With so many of us spending more time at home lately, ensuring that you’re still getting outside even when the weather turns colder can have great benefits for your mental and physical health - as well as your pup’s!
Of course, hiking during winter can require some extra preparation, so be sure to check out our guide to 10 Essentials for Winter Hiking with Your Dog to get you ready for your next excursion.
Once you’ve done that, get inspired to plan out your season of winter hiking with our favourite dog-friendly winter hikes across Canada.
One thing is for sure, you will want to checkout our All-Terrain Harness for your hike, dogs love the comfort and Hoomans love the no-pull feature.
Troll Falls // Kananaskis
An out-and-back trail, the Troll Falls hike is used as a hiking trail in the summer, and as a cross- country ski trail in the winter months.
Because there’s little elevation change, this is an easier hike that takes you to a wonderful frozen waterfall view at the end. If you’re looking to go on a family winter dog walk, the Troll Falls trail is a great option; if you have little ones, we recommend bringing a toboggan as there is plenty of opportunity for winter sledding.
Photo by Nathan Somms
Plus, if you keep your eyes open, you can see several trolls hidden amongst the rocks!
Johnston Canyon Trail // Banff
This popular trail during the summer is open all year round and is one of the most popular dog-friendly hikes in the Rocky Mountains, presenting you with several waterfall views. An easy to moderate hike, it’s recommended to bring or rent snow cleats as the trail can get very slippery.
Dogs can join in on all hikes within the Banff National Parks as long as they remain on leash and are well behaved. With so many picturesque views of rivers, cliffs, and frozen waterfalls, Johnston Canyon Trail is also a great place to snap some pictures of your dog, and the winter landscape provides a welcome reprieve from the busyness of daily life.
Moraine Lake // Banff
In the winter, Moraine Lake Road closes to traffic, making it a great location for hiking and cross-country skiing on the out and back type trail that gives you views of the glacier-fed, beautiful bright turquoise Moraine Lake, which usually remains frozen over until June.
We don't recommend doing this trail in the winter with your dog because of the trail length but we've included it because it's a great place to go in the Fall to checkout Moraine Lake then do Larch Valley.
In our opinion, this is one of the best hikes in Banff, so much so the view of the peaks overlooking the lake inspired our Moraine Lake Dog Gear Line.
Tunnel Mountain Trail // Banff
Located in Banff, Tunnel Mountain Trail is the smallest peak in Banff, beginning in a pine and fir forest and taking you up the mountain. While it’s a go-to in summer, spring, and fall, it’s accessible in the winter - provided that you have the right footwear.
Check out the Trail Conditions page to ensure that you’re prepared. The best part of this hike is the 360-degree view you’re rewarded with at the top, which overlooks the river valleys and surrounding peaks.
If you are looking for a Banff inspired dog collar checkout our Banff Alpine Collar featuring Rundle Mountain and moose!
Cypress Falls Park // West Vancouver
Because it’s at a lower elevation, Cypress Hill Park is a great place to head during the winter when many other trails might be covered in snow. But this trail still presents you with the opportunity to escape into nature, view wildlife, and experience the creek and over 300-year old red Cedars and Douglas firs as you take the about 45-minute hike to view the waterfalls.
Plus, there is a dedicated off-leash dog area, so you can allow your dog a little time to roam free.
Hollyburn Mountain // Cypress National Park
This snowshoeing trail, suitable for beginners, takes you to the bottom of the Cypress Mountain Nordic Ski Area and gives you a great view overlooking Vancouver. Well maintained and flagged although still free to visit, the trail is open from November through May, with dogs allowed on leash.
The winding trail takes you through trees and allows plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the views of the Georgia Strait, leading you to the top of Hollyburn Peak. On clear days, you can even get a glimpse of the Gulf Islands!
Katzie Marsh Loop // Pitt Meadows
A trail loop that is open all year round, Katzie Marsh Loop is an easy hike that is dog and kid-friendly with nice views of the river and surrounding mountains. Along with a look over the Katzie Marsh, this hike gives you a gorgeous view of the snow-capped mountains that surround the area.
This hike is also filled with plenty of wildlife including great blue heron, osprey, Canada geese, and bald eagles.
Kennedy Falls // North Vancouver
A more challenging hike, Kennedy Falls located in Lynn Valley is usually free of snow thanks to its lower elevation although it can get a bit icy in the winter.
In addition to seeking out Kennedy Falls, the trail has an over 600-year-old red cedar, that is over 4 metres around; in fact, the trail is sometimes even referred to as the Kennedy Falls and Big Cedar Trail, thanks to this attraction.
The environment of this hike is very lush, making it a great place to escape the city. As it can be quite muddy, you’ll want to be prepared with a good pair of hiking boots for yourself and a towel for your dog.
Mount Seymour Summit Hike
A popular moderate-level hike all year round, Mount Seymour presents a great opportunity to enjoy a winter dog walk without going too far away from the city; while much of the Vancouver area doesn’t get snow, this local mountain gets plenty of fresh powder.
With 360 degree views, the hike is a great one for both you and your dog to enjoy. We recommend visiting during the week if possible, as the trails can get busy on the weekends. Mount Seymour also offers several snowshoeing opportunities to check out that you can explore with your dog.
Mount Thom // Fraser Valley
For a more challenging hike, Mount Thorn is a steep trek that has plenty of switchbacks and leaves you with a great view overlooking Cultus Lake and the entire Fraser Valley with views of Sumas Mountain.
If you’re looking for a more family-friendly option, you can drive to the Lookout Loop Trail and still get rewarded by the same view. As the trail is heavily trafficked, snow is typically quite compacted, making it a more accessible winter hike.
Velodrome Trail // Vancouver
If you’re tempted by the Grouse Grind but want to take your 4-legged hiking buddy with you, try Velodrome Trail, which is Burnaby’s version of the Grouse Grind. The hike features over 500 wooden stairs and takes you by a Japanese totem pole for a great view of the Burrard Inlet and Salmon Arm.
Looking for a British Columbia inspired leash? Check out our Kootenay All-Mountain Leash ideal for any adventure.
Echo Valley Provincial Park // Qu’Appelle Valley
Located adjacent to two lakes and with plenty of hiking and nature trails, Echo Valley Provincial Park is a great destination for family and dog-friendly hikes.
Plus, the history that the valley came to be as it was carved out by giant ice age glaciers adds a touch of wonder to your explorations. The provincial park is pet-friendly and has an ice skating trail that is open every Thursday night for even more winter adventures.
Wascana Valley // Regina
With over 15km of trails, Wascana Valley is a great option for hikers of all ages and abilities. During the winter, the trail is open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Dogs are allowed, as long as they remain on a leash.
A beautiful arch-style bridge takes you across the Wascana River, giving you a great view of the river. Because the trail is more open, we recommend ensuring that both you and your dog are prepared with gear to keep you protected from the elements.
Big Whiteshell Trail // Eastern Manitoba
Located in Whiteshell Provincial Park, a four-season park that allows dogs as long as they remain on a leash, this 1.5 KM out-and-back trail is filled with great views and the opportunity to see lots of wildlife.
Because it’s a shorter hike, this is a good choice for more novice hikers or experienced hikers looking for something a little less challenging and technical.
Barron Canyon Hiking Trail // Laurentian Hills
A moderate trail that is accessible year-round, Barron Canyon is a 1.6 KM loop that takes you through a forest setting. Located in the Algonquian National Park, the loop has a spectacular view and is a go-to. One of the best things about this hiking trail is that it allows you to experience different landscapes in a single hike: deep, hardwood forests, and a more Canadian shield landscape./
Paint Lake // Thompson
A true peek at the winter landscape that is Canada, Paint Lake provides a great look at several small islands. This park is open year-round, and, because it’s a provincial park, dogs are allowed as long as they remain on-leash. The park also provides options for additional wintertime activities including ice skating, ice fishing, and snowmobiling.
Black Creek Side Trail // Halton Hills
Located just outside Toronto, Black Creek Side Trail is the perfect opportunity to escape from the city and enjoy the beauty of winter. This 3.2 KM dog-friendly loop is open year-round, and takes you past caves as well as ruins and lime kilns, providing a cool experience for history lovers.
With over 9,300 hectares of forest to explore, Marlborough Forest is a destination all-year-round, although it does not become too overcrowded.
In the winter, dog walking, hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are popular. Because there are so many trails, it’s easy to choose one that is suited to you and your dog’s fitness level.
Ardagh Bluffs // Ardagh
An eco-protected park with plenty of forested areas, Ardagh Bluffs is one of the best Ontario winter dog hikes.
The colours of the leaves as fall turns into winter are beautiful although this trail can get quite icy and slippery, so be sure to be prepared with good boots for yourself, and Organic Paw Cream to keep your pup’s sensitive paw pads protected.
Loree Forest Loop // Collingwood
This looped trail is fairly flat but can become a slightly more challenging hike depending on the winter weather conditions. While a forested hike, the loop does present you with great views overlooking Georgian Bay at about the midpoint of the hike. While winter hiking is popular, the loop is also frequented by snowshoers and cross-country skiers, as well as plenty of birds.
The Appalachian Park // Matane
If you’re looking for a complete outdoor hiking experience, Appalachian Park is surely on to add to your list. The park has over 140 KM of hiking trails to explore, taking you by lakes, rivers, and mountains, as well as over beautiful bridges.
Dogs are very welcome in the park, and can even take part in boat rides in the summer months. In the winter, because of the climate, snowshoes are essential for hiking.
And, if you’re looking for a special experience with your dog, you can go snow sledding, which allows one or two of your dogs to pull you through the snow on a special sled.
Mount Gosford Circuit // Saint-Augustin-De-Woburn
If you’re looking for a more challenging winter hike in Quebec that you can complete with your dog, This 19KM loop involves rocky terrain, as well as gorgeous views of a waterfall.
A quieter hike, the peak of Mount Gosford, which is the seventh tallest mountain in Quebec, provides incredible panoramic views of Maine and New Hampshire.
Massif Trail Loop // Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci
Located in Forêt Region Ouareau Regional Park which has more than 120KM of hiking trails, Massif Trail Loop is a medium-rated hike that is open all year round and presents great views of the lake as well as plenty of birds.
In the winter, the trail allows you to escape into the snow-covered hardwood forest for some much-needed outdoor time with your pup.
Dobson Trail // Riverview
If you’re looking for a trail that allows you to explore the rugged forest of Southern New Brunswick, Dobson Trail is it. This 62 KM out-and-back trail can be trekked as little or as much as you like to suit you and your dog’s fitness level and the length of hike you’d like. You’ll also appreciate the fact that this trail is lovingly maintained by volunteers.
Kouchibouguac National Park // Kouchibouguac
As a national park, Kouchibouguac National Park is dog-friendly. The park offers over 15 km of snowy trails, along with several warming huts complete with firewood for stops along the trail. In addition to trails for winter walking and hiking, there are options for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Parlee Brook Amphitheatre Trail // Parlee Brook
An out-and-back trail, Parlee Brook is open year-round and can be snowshoed in winter. Along the trail, you will encounter a lake and often see beavers, and can also discover the amphitheatre at the end of the trail. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to watch ice climbers exploring the frozen waterfalls.
Shiktehawk Trail // Glassview
A trail that is accessible and enjoyable in all seasons, in the winter Shiktehawk Trail is typically snowy, making it a great snowshoeing hike. The trail has several look-offs to the gorgeous stream it surrounds.
Turtle Mountain // Grand-Bay Westfield
Although it can be icy, Turtle Mountain’s trails are well-marked and offer plenty of bypass routes to help you and your dog hike and explore safely. A moderately rated hike, this out-and-back trail will take you to the top of Turtle Mountain, offering you spectacular views of Turtle Lake.
Castle Rock Trail // East River
If you’re looking for a family-friendly winter hike in Nova Scotia that you can do with your dogs, Castle Rock Trail is it. The top of the summit requires a bit of light scrambling (although this remains an easy rated hike), but rewards you with views of the ocean and inland.
Polly Cove Trail // Peggy’s Cove
A beautiful cove side trail, Polly Cove is open year-round, although you do need to be careful in the winter when it becomes snowy. There are plenty of viewpoints to overlook the ocean and cliff views (including Peggy’s Cove lighthouse in the distance), as well as see abandoned war bunkers along the trail.
Pot Lake Loop // Timberlea
A popular trail, Pot Lake Loop is a moderately rated hike that takes you and your dog along scenic Pot Lake. There are plenty of gorgeous views and small hills to climb, making it a great workout for both you and your four-legged friend.
Cape Spear Path: Maddox Cove to Herring Cove // St. John’s
A must-do for its incredibly scenic views, Cape Spear Path is a moderately rated hike that is completely along the gorgeous coastline. Mostly flat, there are a few hilly areas, making it a great hike for a little exercise.
Cobbler's Path // Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove
For the perfect mix between coastal trails and forested trails, opt for Cobbler’s Path. The 10KM moderately rated trail presents you with a great view of the bay and cliffs overlooking Sugarloaf. Well maintained, it has plenty of elevation changes to keep your hike interesting and engaging.
Long Pond and Mount Scio Lookout // St. John’s
This well-kept loop trail is an easier-rated hike that is perfect for doing with a dog. The stairs will take you to an incredible look-out point that is the perfect place to stop and take some pictures.
Octagon Pond Loop // Paradise
This dog-friendly loop trail is easy enough that it can be done with kids. Rich with nature, it’s fairly flat and takes you around a lake. Just be prepared that the lakeside of the trail can get snowy.
The Spout Snowshoe Route // Bay Bulls
If you’ve explored the Shoal Bay Road to Spout Path hike, The Spout Snowshoe route is the winter alternative to getting to the scenic spout. Snowshoes are essential for this out-and-back hike which is best accessible from November through to April.
Carcross Desert Viewpoint // Carcross
Interestingly enough, Carcross is the smallest desert in North America. An easy rated hiks, it’s perfect for dogs, and lets you explore the interesting climate of a desert, sandy beach and gorgeous mountains surrounding a lake all at once.
Fish Lake Loop // Whitehorse
For a moderately rated hike near Whitehorse that’s dog-friendly, check out Fish Lake Loop. The 15.9 KM loop is accessible year-round and takes you above the treeline to a ridge overlooking Fish Lake as well as Bonneville Lakes and the Boundary Mountains. Because it’s an alpine trail, expect snow drifts in the winter.
Saint Elias Lake Trail // Haines Junction
An out-and-back trail that takes you between the mountains to a beautiful lake presents many opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Yukon and experience different habitats with the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife: you may even see moose tracks in the snow In the winter, the lake is usually frozen, meaning you can traverse to the other side of the lake.
Wolf Creek Trail // Whitehorse
An easier-rated hike, Wolf Creek Trail takes you along the picturesque Yukon River and Wolf Creek. Because its mostly flat, this is more of an accessible hike for all, but you can extend your hike by taking the side trail through the forest to overlook the Yukon River.