makes taking your dog along much easier.
4. Disc Golf Course
What is disc golf? It’s a simple game that involves throwing frisbee-like discs (affiliate link) into metal baskets – six are set up along a course throughout Kivi Park’s birch forest as of 2022.
Ok, so disc golf isn’t really a dog-friendly activity, but can be done with a dog in tow. My pup watched anxiously tied to me or a tree as discs flew through the air – of course, catching them was on her mind. (I still think disc golf would be more interesting with a canine goalie in play). Once she got her own frisbee to chew, she was happy.
Side note: you do have to ask for the discs at the front office. They used to leave the disc golf frisbees in the baskets for people to use but guess what? Too many ended up as dog toys.
5. Fat Bike Rentals
Don’t have a fat bike? No worries. You can rent one at Kivi Park, but not with a dog cart or extended leash attachment (affiliate link). If you bring your own extended leash attachment, you can run your dog alongside a mountain bike with extra fat tires (affiliate link). If not – or your dog is not accustomed to bike-side running – you can bike without the dog. Or stick to hiking trails with the pup, as I did.
Fat bikes can be rented during the summer months for $33.90 for two hours. Or prearranged guided tours are $30 per hour from Adventure 365.
6. Winter Trails Too
Kivi Park is open all year, so snow-covered trails are put to good use. Cross-country skiing is possible, but not often with the dog. Snowshoeing, however, is a winter dog walking or leaping activity, depending on the depth of the snow. Note: Sudbury gets a lot of snow. You’ll be able to snowshoe (affiliate link) here often.
Snowshoe rentals are available during the winter for $11.30 for two hours. Likely, you won’t need more than two hours, especially if you have the dog with you. I’d recommend a ‘hands-free’ leash (affiliate link), however.
7. Kivi Park is Entirely Non-profit
While not dog-specific, the fact that Kivi Park is a private non-profit charity makes it desirable to visit. Run by a staff of eight, many volunteers, and a board of directors, Kivi Park was the vision of Sudbury area resident and philanthropist Lily (Kivi) Fielding. In her 100th year (she lived to be 103), she donated 300 acres of land to establish the park for community use and preservation. Not a bad legacy.
Here’s everything you can do at Kivi Park (though not all are dog-friendly):
- Hiking, walking, and running
- Kayaking, canoeing, and paddle Boarding
- Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and skating in the winter
- Disc golf, soccer, and basketball
- Picnics and lunch at the Kivi Cafe (canteen-style service)
If you go to Kivi Park with your dog….
There are no leash-free zones in Kivi park, so dogs must remain leashed. (See off-leash parks in our Guide to Sudbury with your dog). However, bag dispensers and garbage cans make it easy to clean up after pooches.
Location: Kivi Park, 4472 Long Lake Road, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.
Admission to Kivi Park – Adult Day Passes are $10 and Family Day Passes are $22. If you’re visiting Sudbury for a few days and want to check out different programming at the park, a weekend pass starts at $16, and an individual 7-day Week Pass is $30. Kids under six (and dogs) are free.
Hours: Open all year on Saturday and Sundays, 10 am to 6 pm. Weekdays until 8 pm. (Note hours vary – check website).
Fun Fact: Kivi Park is the only Para-Nordic skiing training centre in Ontario, Canada.
Yes, there is a dog-friendly Motel 6 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada (though I haven’t stayed there):
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.