Best Cottage Areas To Take Your Dog

June 9, 2014

Nothing puts a dampener on your cottage getaway quite like knowing your beloved pooch is lonely at home with only an occasional visit from a pet-sitter to break up the day. Or, worse, he or she is moping for you at a kennel. But guess what? Your vacation needn’t be riddled with guilt, for we’ve found some of the best pet-friendly cottage areas and parks in Canada. Make sure to double-check with your cottage rental that dogs are allowed, then grab that leash. Fido’s going with you!

1. Bruce Peninsula, Ontario

The Bruce Peninsula in Ontario is situated between the main basin of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, and is a popular area for camping, hiking, fishing and, of course, cottaging! Rich in nature reserves and opportunities for wildlife spotting, you can rest easy in the knowledge that you’ll be able to “spot” your dog. Bruce Peninsula National Park welcomes dogs of all sizes on its trails as long as they are leashed and attended at all times. You can even take your dog on the Bruce Trail! Together, you can explore waterfalls, rock tunnels and old-growth forests before ending up at Tobermay, which offers several pet-friendly cottage rentals.

2. Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

The Bay of Fundy is known for its whitewater rafting and tidal bores, which take place daily on the Shubenacadie River and Saint John River. However, it’s also a wonderful place to go cottaging with your dog. Fundy National Park, near the village of Alma, is dog-friendly, as long as you keep your dog on a leash at all times, clean up after it, and make sure it doesn’t disturb or harm any wildlife. With these safeguards in place, you’ll be free to explore the park’s more than 20 dog-friendly trails, canoe in Bennett Lake, and hike in the Acadian forest.

3. Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria in British Columbia offers many dog-friendly parks and beaches for you and your canine friend to frolic in while cottaging. Victoria even has a Paws in Parks program! French Beach Provincial Park has driftwood that makes playing “fetch” a breeze, while Clover Point, Beacon Hill, and Pemberton all offer off-leash times throughout the year. Add to this the many dog-friendly restaurants and even a wheat-free homemade dog bakery in Dragon Alley called Dogs in the Bakery, and Victoria is clearly a dog-lovers paradise!

4. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlands National Park is tremendously dog-friendly and therefore a great option for cottaging with your pet pooch. The Skyline Trail is off-limits to dogs as they disturb wildlife such as moose and bears, but you can take your (leashed) dog on the L’Acadien Trail, which offers views of the Gulf of St Lawrence, as well as the Franey, Jack Pine, and Lone Shieling Trails, the last of which will take you into a sugar maple hardwood forest.

5. Jasper, Alberta

If your dog is a fan of snow just like you are, then consider a cottage vacation in Jasper, Alberta. Jasper National Park is one of Canada’s most stunning dog-friendly areas, with deep valleys, thick forests, alpine meadows, and glaciers all open to canine hikers. Whistlers Trail ascends 4,000 feet to give you stunning views of the Athabasca Valley, while closer to Banff, the Athabasca Glacier gives your dog the chance to skip across ice and snow. After that, you and your pup will be more than happy to return to a pet-friendly cottage for a hearty dinner of pasta and kibble.

6. Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec

The Gaspé Peninsula is home to stunning sea cliffs jutting over the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec, just north of New Brunswick. Maritime and adventure lovers will find much to do while cottaging in the area, including salmon fishing, hang-gliding in Mont-Saint-Pierre, exploring small fishing villages and lighthouses, and checking out the Matapedia Valley or Bay of Chaleur. But why, pray tell, have we included this area in our list of best places to cottage with your dog? Because of Forillon National Park, of course, which along with spectacular scenery and nesting colonies of sea birds and seals, moose, and whales, allows on-leash dogs in its camping grounds and all of its trails. Wouldn’t it be lovely to see the Appalachian Mountains with Man’s Best Friend at your side? We think so!


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