Hiking in Summer

The summer seems like the easiest time of year to take a hike, there are a few things for you to consider bringing with you to make it most enjoyable.

Drinking Water

Bring water with you, preferably in a reusable container. You and your dog will get thirsty when hiking and water is essential, especially when it's hot. 

If you're walking along a body of water, your dog may be able to get a drink this way. I allow my dog to drink from streams, creeks, rivers and lakes in Toronto and she hasn't had problems. Other dogs have experience the runs after drinking the same water. Know your dog.

My dog knows how to drink from a bottle but many dogs prefer using a dish. The collapsable water bowls may be helpful to you.

Some parks have water fountains for you to refill your bottle, but these have been turned off during the pandemic lockdown, so don't count on them being available.


I like to carry many dog treats with me to reward my dog for good behaviour. I only bring snacks for myself when hiking trails that are longer than 5 km. 

Poop bags

No explanation needed.

Insect spray

Many of the trails I hike are in forests or next to bodies of water. These areas are more likely to be populated with mosquitos, black flies, or fleas. Bring a small bottle with you to use when necessary.


Yes, Toronto has ticks. If you and your dog stay on the main trails, you are less likely to pick up a tick. If you go in long grass off the trail, be careful. Check yourself and your dog thoroughly when you leave the trail and remove ticks as soon as possible. Make sure your dog is protected by using the tick and flea treatments recommended by your vet. Ticks are active during temperatures above 5C, so you may wish to use the treatment year-round.

Waterproof Shoes

It's tempting to wear sandals when hiking, but if you're hiking on unpaved trails, I recommend something more protective. I often leave the trails so wear water-proof shoes most of the time.

Long pants

It's a drag wearing long pants in the summer as far as I'm concerned. Because I like to leave the paved trails, I have many scratches and bites on my shins. When I know I'll be hiking in long grass or off paved trails, I'll wear long pants or pants that can convert to shorts. 


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