Fall is For Friends

By Tracy Beverley

Fall is for friends—best friends of the furry kind, that is. Our poor pooches get exhausted in the summer heat and favor an air-conditioned home over an adventurous hike. If the trails are paved heat can be detrimental to their paw pads, and there’s been more than one occasion I’ve been chased out of the woods with my pup by an intense wall of mosquitoes in the summer. 

Fall offers perfect temperatures for exploring with your pooch bug-free, so you can enjoy the beautiful colours. This time of year is also less crowded at hotels, restaurants, and attractions, which make it easier for you and your pooch to hit the road for an extended stay.  With its excellent hiking trails and pet-friendly communities, Kawartha Northumberland is your fall dog destination.

It’s important to take your dog to new and interesting places so they can give their nose a workout. Going on hikes provides them with mental as well as physical stimulation, and if you have a dog as active as my Portuguese water dog, this is something you’ll want to take note of. Some of my favourite fall trails to walk with my dog are at the Ken Reid Conservation Area outside of Lindsay. This location has great hiking trails and an off-leash dog park called Howlers Corners. The Stoney Lake Trails, and more specifically the red loop just off Fire Route 10 in Woodview, offer a great little spot for my water loving Portie to take a swim while I take in the views of farm fields and fall foliage. The Northumberland County Forest outside of Cobourg also offers extensive trails and breathtaking views for you and your pooch to enjoy. 

Girl with a toque sitting in the woods with a black dog, golden retriever is at her feet
golden lab dog peering over a dock in the water

After enjoying the great outdoors for the day you’ll need to find some grub to fill your bowls. Even though we consider our dogs family members, dining establishments tend to leave our four-legged friends off the guest list. However, I’ve fetched some pet-friendly options for you and your bestie to enjoy in Kawarthas Northumberland.

Fenelon Falls is a gorgeous town situated on the Trent-Severn Waterway that sees lots of boating and land tourists. The friendly folks in this town have a soft spot for our furry friends and you’ll find the area is quite pet-friendly. Murphy’s Lockside Pub and Patio allows dogs on their patio, not far from dog-friendly local beaches. Olympus Burger in Port Hope or the Canoe and Paddle in Lakefield also allow pooches on the patio. 

If you’re craving some wine on your road trip, both Rolling Grape Vineyard in Bailieboro and Kawartha Country Wines in Buckhorn are pet-friendly. If beer is more your beverage, then what better place to check out with your pup than Old Dog Brewery in Bobcaygeon. Their brews have dog-inspired names: try a Yellow Lab Lager, Single Malt Scottie or a Mad Dog American Pale Ale. The Bobcaygeon Inn not only allows pups on their massive patio, but offers some pet-friendly rooms as well.

The cottage resorts in the area are another reason why Kawarthas Northumberland is a great getaway destination for you and your pup. These accommodation types are often quite amenable to pets. Some resorts like Lake Edge Cottages in Lakefield encourage bringing your pooch and use it as a selling point. Their cottages even have pet-themed names such as Hush Puppy, Cat Tails, Puppy Love, and Reigning Cats and Dogs.

 Viamede Resort on Stoney Lake loves pets so much they have an official greeter name Toby, a golden retriever who loves cuddles. They also have an off-leash dog park on-site and if you forgot to pack for your pup, they’ll provide treats, doggy bags, leashes, and dog food dishes.

Hand holding up a round embroidered sign that says puppy love in front of a cottage at Lake Edge Cottages in Lakesfield
Dog in a canoe with a boy on a lake

With all these pet friendly options in Kawarthas Northumberland, there’s no reason not to get out and explore this fall with your pup before temperatures drop and the snow falls. It really is the perfect time of year to explore with your furry friends, who also make the best travel companions—they don’t complain, they make you laugh, and they’re always up for adventure. Better still, they let you pick the restaurant.