Best places to walk your dog in St. Catharines

Looking for new and exciting places to walk your dog in St. Catharines? Luckily, our beautiful, vibrant city offers a host of possibilities. Here are a few of our favourites.


Burgoyne Woods Park

70 Edgedale Road, St. Catharines, ON

Can’t decide if you want to stroll along a paved loop, take to the trails for a woodsy nature walk, or let your dog run and play? Do it all at Burgoyne Woods Park. This gorgeous St. Catharines’ treasure offers plenty of on-leash action, as well as a fenced-in, double-gated off-leash dog park. You’ll find ample space, a water supply (and kiddie pool in the summer), and separate areas for large and small dogs.

Google reviewer and chihuahua mama Kiahna Roberts writes, “Absolutely incredible! [My dogs] loved playing in the small dog area and loved being able to interact with the bigger dogs through the fence without fear of being trampled.”


Participark Trail

Between St. Paul Crescent and Glendale Avenue, St. Catharines, ON

Spice up your routine with this mixed terrain path. The two kilometre stone dust Participark Trail wanders along the west bank of Twelve Mile Creek Valley. If you want to make it a loop — and see new sites — walk along the east bank. Here, the terrain is a bit tougher, and you’ll enjoy your daily dose of nature.


Merritt Trail

Bradley Street – Martindale Road, St. Catharines, ON

According to TakeaHikeNiagara, “If you want to go for a hike without straying from St. Catharines city limits, the Merritt Trail is a perfect choice.” If “hiking” sounds too intense, relax. The gravel trail is mild and mostly flat. You’ll still get your heart rate up if you pick up the pace.

And if you choose to stroll, you’ll spot ducks, geese, and other trail residents, as well as a section where you’ll be under highway 406. The sides of the highway are covered with graffiti, making it an interesting urban mural. This is an 11-kilometre trail, so you can choose different points to explore or go a bit farther each day to challenge yourself and your pup.

Check out St. Catharines other great trails. You’re sure to find your new favourite dog walking route!


Centennial Gardens

321 Oakdale Avenue, St. Catharines, ON

We mentioned that the Merritt Trail is 11-kilometers. That’s a bit intense for a weekday walk! If you need to save time but still want to enjoy exercise in beautiful St. Catharines, stop at Centennial Gardens. TripAdvisor reviewer Brian664 calls it a “hidden gem in the centre of the city.”

Dog owner Joerenard305, visiting from Scranton, PA, says Centennial Gardens is a “nice place to walk the dogs and get away from the busyness [sic] of the roads.”

This hidden gem is a flat walk through ample trees and past a brook and small waterfall. Need a little serenity? You’ll find it here!


Carol Disher Leash-Free Park

69 Catherine Street, St. Catharines, ON

Sometimes you don’t need serenity. Sometimes you need a rollicking, frolicking good time. At Carol Disher Leash-Free Park, your dog can run, play, sniff, and meet and greet other pooches in a safe, fenced-in area.

Google reviewer Faith 1978 writes, “Great park… great people… great dogs! Buddy loves it here :)” Buddy has excellent taste. Carol Disher is a one-acre, mulch-lined dog paradise with seating for you and fun agility obstacles (tubes and tunnels) for your four-legged friend. Kita Dyer calls it the “Best community of dogs” and reviewers seem to love the people they meet just as much as the chance to exercise their dogs.

One note of caution: the park is not separated for large and small dogs. If this is a concern for you, try Burgoyne Woods Off-Leash Park or go during off-peak times (e.g. Monday-Friday during the workday).


Dog Walking and Dog Park Etiquette

When enjoying St. Catharines’ parks and city streets, remember to stoop and scoop. Biodegradable bags are a constant in dog-owners’ pockets! Also, keep your dog on his leash and under your control at all times.

Hitting the dog park? Great! Keep these rules in mind to make sure everyone has a good time:

  • Park use is at your own risk.
  • You are subject to the Dog Owner’s Liability Act.
  • Always clean up after your dog and dispose of waste in provided receptacles.
  • Keep your dog leashed until he is in the fenced-in area and the double gates are closed.
  • If your dog is over 16 inches, he must use the big dog area (at Burgoyne Woods).
  • Supervise your dog at all time. If you bring kids, keep your eyes and ears on them too.
  • Do not bring food (including dog treats), glass, or toys into the dog park.
  • Dogs who are under four months, sick, or in heat may not use the park.
  • Do not bring your dog if he is aggressive or requires a muzzle under the law.
  • Make sure your dog is licensed and has tags showing he’s current with his vaccinations.

When we work together to keep our dog parks safe, everyone benefits.

Where are you going for your next walk? Let us know and share your favourite hotspots with our dog community!