Criteria for a dog-friendly trail

The criteria I use to determine if a hike is great for dog lovers includes the following:

  1. Close to home. I live in Central Toronto, so I decided that anything within a 30-minute drive from my home is "close to home."
  2. Trails, not streets. Living in a city full of streets, I want to do something different when out with my dog. I want a path through a forest near a river or lake.
  3. A loop that takes me back to where I started. Backtracking isn't something I like to do, so I look for trails that will give me a different route each way.
  4. Safe. Toronto is a very safe city, but why take chances? And being safe on a trail is more complicated than safety on a sidewalk. Paths are not lit after dark, are frequented by wild animals who share our city, and are shared by cyclists and other hikers. Weather brings another level of safety concern.
  5. Length of the hike. Size, age, and the health of a dog can limit the hikes you choose. I like trails that allow for different options depending on the needs of the day.
If I've missed anything, please let me know!

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