Julio and Wall-e dogs at Bridgeland Phil and Sebastian

Take these dog walks to pup-friendly patios for a great day out with your pooch

It goes like this, walk, throw the ball, run, swim, stroll the ‘hood and then chill with a furry friend on a fantastic patio. Where can I do this, you ask? Follow me on some pawsitively pleasant urban pup patio treks.

Elbow River off leashes and neighbourhoods

Starting-Point: Sandy Beach Park, Marda Loop area or Britannia Plaza

Step out from Sandy Beach Park where your pup can take a dip before climbing the Britannia Slopes to an off-leash area with Rockies and river valley views.  If a coffee or ice cream is of interest, detour to Britannia Plaza where coffee at Monogram, an ice cream at Village Ice Cream or lunch on Native Tongues dog-friendly patio are your delicious options. 

Head back to the escarpment off leash and follow it to the end, where stairs lead down to the fenced Riverdale off leash park. Continue east along Riverdale Avenue before crossing into Elbow Park. This is a scent intensive walk in May and June when blossoming lilac, apple, crab-apple and cherry trees line the streets. 

Keep walking to the forested stairway near Christ Church and climb to the top, continuing along 34th Avenue to a series of three patio options: Bell’s Café, where a dog treat and the best (and biggest!) freshly made muffins await, Le Comptoir by Francois with its cozy covered patio and delicious pastries, quiches and desserts that give a Paris in Calgary vibe or keep walking to Marda Loop Brewing Co for a cold one.  And for that sunny patio fix, Neighbour Coffee in Altadore doesn’t disappoint. Navigate to River Park off leash and watch for bald eagles soaring along the Elbow River below. Take the treed stairway to Sandy Beach Park where a stick throw and swim is the perfect finish.

Bridgeland & Inglewood off leashing and views, views, views!

Starting Point: Bridgeland LRT, Tom Campbell’s Hill Parking lot at Child Avenue and Centre Avenue, NE or Pearce Estates Park

Tom Campbell’s Hill is the big kick-off on these walks through Bridgeland and Inglewood. Soak up the Rockies, Bow River and the downtown views as your pup burns off some energy. The Bridgeland walk continues north along the pathway overlooking the Science Centre. More off-leashing before navigating the neighbourhood to the most scenic trail in Bridgeland; it’s all views, stunning gardens and slope side running. Continue to cut through paths, stairways, and green space trails where pooch can play before looping back into Bridgeland to Village Ice Cream, a slice of pizza from Una or coffee from Phil and Sebastian. Sit in the extensive outdoor patio area or on the many park-side benches. Walk through Murdoch Park where the blossoming crabapple trees line the pathway before making your way to 1st  Avenue and a stop at Bridgeland Market or Made By Marcus ice cream. Climb into the off-leash heaven of Tom Campbell’s Hill once more for the big finish.

For the combo Inglewood to Bridgeland walk, walk south from Tom Campbell’s Hill to cross the Bow into Inglewood or for an Inglewood-only walk, start at Pearce Estates Park and follow the Bow River Pathway to 15th Street and then walk up the street to the patio at Good News Café. This little house turned café serves up unbeatable lattes and ever-changing flavours of soft serve sundaes. As you continue along 8th or 9th Avenues en route to 11th Street you’ll notice that Inglewood is eclectic with its old-fashioned corner stores, historic homes, and buildings from the early 1900s. You’ll pass by folk art, little libraries, and blossoming apple and pears trees before making a cold beer pit stop at Cold Garden or ‘Ol Beautiful. These pup patios are lively social spots. Scotsman’s Hill off leash is next, and trust me, this epic viewpoint is a must see. Take the stairs down to Stampede Park and walk the Elbow River path to Fort Calgary and the Riverwalk. Stop at the mini fenced off-leash area in the East Village before swinging by the Simmons building and indulging in the habit-inducing treats at Sidewalk Citizen along with coffee from Phil and Sebastian. Sit outside with your pup as you soak up the energy of all the people enjoying the Bow River Pathway.  

Lori Beattie is the author of best-selling guidebook Calgary’s Best Walks and Calgary’s Best Bike Rides. She is the owner of Fit Frog Adventures where she leads walks and hikes and writes about connecting Calgary & beyond on foot and by bike.

Pup-friendly patios 

Britannia Plaza

•Village Ice Cream

•Monogram 

•Native Tongues (803, 49 Ave., S.W.)

Marda Loop & Altadore

• Bell’s Café (1515, 34 Ave., S.W.)

•Le Comptoir by Francois (1928 24 Ave., S.W.)

•Marda Loop Brewing Co. (3523, 18 St. S.W.)

•Neighbour Coffee (4038, 16 St. S.W.)

Inglewood & East Village

•Good News Coffee (1608, 17 Ave. S.E.)

•Cold Garden & ‘Ol Beautiful (1100, 11 St. S.E.)

Sidewalk Citizen

•Phil & Sebastian Coffee at the Simmons Building on the River Walk (618 Confluence Way S.E.); 

Bridgeland

•Una Pizza

•Phil and Sebastian Coffee

•Village Ice Cream (7A St. N.E.,)

•Made by Marcus (1105, 1 Ave. N.E.)