Need a dog-friendly stop on a road trip between Hamilton and Sudbury, Ontario? I did. And that’s how my dog and I ended up at Parry Sound, on the edge of Ontario, Canada cottage country and wedged between both national and provincial parks. It’s the largest natural harbour on Georgian Bay and thanks to an outdoorsy vibe and water-side walking trails, Perry Sound is a surprisingly dog-friendly town in the summer.
In other words, there are a lot of trees, trails, and water in Parry Sound – along with the hardy edge indicative of a former railway town. The Canadian Pacific Railway trestle, built in 1907, hovers over the Seguin River as part of the city’s identity. At almost 600 meters in length (1950 feet), this is the longest trestle bridge in Ontario. For the best view of this railway bridge, head to dog-friendly Trestle Brewing Company (9 Great North Road, Parry Sound, Ontario).
Pet-friendly Trestle Brewing Company Patio
One of my favourite things to do is relax on a pet-friendly patio with my dog and that was my criterion as I headed north along Highway 400 toward Parry Sound, Ontario. My pre-road trip research included a search for ‘dog-friendly Parry Sound’ and it didn’t yield much other than accommodations – and one brewery: Trestle Brewing Company with a view of the river and over-head train trestle.
To the brewery we went. My dog definitely needed a stop by the time we got to Parry Sound, and finding Trestle Brewing Company took about 15 minutes from the highway, thanks to GPS. Arriving with my dog was no problem – we saddled up to a patio picnic table, but needed to bring our own water bowl.
There’s a lower patio that wasn’t open that day, but there’s room for a good crowd to enjoy lunch, dinner, and/or a beer with a full view of the lake and a picture-perfect vantage of that iconic railway trestle. Lunch was a VOBB (not Cobb) salad – romaine lettuce, tortilla, tomato, avocado, cheddar and egg. And a hot dog from the kid’s menu for the puppy – we are on vacation after all.
Dog-walking Waterfront Walk
Trestle is almost tailor-made for dogs and their people because literally, a stone’s throw from the patio is a trail along the waterfront. You can go one way along the road or cross the lower walking bridge – which was likely once a railway bridge – now covered in murals (and some graffiti).
The secluded dirt trail leads along the river, past rock rapids you can barely see thanks to dense foliage. There are a couple of benches and a few dog bag dispensers, which means this is a popular dog-walking route. If you’re up for it, the trail goes all the way to the marina. But we turned back earlier because we had to get back to the car eventually.
Oastler Lake Provincial Park with Your Dog
Oastler Lake Provincial Park is a small but mighty park teaming with people filling campsites, the beach, and kayaks and canoes. It was busy there, the day I stopped in while driving with my dog between Sudbury, Ontario and home – it’s not far from Trestle Brewing Company, only about a 10-minute drive away.
There are no official trails at Oastler Lake Park – it’s that small – but there are a lot of campsites and waterfront activity. Kayaking, canoeing, and boating is the main attraction; the parking lot near the boat launch is full of trucks and trailers.
Near the boat launch, there’s a small plot of sand and grass designated the ‘dog beach.’ Like so many provincial parks, this dog zone is really too small to get a good off-leash run, but there is a bit of a trail nearby that allowed my dog a romp through the woods before we headed back into the car.
Even though Oastler Lake Park doesn’t have any significant trails or hiking routes, it is located beside the Seguin Recreational Trail system that’s across the street. That’s where park visitors can get their trek on, with leashed dogs in tow. Oastler Lake Provincial Park operates seasonally May to October and during these months is open from 8:30 am to 8 pm. Day use admission starts at $12.
Highlights of Oastler Lake Provincial Park include the following:
- waterfront campsites overlooking Oastler Lake
- 138 car tent sites (42 with electrical outlets)
- 18 RV sites (no roofed accommodations)
- kayak and canoe rentals
- one dog exercise area
- showers available
- one boat launch
Other fun facts about Parry Sound: it has the world’s deepest natural freshwater port, and it’s the hometown of hockey legend Bobby Orr. And if you’re wondering which one is more important, well, the former hockey player has his own museum: The Bobby Orr Hall of Fame is located at 2 Bay Street, Parry Sound. As far as I know, it’s not dog-friendly.
Dog-friendly Parry Sound at a glance…
Dog-friendly Patios in Parry Sound
Tailwinds Georgian Bay, 11A Bay Street, Parry Sound, Ontario – Watch the float planes take off from the river from the wrap-around deck at Tailwinds. The partially covered outdoor deck is dog-friendly.
Trestle Brewing Company, 9 Great North Road, Parry Sound, Ontario – Enjoy the river-side patio with your dog, then walk along the pedestrian bridge in full view of Ontario’s longest rail trestle bridge. The Trestle Brewing Company is closed on Mondays, but open Tuesday to Sunday, 11 am to 9 pm.
Dog-friendly Accommodations in Parry Sound
Although we didn’t stay overnight in Parry Sound, but plan to someday, here’s a list of dog-friendly accommodations in Parry, Sound, Ontario
Sunny Point Resort, Cottages, and Inn – Pets are permitted in any of Sunny Point’s 10 waterfront cottages, each with water access if your pup loves to swim. Two dogs per cottage with no breed or size limits. Pets, however, are not allowed in the inn or inn area.
Parry Sound KOA Campground – Most KOA campgrounds are dog-friendly and that includes Parry Sound at tent campsites or cottages, but not deluxe cabins or rental trailers. Also, there’s an off-leash zone. The Seguin Trail is nearby.
For more information about Perry Sound, Ontario, check out Perry Sound Tourism here.
To find more accommodation options in and around Parry Sound, check out Expedia (affiliate link).
I’m Sherri Telenko, a professional writer for 30 years and travel writer for the last 20. I’m a member of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and Dog Writers Association of America. I’ve lived with cats, dogs, horses and guinea pigs all my life, and I travel almost weekly with my canine companion, Victoria.