A small black dog sits on an oval wearing a harness. The grass is covered in frost.

Mawson Oval is a favourite with locals.

30 May 2024

Looking for somewhere new to exercise your dog? We’ve pulled together some of the best spots around the Woden, Weston Creek and Molonglo region. There are plenty of on and off-leash spaces calling your name.

Checking out a new area has great benefits for both you and your dog. The fresh autumn air and new things to see and sniff is sure to result in a happy, tired pooch and is great for their mental stimulation.

Dog park

Duffy Dog Park – Warragamba Avenue, Duffy

This fenced dog park opened in 2022 for registered and vaccinated dogs. Remember your dog must also be desexed to enter a dog park (unless you have a permit).

You’ll find separate areas for large and small dogs, with doggie drinking water provided.

Your dog will delight in zooming around this park, which offers dirt, grass and woodchip areas to play in.

Benches, a shade sail and shady trees allow you to relax while your dog burns off energy with their pals.

Off-leash areas

There are almost 20 areas where dogs can be off-leash in the Woden, Weston Creek and Molonglo region.

Here are a few good options.

Uriarra Crossing, Uriarra Road – Murrumbidgee River

This classic swimming spot is well worth the drive.

The river is split by an expansive park on the east bank. There is also a smaller, more secluded spot on the west bank.

All the beaches here are off-leash, giving your dog plenty of options to swim and socialise. But remember, not all dogs are social, so be sure to ask their owner if they can play and before patting them.

To keep your two and four-legged companions safe, ensure you always have effective control of your dog. You must be able to prevent your dog from approaching other animals or people by either restraining the dog or using commands.

To learn more about gorgeous local spots to take your dog, and about your responsibilities while using these spaces, visit cityservices.act.gov.au/pets-and-wildlife/domestic-animals/dogs/recreation-with-my-dog.

Holder Wetlands

Located between Dixon Drive and Cotter Road, the wetlands is a great spot for both exercise and nature watching.

The popular Centenary Trail runs through this area. There is a walking track, however, be sure to move at least 10 metres from the path if you’d like your dog to go off-leash.

Mawson Neighbourhood Oval

This partially fenced oval is a favourite with locals.

Well-socialised dogs can run, play, chase balls and generally have a blast in this grassy area.

Your dog is free to roam and play on the oval while it’s not in use, However, if it’s booked for formal sport (including training sessions), you’ll need to come back another time.

Check when the sportsground is booked for use.

You’ll need to keep your dog on-leash on all footpaths, regardless of whether you’re in an off-leash area or not.

On-leash areas

Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve

Get your nature fix on this 4.5km circuit track, as you and your dog walk or run beneath the shady pines and eucalypts.

Be sure to remain on the track as you take in views of Isaacs and neighbouring O’Malley.

It’s also worth noting you may encounter horses on the track.

Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve

With beautiful views in all directions, this protected area is popular with hikers, cyclists and dog-walkers alike.

Lace up your walking shoes, snap on your dog’s leash and set out for an on-leash sniffari.

You’ll find a combination of fire trails and single tracks, surrounded by bushland.

Other on-leash areas include all streets, verges, footpaths and cycle paths. You’ll also need to keep your dog on their leash if you’re within 10 metres either side of the path.

No matter where in the region your adventures take you, you need to pick up after your dog. Failing to pick up your dog droppings is an offence that carries a fine of $150. Failing to carry the correct equipment to collect your dog droppings carries a $75 fine.

Learn more about local spots to take your dog or view on-leash, off-leash, conditional off-leash and dog prohibited areas on ACTmapi’s dog exercise area map.

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Woden, Weston Creek & Molonglo

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