Homepage Articles 7 Best Dog Walks in the Blue Mountains

January 18, 2021

Horseshoe Falls Reserve, Hazelbrook

7 Best Dog Walks in the Blue Mountains

There are few places in the world more beautiful to take a walk than amongst the Blue Mountains. For dog lovers, though, it can be tricky to find areas that permit dogs to tag along for the adventure.

Fortunately, this stunning area does include a few official dog walk tracks and off-leash areas that allow dog owners to bring their furry friends with them.

Walking trails can periodically close due to flood damage or other safety concerns, so it is best to check online before visiting. The best place to find out about current closures or COVID-19 restrictions is the Blue Mountains City Council.

But without further ado, here are 7 of the best dog walks in the Blue Mountains.



  1. Lawson Waterfall Circuit

7 best dog-friendly walks Blue Mountains

This glorious bushwalk is located near Honour Avenue and Livingstone Street in South Lawson. It’s dog friendly and takes in four beautiful little waterfalls.

📸 @lachiethespoodle

Hours of use: Monday – Sunday

Off-Leash Times: Dogs are to remain on a leash at all times


  1. Minnehaha Falls Walk 

Located in north Katoomba on Minnie Ha Ha Road (off South Street) is Minnehaha Reserve, this fantastic walk, which is unknown by many, allows dogs as long as they are leashed. It features a lovely waterfall and swimming hole, too.


Access is from Mike Eades Reserve. The return walk takes around 1.5 hr. While this is a lovely walk, there are a series of 6 metal ladders to get to the bottom, so bear this in mind when deciding who is suited for the walk.

Hours of use: Monday – Sunday

Off-Leash Times: 24 hours


  1. Horseshoe Falls Reserve

Horseshoe Falls Reserve, Hazelbrook

Also known as Burgess Falls Reserve, this dog-friendly walk is located in Hazelbrook, which is around 18kms outside of Katoomba NSW. This walking trail passes other waterfalls and is graded as medium.

The distance is 2.4 km each way and takes around 1 hr.

You can access Horseshoe Falls Reserve via 83 Oaklands Road. This walk features 3 main waterfalls, but also some steep drops and large stairs, so take care when visiting this track.

Photo credit: Tucker 

Hours of use: Monday – Sunday

Off-Leash Times: 8am – 5pm (6pm on Sundays)


  1. Charles Darwin Walk  

dog friendly blue mountains

Known by the locals as ‘Wenty’, this charming walk follows in the footsteps of Charles Darwin himself, who took this walk in 1836. Charles Darwin Walk is an easy walk from Wentworth Falls Railway station, beginning at Wilson Park and features rockpools, open forests and hanging swamps.

The Charles Darwin Walk follows Jamison Creek to the Weeping Rock Track just above the Wentworth waterfall. There is parking at Wilson Park on Falls Road. Dogs must be leashed. It’s important to note that you must not exit this walk via Fletcher Street as you will then be entering the National Park where dogs are not permitted.

Sadly, this walk is currently closed due to flood damage sustained in early 2020, but repair work is ongoing.

Hours of use: Monday – Sunday

Off-Leash Times: 24 hours


  1. Old Airstrip 

The Old Airstrip is a 24-hour off-leash area within the perimeter of the abandoned runway at Hat Hill Road, Blackheath.

Hours of use: Monday to Sunday

Off-Leash Times: 24 hours



  1. Track Beside Leura Oval 

This off-leash area is located at Lone Pine Avenue and Gordon Road in Leura. The gates at either end of a dirt track enclose the off-leash area.


Hours of use: Monday to Sunday

Off-Leash Times: 5am – 9pm


  1. Frank Walford Park (off-leash area), Katoomba

This beautiful off-leash park is located at Catalina Raceway on the old pit garage area inside the race circuit. It features a lovely pond and pretty foliage.

Hours of use: Monday to Sunday

Off-Leash Times: 5:00am to 9:00pm


Tips for hiking with your dog

Firstly, if your dog’s fitness levels aren’t quite up to scratch for any significant trekking, Dr Zara Boland, who is on the advisory board of We’re All About Pets says that it’s important to work gradually on conditioning them for endurance:


“Take smaller hikes initially to build up their fitness. Avoid hiking during the hottest times of the day and keep to a reasonable distance and pace. Stay present with your dog’s needs and watch for signs of overexertion, such as drooling, excessive panting or bright red gums.” 


It’s also essential to prepare for some of their needs as well as yours by taking along some provisions. Here are a few ideas:


  • Fresh water and a collapsible bowl
  • Snacks/treats
  • A well-fitting collar and current ID tag
  • A sturdy leash
  • Doggie waste bags
  • A blanket or bed to lie on
  • First aid kit
  • A towel to clean or dry your dog
  • Doggie hat or sunscreen
  • Pad protective booties for rough/rocky terrain, ice, snow, or nettles etc
  • Snake bite kit (depending on your area)


Make sure you stop frequently and offer your dog some water and don’t feed them too large a meal before hiking. Instead, offer them small portions or supplemental treats along the way.


It’s important to check that your pet is up-to-date with their vaccinations before hiking, as they are more prone to picking up parasites and viruses shared by wild animals when they are out trekking. Also, while consulting with your veterinarian, ensure that they are properly microchipped before heading out to new, unfamiliar locations.


Hiking with your dog can be a wonderfully rewarding experience for both of you, and with a little planning, can go off without a hitch!

Read next: Pet-friendly properties in the Blue Mountains