GUIDE TO LOCAL DOG PARKS: BEST OF THE LOWER MAINLAND
To kick off our latest series, Superior Canine’s Guide to Local Dog Parks, we’ve searched high and low for the best spots to walk your dog in the Lower Mainland. From mountainous trails to beautiful beaches, there are plenty of incredible places to explore right in your own backyard.
BEST DOG-FRIENDLY HIKING TRAIL: BUNTZEN LAKE (ANMORE, BC)
Buntzen Lake has it all. At nearly any time of year, you can walk your dog along the 8km trail with stunning views of the mountains, forest, and lake. While your dog must be leashed in most areas of Buntzen Lake, there are two designated off-leash sections that will give your furry friend the chance to run, play, and even swim in the lake. Just keep in mind dogs aren’t allowed on the main beach, so you’ll need to avoid that area. Located in Anmore, you’ll likely want to drive to access Buntzen Lake, but there’s parking available on-site.
BEST DOG-FRIENDLY BEACH: DERBY REACH REGIONAL PARK (LANGLEY, BC)
Derby Reach Regional Park may not be the most widely known place in the Lower Mainland, but it has plenty to offer, making it a worthwhile destination the next time you want to take your dog swimming. In addition to the dog-friendly beach, there are fenced-in spaces and grassy off-leash areas. Take a break at one of the covered picnic tables, or stay for the night at the campground. Derby Reach has everything you need to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable, including great views and essential amenities. Derby Reach is accessible year-round, so it’s a great option to consider during any season.
BEST DOG-FRIENDLY OFF-LEASH PARK: MCDONALD BEACH PARK (RICHMOND, BC)
Out of all of the local dog parks, McDonald Beach Park remains one of the most highly-praised spots in Richmond and the surrounding areas. The off-leash area is spacious and clean. Not only is there plenty of grass, your dog will also enjoy the sandy beach space. Visitors of this park commend its tranquility, finding it just as serene and enjoyable as it is practical. In fact, McDonald Beach Park is known as a friendly space for socializing with other dog owners while your pets play. Both yourself and your loyal companion are sure to enjoy visiting this park.
BEST DOG-FRIENDLY URBAN SPACE: CRAB PARK AT PORTSIDE (VANCOUVER, BC)
Experience Vancouver’s beautiful waterfront from the conveniently-located CRAB Park at Portside. There’s off-leash space for your pet to get in some exercise, as well as plenty of space for swimming at the dog-friendly beach. While you’re there, you can make it a day-trip by packing a picnic and leisurely watching the bustling activity of the port and marine ongoings. Despite the grittiness of its downtown location, the park itself tends to be quiet and well-maintained. If you enjoy spending time in urban green spaces, we recommend giving CRAB Park a try.
BEST DOG-FRIENDLY ENCLOSED SPACE: CLAYTON DOG PARK (SURREY, BC)
Located in Surrey, Clayton Dog Park’s unique offerings have landed it as one of our top dog-friendly enclosed spaces for letting your dog roam and socialize off-leash. Unlike most parks, there are separate fenced-in spaces designated for large and small dogs, so you can feel more comfortable about your toy or giant breed interacting with others of a similar size. Even if you’re not a resident of the surrounding neighbourhoods, we suggest checking out Clayton Dog Park for its spacious 3 acres of land and ample amenities, including parking, benches, and water fountains.
BEST DOG-FRIENDLY RAINY DAY DESTINATION: PACIFIC SPIRIT REGIONAL PARK (VANCOUVER, BC)
Last but not least, we have to highlight one of our most beloved rainy day destinations: Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Tucked into the UBC Endowment Lands, this park is a tranquil oasis within the city. As every Vancouverite knows, learning to embrace the rain will allow you to enjoy the outdoors at any time of the year. The tree canopies will help keep you dry while you walk your dog, although it’s important to respect the on-leash only areas. We recommend taking the afternoon to wander the trails and appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
There you have it, our favourite local dog parks! Keep an eye out for future articles about the best dog parks in each city within the Lower Mainland. If there’s an area you want us to review or a park you’d love to share, let us know in the comments! Happy walking.
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