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17.7.08

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Nanaimo has a whooping THREE off-leash dog parks!
WESTWOOD LAKE: Located directly off the highway on jingle pot rd. The walk is fairly long ranging from one- two hours depending on your pace. The trail takes you all the way around the forested Westwood lake, but the actual off-leash park doesn’t even begin until almost half way around the trail. The off-leash area is located just above the trail along the power lines. The off-leash area is ¼ of the actual trail. There is no short cut to get to the designated off-leash area so you are forced to walk the trail.
Westwood is a local hot spot. The beach is PACKED in the summer with kids, summer camps, teens, and families that are looking to cool off on hot days. Want to take your dog for a dip after a long walk in the heat of summer? Well don’t even think of going to the beach area, the area is heavily patrolled with security guards and they will kick you off. This of course really only means that you just need to go somewhere else other then the sandy beach area to let your dog swim.

CABLE BAY TRAIL: located in cedar. The trail is located about 15 minutes off the cedar turn off from the parkway. This is my personal favourite off-leash trail. The ENTIRE trail is off-leash which is great, and the trail opens up to the ocean. It takes about 30 minutes to walk down the trail and then another 30 to come back up the trail. At the bottom of the trail you can take you four-legged friend right down to the water and let them go for a dip. The way back up the trail is almost entirely uphill, so it is a pretty nice workout for the dog walker as well. Weekday evenings seem to be the least busiest, with the weekends being extremely busy.

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Beban Park: Centrally located right behind Beban arena and swimming pool. The actual turn off is right next to the BMX track. This is just a fully fenced space where owners come to let their dog run and socialize with other dogs. They also recently added a separate fenced in small dog area, but there is never anyone in it so most owners bring their small dogs into the general area. This particular park is perfect for someone who doesn’t have the time to take the dog on an hour long hike, but still wants their pup to get some exercise in. The park is pretty busy in the after work hours so between 3-7, and it seems to have a lot of regulars.

In my opinion Nanaimo is ready for some more off leash areas. It would be awesome to have at least one area that is designated an off-leash beach area for the water loving breeds out there. There are a few spots down town that would and could function as such. I think having more off-leash parks, and beaches would make it so less people illegally use other beaches and parks.
Just remember the sign says off-leash not out of control. You are still responsible for your pets actions.
Here is a link to the city’s rules for the off-leash areas
http://www.nanaimo.ca/uploadedfiles/Site_Structure/Community_Services/Parks_Rec_Culture/dog%20park%20rules.pdf

Happy offleash dogwalking!

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