Searching for the best dog friendly walks in Canberra? Good news – Australia’s capital is full to the brim with epic dog friendly hikes and shorter walks, and we’ve rounded up the best for your next adventure.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

10 Best Dog-Friendly Walks in Canberra

Canberra is a pretty underrated outdoor adventure destination, in my humble opinion. This is especially true when it comes to hiking and nature walks. In fact, it’s estimated that no Canberran lives over 3.5km from a nature park or forest. How good’s that?!

Our capital city has an enormous amount of jaw-dropping natural scenery and epic hikes to tackle, and the best news of all, heaps of them are dog friendly (the best kind of hiking trail, to be fair).

Read more: 10 Bits of Gear for Adventure Dogs

So, if you and your pooch are looking for the best Canberra dog walks for your next big day out together, we’ve gathered the top ten. These walks have earned a spot on this list based on their outstanding reviews (Google, AllTrails etc) from other keen hikers and their pooches. 

We’ve also included some handy tips and tricks to make sure your pup remains safe, and that Canberra’s precious flora and fauna remain safe as well. 

Don’t live in Canberra? Here are some more dog friendly walks from around the country;



10 Best Dog Walking Trails in Canberra

1. Bridge to Bridge Loop

Nearest town: Molonglo Valley
Distance: 5km
Time: 1 hour
Leash rules: On-leash 

A classic Canberra walk, the Bridge to Bridge loop over the Molonglo River/Lake Burley Griffin is a breezy 5km walk to enjoy with your pup. There are various starting points around the lake, but the mapped route begins from the parking area at Wendouree Drive.

This dog friendly hike has some epic views and sight-seeing opps, including Canberra’s most iconic views of the bridge, the National Library, the National Museum and the fountain (AKA Captain Cook Memorial Jet). Keep in mind this trail is pretty popular, especially on the weekends.


2. Narrabundah Hill Circuit

Nearest town: Duffy
Distance: 6km
Time: 1.5 hours
Leash rules: On-leash/off-leash 

For a lovely hike through a nature reserve where your doggo can roam free off-leash (when no cattle are present), check out Narrabundah Hill. With plenty of greenery for both you and your dog to enjoy, this laid-back walk will take you around 90 minutes. 

Experience the sweeping views out over the Brindabella Range (a great place for bikepacking Canberra, FYI), and the rich Canberran countryside. This circuit starts from Eucumbene Drive where you can explore the woodland around the hill, visit the trig station on top and then loop back to the roadside.

3. Molonglo Gorge to Blue Tiles Trail

Nearest town: Molonglo Valley
Distance: 6.4km
Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Leash rules: On-leash

For a slightly harder dog friendly walk in Canberra, check out the Molonglo Gorge to Blue Tiles trail. Also known as the Blue Tiles Walk, this hike is located on the eastern border of Canberra and is a quiet riverside walk with lovely scenery, and not too far from the city centre. 

This track follows the Molonglo River the whole way, and while it’s a defined path, it can be rocky and steep in some sections. With the soundtrack of the flowing river and the opportunity to view some freshly sprouted wildflowers, if you’re there in the spring, you and your pooch will be in nature heaven. 

There’s also a picnic spot at Molonglo Gorge Recreation Area near the trailhead, and at the end of the trail where you turn around. 

4. Lake Ginninderra Loop Trail

Nearest town: Belconnen
Distance: 7km
Time: 1.5 hours
Leash rules: On-leash

Another classic Canberra walk, grab your dog and your sunnies and head out to the beautiful Lake Ginninderra. A delightful urban walk taking in recreational parks, a lake, and residential areas, there are also plenty of cafes and restaurants around to keep you caffeinated and your pup hydrated. 

Lake Ginninderra is particularly scenic during autumn when the trees are out in all their orange and red glory, and the wildlife’s out and about around the shoreline. There are plenty of stops along the way to set up shop with a little picnic too.


5. Cooleman Ridge Bicentennial National Trail Loop

Nearest town: Chapman
Distance: 10km
Time: 2.5 hours
Leash rules: On-leash

Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve is a 187-hectare protected area on the southern edge of Weston Creek, and a popular dog friendly walking spot in Canberra. 

The reserve is part of a connected expanse of woodland across northern Tuggeranong that includes Mount Taylor, Farrer Ridge, and Wanniassa Hills Nature Reserves to the east, and McQuoids Hill Nature Reserve and the Murrumbidgee River Corridor to the west.

The Cooleman Ridge loop is a 10km trail following a mix of fire trails and single tracks, offering incredible views across Weston Creek and west toward the Brindabellas and Namadgi (which is a great region for overnight hikes near Canberra). 

6. Mount Taylor Summit Walk

Nearest town: Pearce
Distance: 8km
Time: 2.5 hours
Leash rules: On-leash

For one of the best short walks with your pooch, definitely give the Mount Taylor Summit Walk a go. 

Though it’s a summit walk, it’s a relatively easy hike and is popular with hikers and runners. The trail was recently renovated too (ya know the feels, so good underfoot!). Watch out for the roos that like to frequent the trail, especially if your dog loves a chase. 

There are several routes to the summit as well, so you can pick your preferred path. Once at the top, you’ll have expansive views over Tuggeranong and the Brindabella Ranges, as well as a panoramic view of all of Canberra. 

7. Mount Ainslie Kokoda Track

Nearest town: Campbell
Distance: 4km
Time: 1.5 hours
Leash rules: On-leash

One of the great walks in Canberra that fortuitously happens to allow dogs on the trail too, the Mount Ainslie Kokoda Track is not to be missed. 

The trailhead is located in Remembrance Park at the rear of the Australian War Memorial. It’s a well-maintained paved/gravel path up to the summit, and while the track is short, it gets a little steep towards the top, with a fair few steps to keep you and your dog on your toes/paws. 

For some really great views, try timing your walk with sunrise or sunset to experience some of the best views of Canberra from above.

8. Gungahlin Pond Loop

Nearest town: Gungahlin
Distance: 4km
Time: 1 hour
Leash rules: On-leash/off-leash

For a lovely family-friendly and dog friendly walk in Canberra, head to Gungahlin and walk the Gungahlin Pond Loop. This easy trail passes by the Golf Club and the Candlebark Close Neighbourhood Playground, one of the nicest children’s playgrounds in the area to stop at with the human kids along the way.



The Gungahlin loop includes off-shoot walks and bike tracks from Yerrabi Ponds and into Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve. There’s plenty of Aboriginal history to check out in the area as well, from 100-year-old border markers to historic villages, homesteads, an ochre ground, and scarred trees.

9. Mount Painter Summit Walk

Nearest town: Cook
Distance: 2.6km
Time: 1 hour
Leash rules: On-leash

For a stunning 360-degree view of Cook and the surrounding lands, head up Mount Painter, a short 2.6km walk that’ll take you about an hour. 

Not really the biggest mountain in Canberra – more of a large grassy hill just a short drive north of Canberra – but once you reach the top you’ll still be sitting about 730m above sea level. 

It’s a beautiful quick hike for everyone to enjoy, with views over Whitlam, Lake Burley Griffin, Black Tower, and the Woden Valley. With a sealed trail and multiple lookout points, this is one of the most popular and loved dog friendly walks in Canberra. 

10. Shepherds Lookout

Nearest town: Holt
Distance: 1.2km
Time: 30 minutes
Leash rules: On-leash

Shepherds Lookout Walk is a very easy but scenic walk that’ll take you around 30 minutes to complete (depending on how hardcore of a sniffer your dog is).

You’ll walk through Woodstock Nature Reserve, about 600m to the lookout for impressive views along the Murrumbidgee. The lookout is a great place to view the ACT border, which is about 3km downstream and marked by powerlines over the river.

Dog Walking Safety Tips

Unless you’re in a designated off-leash area, it’s very important you keep your dog on-leash at all times. This isn’t just for their safety (1080 baits can be found in various parks and can be lethal for domestic pets), but also for the safety of local fauna and flora.

And please, always pick up after your doggy and dispose of the rubbish in a designated bin (don’t bag it and leave it on the floor thinking you’ll come back for it – it’s too easy to forget).

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!


Photo thanks to Tourism Australia

Dog Friendly Walks in Canberra FAQs

Where are dogs allowed in Canberra?

Canberra is a pretty dog friendly city with plenty of dog friendly walks. From a hike up Mount Ainslie to a stroll through the NGA Sculpture Garden, Floriade, Parliament House and more, there are plenty of dog friendly places in our nation’s capital.

Are dogs allowed up Mount Ainslie?

Dogs are allowed up Mount Ainslie as long as they’re on-leash. The trail starts from the bottom near the National War Memorial. 

Can I take my dog to Mulligans Flat?

Dogs are not allowed at Mulligans Flat, which is part of the Bicentennial National Trail which crosses the smaller, northern section of the reserve known as ‘little Mulligans’, paralleling Mulligans Flat Road on its northern side. 

Are dogs allowed on the Centenary Trail?

The Centenary Trail is a 145km self-guided loop trail for walkers and cyclists. Some parts of the trial are dog friendly, while others are not. You’ll need to check your intended route to see if you can bring your pooch along. You can definitely take your mountain bike though…

Are dogs allowed up Black Mountain?

Black Mountain is part of Namadgi National Park, meaning dogs are not allowed on this trail or anywhere in the park itself.

Where are the best off-leash parks in Canberra?

Inner North Dog Park, Yarralumla Dog Park, Weston Creek Dog Park, and Lake Ginninderra Dog Park are some of the best and most popular off-leash parks in Canberra.

Get Out & About in Canberra with Man’s Best Friend

There are some ripper walks in Canberra to experience with your best bud, and plenty across the rest of the country too. So where will you and your four-legged-friend go first?


Photos thanks to Visit Canberra