Are you travelling to Fernie with your fur buddy? Here's some top spots you and your four-legged friends are welcome to visit!
Fernieites love dogs, and you'll see all breeds and sizes on your walks around town. Within the city limits, well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome in all outdoor/public areas. For a little off-leash exercise within town, head to these spots:
On the north end of Annex Park (along 12th Avenue between 14th St & 16th St, grassy area between dyke and river) is a great off-leash dog park. There is no fence, or much signage declaring this, so it is easy to miss. There's space to park on 12th Ave, or in the Annex Park Parking Lot nearby which you can access at 11th St and 12th Ave by driving up and over the dyke. The park has garbage bins and doggie bag dispensers, and is next to the river for water-loving dogs. The river has shallow areas suitable for splashing, but the middle of the river can be swift so always be aware of hazards.
The other off-leash park is on the south end of town next to the Fernie Aquatic Centre. This dog park is also not fenced or signed. There's plenty of parking at the Aquatic Centre. There's also an interpretive trail, water, garbage bins, benches and shade if you need it.
There is a map of these designated areas in the banner-gallery photos above. If you’re a biker or a hiker, dogs are allowed to be off-leash on the multi-use trails. Take a look at the trail maps to locate those trails.
A new proposed off-leash dog park is expected to open in spring 2017, and plans to be located in the green space between 4th and 13th street, and between the train tracks and the Ridgemont neighbourhood. It is a multi-phased project with construction continuing over the following 5 years to complete the facility.
Keep in mind dog park etiquette! Not every animal owner has the same idea about dog behavior, so please be respectful. Be aware of any health risks your dog has been in contact with recently. Healthy dogs that are up-to-date on vaccines will have a lower risk of becoming ill due to contact with multiple dogs at the dog park. Please be considerate to other dogs, owners, and the facilities.
For other great easily accessible trails for on-leash walks, try the fantastic Community Trail Network that runs along the river on the perimeter of town. The Dyke Trail and James White Park both offer lots of great walking where leashes are required. These areas are monitored by diligent City of Fernie Bylaw officers who may issue tickets to owners of off-leash, aggressive, or out of control dogs.