There are lots of great dog friendly walks and dog friendly bushwalks in Geelong and surrounding regions and hopefully more to come in the future.
This article is ongoing, I will add more walks as I find them 🙂
Dog Friendly walks in the City of Greater Geelong
The Barwon River
The most well known and popular spot to walk your dog in Geelong the Barwon River walk has options to create several different length loop walks. There are some dog off lead areas as well as sections where dogs need to be on lead so you have both options depending on if your dog needs to socialise or needs a bit of space.
For reactive dogs you will find the path is a bit wider and generally space to step off in the section between Belmont Common Boat Ramp (the road of the big bend near the blue hall) walking towards old breakwater bridge on the golf course side).
You can refer to the dog offlead notes for the council to check up-to-date information and for accurate maps.
Like the Barwon river, the Grovedale Creek is accessible from many areas enabling you to turn it into as short or long walk as you would like. The Creek is pretty much all dog on lead.
2km Loop Option – Dog on Lead
Parking on Torquay Road (accessed on Oberon Drive at the Cnr of Torquay Road) a shared entry path takes you to a carpark. This is a great little 2km loop and apart from a bridge crossing is a better option that the Barwon River if you have reactive dogs. At this end of the creek the the walking track runs between the creek and big grassy areas so if you have a reactive dog or one in training you can give other dogs plenty of space.
This is a dog on lead area so if you other dogs approach you, they are at fault. So far i’ve never had an issue with offlead dogs, the few that I have encounted the owners have leashed them before they get to me.
Dooliebeal Reserve (previously signed as Stewarts Reserve) – Dog on Lead
This lovely little reserve is possibly the closest thing to a real bush walk without leaving the suburbs (albeit one with a lot of road noise). It runs parallel to Warralily Blvd and its wide footpath. The reserve has beautiful old and gnarled river red gums as well as some healthy open woodland understory. You here lots of birds call as you walk.
Inside the reserve, there is a track that runs along the creek though its not clearly marked it runs around 500 metres through the reserve. You can enter from the entrance across from the child care centre or the west end of the reserve there is now a pedestrian entrance.
You can walk it one way as part of a bigger walk around the suburbs or you drive there to visit you can walk it as a return back through the reserve or a loop returning on the footpath next to the road.
Both times I walked there has been only a few other people in the reserve and there is space in most spots to step off the track for a bit of space if you pass another dog.
If you’re looking for a quiet place to walk a lead reactive dog or a quiet area to get a foster dog used to lead walking etc the whites road walking track might be a good option.
They turned an old country road into a closed track so it’s surrounded by paddocks and is as wide as a two-lane gravel road. This means even if you do run into someone else you have a bit of space to walk away from each other rather than a small space like the river walk.
This track doesnt have much shade so avoid the heat of hot days. I have not yet encountered cattle or sheep in surrounding paddocks but that’s not to say that won’t change in the future.
It’s not particularly ’pretty’ but its a good quiet option to walk away from the busyness of town and enjoy the open space.
Dog friendly walks and bushwalks near Geelong
Geelong is also centrally located to explore surrounding areas such as the Great Ocean Road, Otways and You Yangs which all have dog friendly walk options.
All times are approximate from the CBD of Geelong and may be longer or short depending on which suburb you are travelling from and traffic.
Iron Bark Basin Walks – 36 Minutes drive
Located near Pt Addis there are several walks in this area that are all dog friendly so you can do a long walk all the way from Point Addis to Bells Beach or choose one of the shorter options like the nature circuit. You can also do a return walk along a wide flat gravel path from the same carpark as the nature circuit, so you can take a pram or kids or adults bikes.
There is plenty of space to get off the path with reactive dogs however almost no-one follows the dog on lead rules so you are basically guaranteed of be approached by an offlead dog just so you have a heads up.
Iron Bark Basin Nature Circuit
Located part way down the road to Pt Addis this is a short but steep loop that gets the blood pumping, taking you down into a gully and back up again. The track has loose gravel so wear shoes with grip.
You Yangs Regional Park – 3o Minutes Drive
A short drive north of the Geelong CBD out the back of Lara, the You Yangs regional park is a great place to get outdoors in nature with your dog without having to go to far. Despite growing up in Geelong i was well into my 20’s before visiting, and I know others are unfortunately the same.
Dogs are allowed on lead on all the walks in the You Yangs regional park. It has a great mix of beginner and more challenging walks. Some dog friendly walk options include:
- Big Rock Walk – Dog friendly and pram friendly part of the way (not all the way to the big rock but a chance to wander through the bush)
- Wurdi Youang (Flinders Peak) – get the blood pumping and enjoy the views from the top over the park and surrounding areas
- East West Walk – a longer more challenging walk that includes a bit of rock scrambling/bigger steps etc and includes periodic nice views over the rest of the You Yangs and some moments to feel like your in proper bush.
- Branding Yard Trail – takes you down into some lower areas of the park including around some dams and past the Bunjil Geoglyph (though best views from the lookout part way up Wurdi Youang/Flinders peak).
Ocean View Lookout Moggs Creek – 55 minutes drive
This walk is one of the best ways to see the coastline, with 180 degree views of the Great Ocean Road between Aireys and Lorne. The lookout is accessible from a short but steep 1.1km return walk at the end of Robyn Rd in the township or on a longer loop walk from the Maggs Creek picnic area. Both options are dog friendly on lead. Read full track notes for the short version of the Ocean View Lookout.
Lake Elizabeth -1 Hour 20 Minutes drive
Part of the walk takes you through amazing towering tree ferns.
This popular walk starts in a beautiful creek bound picnic area, heads through large eucalyptus and towering tree ferns before finishing at a viewing platform for lake Elizabeth.
Forest is a dog friendly town as the outdoor tables at the brewery are also dog friendly, making it the perfect day trip from Geelong.
Also, check out nearby Stevensons Falls which is also dog friendly.
Stevensons Falls – 1 hour 30 minutes drive
One of the shorter waterfall walks in the Otways, Stevensons Falls is also dog friendly and has a few spots your dog can have an on lead paddle along the way. You can read my full track notes on Stevensons Falls which includes lots of photos (opens on my other blog).
Combine it with the Lake Elizabeth walk and or Forrest brewery for a fun weekend day trip.