A guide to dog-friendly activities you can enjoy with your dog this fall in Nova Scotia.

As the leaves begin to don their vibrant autumnal colours, Nova Scotia has begun the colourful transition from summer to fall. Every year it’s a race to get out and enjoy the red and orange foliage before winter’s chill claims them for another year. We asked the East Coast Dog team for their top picks when it comes to dog-friendly fall activities. We have no doubt that they will leave you inspired to take your pup along for some fun fall exploration.

Jessica’s pick: Noggins Corner Farm Market U-Pick Apples

“Every year, I always visit Noggins Farm to go apple picking with my dogs. One of my dog’s all-time favourite treat is apples; he will even pick them off the trees! Over the years, we’ve discovered his favourite is McIntosh.”

Noggins U-Pick Apples & Pumpkins runs from September 9th to October 31st. There is no admission fee to pick apples at Noggins; you buy and fill a bag. Noggins also offers u-pick on pumpkins. Dogs are welcome, but they must be on a leash, and you must clean up after them!

Percy eating an apple at Noggins Farm.

Ryan’s pick: A hike at Hobson’s Lake Trail

“Hobson’s Lake Trail is Kenny and I’s favourite spot to view all the changing colours. There are many look-offs and no shortage of trail options for Kenny to explore with lots of mud puddles to run through, much more fun for her than me.”

Hobson’s Lake Trail is a 4.3km loop in the Blue Mountain/Birch Cove Wilderness Area. The trail is open all year round, and dogs are welcome. You may encounter dogs off-leash here, enjoying the wilderness. It’s important to note that this trail is a wilderness area, not a dog park. You may encounter wildlife, and trail conditions are uneven, requiring proper footwear. This trail is considered moderately challenging.

Kenny hiking at Hobson’s Lake Trail.

Jenn’s pick: The Oxford Taproom for seasonal brews!

“I love taking my dog Winston to Oxford Taproom. Although a busy atmosphere is only for some pups, Winny loves saying hi to all the friendly people! We usually tuck ourselves in a corner, and people watch while enjoying whatever fun and exciting seasonal brew they have batched up this year.”

The Oxford Taproom is a dog-friendly brewery in the West End of Halifax. The entire brewery is dog-friendly, but the patio is a great spot to enjoy the changing colours. Garrison’s seasonal brew this year is “Oh My Gourd” which is a pumpkin ale. They also have dog-friendly brews from Crafty Beasts Brewing! Please note: dogs must be on-leash and under control inside the taproom at all times.

Winston, a tan mixed breed medium size dog patiently waiting for his owner.
Winston waits patiently while mom orders a pint at The Oxford Taproom.

Courtney’s pick: Willowbank Pumpkin U-Pick

“In the fall, we enjoy a scenic drive down the valley to enjoy the changing leaves. Ripley loves a car ride and will stand on the centre console looking out the window. We stop at Willowbank Pumpkin U-Pick in Port Williams. Ripley joined our family in the fall, and we drove by so many pumpkin patches on the ride home. We always joke that we got her from one.”

Willowbank Farm offers pumpkins from late September until quantities last. They also offer u-pick on their unique gourds and apples. Please note that there are many animals at Willowbanks Farm. Dogs visiting the farm must be on leash, and you must clean up after your pets.

Ripley, an Australian cattle dog in the car ready to go on a fall adventure.
Ripley enjoying her car ride to Willowbank Farm.

Clare’s pick: A hike at the Bluff Wilderness Trail

“In the fall, my border collie Bruce and I love to explore our local trails. A particular favourite of ours is The Bluff Wilderness Trail. We’ve explored the Pot Lake Loop (the first loop of three) that offers stunning views of Pot Lake and Cranberry Lake. Bruce loves to take a dip to cool off during the hike, even if it’s cold outside. The fall colours are gorgeous; my favourite thing to see are the blueberry bushes that often line the trail and turn a brilliant red in the fall.”

The Bluff Wilderness Trail is located in Five Bridges Lake Wilderness Area in Timerlea. There are three loops; doing all three is a 30+km hike, requiring at least two days and one overnight stay to complete. Clare and Bruce do the Pot Lake Loop, which is 7.7km. The Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization (WRWEO), who manages the trail, asks that you keep your dogs on leash and on the path at all times, as it’s bear, coyote, and moose country. Doing so will also help keep the natural ecosystem intact.

Bruce posing next to the vibrant red blueberry bushes at The Bluff Wilderness Trail.

Share your dog-friendly fall activities in the comments below, and remember to pick up some fall accessories and pumpkin-spice treats in store or online for your fall explorations!