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When walks around the park become too ordinary for an active hooman like you, mountain hikes may be the excitement your body seeks. And what could be the best way to enjoy the scenery and cold breeze up in the mountains than doing it with your furry best friend?
On the west coast of Sydney lies a natural wonderland, the Blue Mountains. You can relax and stroll through their world heritage listed national park, or perhaps indulge in a slow bush walk along cliff tops with breathtaking views and spectacular lookouts.
But, hold up! Aren't dogs forbidden in national parks? Well, contrary to popular belief, as vast as the hazy blue horizon swaddling the wilderness, there are a lot of excellent trails you can take along with your pup!
But, It's not always easy to find the best hikes where our dogs can tag along, so we've put up a list of 5 most outstanding dog-friendly walks in the Blue Mountains that are surely worth a try!
Nestled within the wilderness are amazing waterfalls plummeting down valleys clad with rainforests. South Lawson Waterfall Circuit is one of the best dog-friendly walks in the Blue Mountains.
This is approximately a 2.5km loop and a good hour and a half walk. In this course, you'll visit five glorious waterfalls standing tall and even more stunning after rain (It gets muddy, so be sure to wear proper hiking shoes!). You can also enjoy the bounty of nature and pass by many cascades. The trail is easy-going with some steeps, but nothing to worry about!
The main starting point of the trail is at Honor Avenue, less than 1 km south of the train station. So, if you opt for public transport, your drop location is not that far. For cars, you can park at the little corner of Livingstone St. and Honor Avenue. If the car park is full, you can simply park somewhere on the side of the road or go further south.
A simple yet refreshing bushwalk to start!
Take adventures to another level, and have a dip at Minnehaha Falls with your pup!
Minnehaha Falls is a short walking track with scenic views and a fabulous waterfall that never loses its beauty. If you're brave enough to get into cold water, you can enjoy a quick swim while being surrounded by impressive rock formations and calming blows of clean breeze.
This is a fairly flat and easy track with a back-and-forth distance of 3 km. You don’t have to go through any difficult terrain to get a view of the falls, but if you want to get down to the base, you need to take a couple of steep sections. Some dogs will need to be carried. You can finish the whole circuit in an hour or two (make sure to enjoy the luxury of the wilderness retreat!)
It may be difficult to locate on navigation systems. To not go astray, just stick to the Minni Ha Ha Road in North Katoomba, and you’ll see a small car park at the start of the walking track. A signpost and a picnic area await you at the entrance. Alternatively, Bus route 697 passes through a few stops near the reserve.
Get a glimpse of this particularly fantastic gift of nature!
After checking out falls, visit a few nearby caves!
Your Blue Mountains experience won’t be complete if you miss out on Bushrangers Cave. The magnificent cave is located at Mount Piddington, Mount Victoria. It offers an overflowing taste of real adventure with a few climbing spots and epic lookouts.
If you’re only interested in the cave, you can start from Pulpit Rock on the western side of Mt. Victoria. But if you have all the time in the world, take a half-day walk from Mt. Piddington (which we personally recommend!). The distance of the track is 4.9km returning via road, or 6.8km through bushwalk.
You can leave your car at the foot of Mt. Piddington and head straight into the forest. You’ll be greeted with incredible views and junctions where you can enjoy different angles of the place. The track is easy, with some rough and uphill parts. Mind your pups!
Find all the hidden gems along the walk!
The trail that has it all!
A few more gems are hidden within the vicinity of the Blue Mountains. Porter Pass Circuit in Blackheath is often off the radar for most hikers. But, if you’re up for a little challenge with your furbaby, this can be a fantastic walk.
Within this circuit, you can pass by the Colliers Causeway and Centennial Glen loop. The path is rough for most of the hike but not too difficult if you're careful. This is a 5.2km walk and might take you longer than expected. But, for the view!
You can start at several points, but it’s recommended to begin at Burton Road, where you can park your car and do the loop in a counterclockwise direction. This way will lead you to see and experience more of the hike. The trail will take you along cliff edges, rainforest gullies and to a waterfall inside a small slot canyon.
Tick this trail off your Blue Mountains bucket list
Small but scenic!
Horseshoe Falls walking track is located at Hazelbrook Creek. This falls is quite magical in its own way. If you decide to visit at night, it transforms into a glow worm wonderland. It’s another fall best visited after a rain or a few good downpours for a magnificent flow and mesmerising sight as the water cascades over the cliffside.
This exciting dog-friendly bushwalking track leads you to the main waterfall and three other falls, Oakland and Burgess Falls. The track is 3.5km and can be finished in an hour and a half. The start of the walk is located along Oaklands Road, easily accessible via Great Western Highway. The path is moderately challenging but nothing too risky.
Unfortunately, there is no designated car park, but most hikers park their cars in a large space next to the main access point of the track. When parking, be mindful of other cars. It is also recommended to take the southbound road for easy access. Alternatively, you can try the free suburban parking nearby.
Unravel the magic and be amazed!
Well, it's a common mistake to think that all trails in the Blue Mountains do not permit dogs. Luckily, not all are part of the national park. Hence, they are welcome in some equally breathtaking areas.
If you're planning on an upcoming walkies at the Blue Mountains, make sure to equip your furbaby with one of our dog harnesses for extra protection! You can also compliment a dog harness, with a dog collar, dog leash and dog car seat belt.
You just have to keep your pup under control and leave no trace. So, go on and make memories with your pup!