20 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in Southwestern Ontario (2022)

Dog at Beach

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If you love enjoying the best of summer with your faithful canine companion by your side, then you know there’s nothing like spending the day at an awesome dog-friendly beach.

There’s no doubt that Southwestern Ontario is full of amazing beach towns, but finding beaches that are dog-friendly can sometimes be a challenge. We are here to help make your search easy and straight to the point so you know exactly where you can take your dog swimming near you.

“Southwestern Ontario” includes the following counties: Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton, Elgin, Middlesex, London, Huron, Perth, Oxford and Norfolk Counties.

We have used the term “dog-friendly” as an all encompassing term referring to beaches that will allow dogs. We have used the term “dog beach” specifically where a public beach has a designated dog beach section.

Bayfield Ontario, Lake Huron view
Lake Huron

Many of our recommendations are Ontario Provincial Parks that allow dogs on their beaches, and others are dog parks with a beach access. Some are off-leash dog beaches, and others are dog-friendly beaches that require dogs to be on leash and controlled when out of the water. In every case, our recommendations are for beaches where dogs and their owners can both swim.

Note: We have done our best to give you accurate details of each location, but it’s always best to check the beach or park websites for the most up to date information.

Dog-Friendly Beaches on Lake Huron

With Caribbean-like clear blue waters and million dollar sunset views, Lake Huron beaches are some of the best that Ontario has to offer for you and your pet!

1. Pinery Provincial Park

Nearest Town: Grand Bend
Location: Google Maps Link

Beach at Pinery Provincial Park

One of the most popular summer beach destinations in Southwestern Ontario is Grand Bend and while the Grand Bend Main Beach itself does not allow dogs during the summer, nearby Pinery Provincial Park does!

Inside the day use area of the Pinery you will find Dog Beach Area 1 and 2. The shore is a mix of sand and pebbles, and while the shoreline is fairly narrow, there is a gradual deepening into the water.

This beach has incredible sunset views and is in perfect proximity to the excitement of Grand Bend and the beautiful nature (including trails and water sports) of the Pinery Provincial Park itself.

On the downside, these dog beaches can get busy so it’s best to bring your dog here if it is social and won’t have a problem being around other dogs. The Pinery Provincial Park dog beaches require dogs to be leashed.

Want to learn more about Pinery Provincial Park and nearby Grand Bend? Check out our post Grand Bend: 33 Best Things to Do + Ultimate Beach Guide!

2. Point Farms Provincial Park

Nearest Town: Goderich
Location: Google Maps Link

Point Farms Provincial Park is open seasonally from May to October. Point Farms boasts a beautiful, large dog beach with sandy shores and shallow waters leading to a large sandbar. Dogs are required to be on leash at this dog beach.

Top off your day at the beach with a walk through beautiful downtown Goderich, which has been named the prettiest town in Canada!

3. St. Christopher’s Beach

Nearest Town: Goderich
Location: Google Maps Link

The town of Goderich is lined with beautiful shoreline beach parks, one of which is the dog-friendly St. Christopher’s Beach. The beach also has a fantastic 1.5 km boardwalk spanning the western edge of the town where it meets Lake Huron.

If you travel further south along the shore, just past Rotary Cove, you will also find a dog run area along the water. The waters here are perfectly blue and the shore is a mix of sand, pebbles and rocks.

4. Inverhuron Provincial Park

Nearest Town: Kincardine
Location: Google Maps Link

Inverhuron Provincial Park is open seasonally from May to October. The dog beach is located beside the Inverhuron public beach, and there is access to the dog beach through either the provincial park or off of County Road 15.

The Inverhuron Provincial Park dog beach is smaller and quieter than many of the other beaches on Lake Huron, and the beach is known for being clean and the waters clear blue. Visitors can expect a beautiful sandy shoreline with a gentle slope into the water, making it an awesome option for families and dogs alike!

5. Point Clark Beach

Nearest Town: Kincardine
Location: Google Maps Link

You and your dog will enjoy a restful visit to the long, sandy, dog-friendly beach of Point Clark. This public beach has a large free parking lot, public washrooms, kids’ play equipment, and the picturesque, historic Point Clark Lighthouse. Point Clark is the perfect example of Lake Huron’s quaint small town beaches!

6. Kincardine Station Beach

Nearest Town: Kincardine
Location: Google Maps Link

Kincardine’s Station Beach is another one of Ontario’s fabulous small town beaches. This beach comes with free parking, a clean shoreline, great public washrooms and concession stands for refreshment. You might also be surprised to know that this is one of Canada’s best surfing beaches!

With a gradual slope into the water and mostly sandy shore, Kincardine Station Beach is a great option for you and your pup.

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    7. MacGregor Point Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Port Elgin
    Location: Google Maps Link

    MacGregor Point Provincial Park dog beach is a mix of rocky shoreline and sand, characteristic of the landscape transition as you move closer towards the Bruce Peninsula. With great trails a part of the provincial park, a visit to MacGregor Point is the perfect day trip for anyone wanting a bit of adventure through nature with their beach day.

    The park rules are that dogs must be on leash when on land but can be off leash when in water.

    Dog at Beach

    Dog-Friendly Beaches on Lake Erie

    The shores of Lake Erie contain some of the province’s best beach towns, including a few popular dog-friendly beaches close to London, Ontario. Read on if you’re looking for great pet-friendly destinations on the Lake Erie North Shore!

    8. Erieau Public Beach

    Nearest Town: Blenheim
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Erieau Beach

    Erieau Public Beach is a great option for a free dog-friendly beach close to Windsor or Chatham. We happen to love Erieau for its laid back beach town vibe and its unique peninsular location, with Rondeau Bay on one side and Lake Erie on the other.

    The Erieau Public Beach is mostly sandy with some pebbles on shore, and the shoreline itself is quite wide meaning there’s lots of room for everyone to spread out. Dogs must be leashed at this beach (as well as at all beaches in Chatham-Kent).

    Read all about the village and beach at Erieau in our post Your Ultimate Vacation Guide to Erieau, Ontario (+15 Amazing Things to Do)!

    9. Rondeau Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Ridgetown
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Rondeau Provincial Park offers another great dog beach in Chatham-Kent. This provincial park is open all year round for camping and day use. The dog beach is located at Beach Access 11, which is at the far end of the peninsula. Dogs must be on leash on the beach and controlled while swimming.

    The peninsula can be prone to wind and some larger waves (by lake standards) which is worth noting before planning your trip. The shore is a mix of sand and pebbles and this dog beach is generally quieter than many others on Lake Erie.

    10. Port Burwell Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Port Burwell
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Port Burwell’s dog beach is one of Ontario’s favourite! The long, wide, sandy shoreline and a gradual slope into the water makes Port Burwell a dog heaven on a summer’s day. Your pup will also enjoy the sand dunes surrounding the beach, and while they must remain on leash on the dog beach, there is a large off-leash area located east of the dog beach.

    Port Burwell is awarded Blue Flag Beach status, meaning it’s meeting high standards for cleanliness, environmental sustainability, and water quality.

    There are lots of perks to the dog beach at Port Burwell, and the only real ‘con’ we see to this beach is that it is located a bit of a walk from the parking lot (Parking Lot #1) in the day use area of the provincial park.

    11. Long Point Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Port Rowan
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Long Point Provincial Park is one of Ontario’s most stunning beaches with seemingly endless kilometers of sandy shoreline that fade gradually into the water. Lucky for you and your pet, there is an off-leash exercise beach area at the most western part of the day use area of the park! Throughout the rest of the park, however, dogs must be on leash.

    Long Point is a very popular summer beach destination, so it will be best to make sure your pup is prepared for the socialization that comes with this off-leash beach.

    12. Turkey Point Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Port Dover
    Location: Google Maps Link

    As another highly popular summer beach destination, Turkey Point boasts a large, sandy dog beach. Dogs must be leashed once out of water. You will find the dog beach on the east end of the beach, where the water is shallow and perfect for playing with your best doggy friend. Turkey Point is open seasonally from May-October.

    13. Selkirk Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Port Dover
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Located near the popular beach town of Port Dover, Selkirk Provincial Park is one of Ontario’s smaller and quieter lakeside provincial parks. Open during the peak season of May-October, the dog beach is located in the day use area of the park and is a mix of sand and pebbles.

    Many agree that the dog beach is nicer than the regular beach in the park (bonus for you!). Other bonuses include shallow waters by the shore and a little picnic area close by.

    Dog on beach in Bruce Peninsula
    Darren’s brother’s dog in the Bruce Peninsula

    Dog-Friendly Beaches on Georgian Bay & Nottawasaga Bay

    When it comes to stunning rocky shorelines with crystal blue waters Georgian Bay waterfronts win every time. They also have some phenomenal sandy beaches that would fool you for a tropical paradise. Let the dog days of summer begin!

    14. Lion’s Head Beach

    Nearest Town: Lion’s Head
    Location: Google Maps Link

    The little community beach in Lion’s Head is a great gem for dog owners heading to the Bruce Peninsula. After a day of hiking the Niagara Escarpment with your furry friend, consider refreshing in the waters at Lion’s Head, where your pup is welcome on-leash. The shoreline is sandy and there’s lots of shade as a reprieve from the sun.

    15. Meaford Memorial Park Beach

    Nearest Town: Meaford
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Meaford Memorial Park reserves a section of their beach as a dog beach: on-leash during the peak season, and off-leash from December 1 – April 1. The Meaford Memorial Park beach shoreline is a mix of sand and pebbles, and while it is not a huge beach, this park has a ton of added bonuses.

    With great picnic pavilions, public washrooms, concession stands, playground, mini golf, campgrounds and beautiful wooded area with hiking trails, you and your dogs will easily be kept busy all day here.

    16. Craigleith Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Thornbury/Blue Mountains
    Location: Google Maps Link

    The small provincial park of Craigleith is the perfect quaint place to take your pup for a swim on the Georgian Bay. With a beautiful rock beach surrounded by boulders from the Niagara Escarpment, this beach is a different kind of paradise from the sandy shores further south in Ontario.

    Close to Collingwood and the village of Blue Mountains, there’s lots to do in this neck of the woods to top off your day at the dog beach.

    17. Sunset Point Beach

    Nearest Town: Collingwood
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Sunset Point Beach is a dog-friendly rock beach in Collingwood, offering beautiful views of the bay and a large grassy park space. As Sunset Point is not a designated dog beach, all dogs must be kept on leash and controlled when not in water. Keep in mind that because of the stones and rock on the shore, water shoes are highly advised.

    Due to the proximity of this beach to downtown Collingwood, most of the surrounding parking is paid parking.

    18. Wasaga Beach Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Wasaga Beach
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Wasaga Beach Sunset

    Wasaga Beach is definitely an amazing place to be in the summer as it contains the world’s longest freshwater beach!

    While your pups cannot splash around in the main beach areas (which can get very crowded anyway), they can enjoy some fun in the sun and water in Beach Area 3 of Wasaga Beach Provincial Park. It’s important to note that they must stay within the two wooden posts of the dog beach.

    Given that Wasaga Beach sees over 2 million visitors each year, it’s also best to anticipate a bit of socialization with other dogs. And while your dog is enjoying their special day out, you too will be able to take in the sights of the absolutely stunning sunsets that Wasaga Beach is famous for!

    Interested in learning all about Wasaga Beach? Check out our post 23 Fun Things to Do in Wasaga Beach + Complete Visitor’s Guide!

    19. Awenda Provincial Park

    Nearest Town: Penetanguishene
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Awenda Provincial Park’s pet beach is a mix of sand, pebbles and rocks. The shoreline is fairly narrow but long, and during peak camping season the beach can get crowded.

    While it’s narrow shoreline and rocky ground can make it hard for your dog to run and play, the shallow waters near the shore are great for wading and swimming. The numerous trails in the provincial park also provide lots of opportunity for your pup to get more exercise on land in other ways.

    Dog’s must be on leash at Awenda’s dog beach.

    Read our post 29 Unique Things to Do in & Around Midland and Penetanguishene, Ontario for more on Awenda Provincial Park and the surrounding area!

    20. Penetanguishene Rotary Park Dog Beach

    Nearest Town: Penetanguishene
    Location: Google Maps Link

    Rotary

    Penetanguishene Rotary Park is the perfect small town solution to a day out with your dog in Simcoe County. This downtown beach park includes an off-leash dog park and swim area overlooking the Penetang Harbour.

    The beach is quite small but offers a sandy shoreline. Other perks of this dog beach location include a nearby skate park, volleyball court, splash pad, and trails through a flower and art garden. Click here for rules, map and other details.

    View our post 29 Unique Things to Do in & Around Midland and Penetanguishene, Ontario for more on Penetanguishene Rotary Park and its great village!

    Are dogs allowed on beaches in Ontario?

    Assume that dogs are not permitted at Ontario public beaches and provincial park beaches unless they are specifically designated as dog-friendly beaches. While not all beaches may be actively enforced, often fines can be expected if caught. Some beaches allow dogs during the off-season or during certain hours in the peak season. Check the beach website for more details.

    What beaches are dog-friendly in Ontario?

    Many of Ontario’s provincial parks have beaches that are dog-friendly, but there are some that do not. Many beach towns will also have a designated spot of the beach for dogs. We are here to provide you with a list of the best dog-friendly beaches in Southwestern Ontario.

    Do dogs need to be leashed at Ontario Park beaches?

    For more details on the rules associated with dog beaches at Ontario Provincial Parks, please visit the Ontario Parks website. At the time of writing this post Ontario Parks that require dogs to be leashed specify that leashes must be no more than 2 meters long. That said, not all Ontario Parks beaches require dogs to be leashed while in the water or on the sand.

    Reminder: Ticks are common in Southwestern Ontario, and some have been recorded to transmit Lyme disease. Take necessary precautions and check yourselves and your pets for ticks after your outings.

    What to Pack for Your Dog at the Beach

    When taking your dog to the beach, it pays to have a few essentials on hand for safety and comfort. Here are some suggestions to help you come up with your dog beach packing list:

    Wrap-Up: 20 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in Southwestern Ontario

    From Chatham-Kent to Simcoe County, the Lake Erie North Shore to Bruce Peninsula, we hope this list of 20 best dog-friendly beaches near you will help you to have an amazing summer this year with your beloved pup.

    Did we miss your favourite dog-friendly beach in Southwestern Ontario?

    Feel free to drop us a line and let us know so we can help others to find every amazing spot in this beautiful province!

    Dog Beach