11 Best Dog Friendly Walks in the Blue Mountains

Last updated: April 5, 2024

Find the best dog-friendly walks in the Blue Mountains in this guide, from short and easy walking trails to challenging bushwalking tracks.

As a general rule of thumb, dogs cannot go inside National Parks. But since the Blue Mountains region is not all National Park, there are many walking trails, parks, and other areas where dogs are more than welcome.

We have listed our top 11 dog-friendly Blue Mountains walks in geographical order to make it easier to plan your visit. For each walk, we have included a link to the map location of the trailhead and other practical information.

1. Knapsack Viaduct

Knapsack Bridge in Glenbrook
Knapsack Bridge in Glenbrook

The Knapsack Bridge in Glenbrook is a large sandstone arch viaduct that was built in the 19th century to carry the Zig Zag Railway line across the Knapsack Gully.

The bridge is open to the public and can be reached via two walking trails. The first option is via the Lapstone Zig Zag Walk starting from Knapsack Street. The second option is via the Knapsack Viaduct Trail starting from Mitchells Pass.

The first option is an enjoyable bushwalk, but it is currently closed due to maintenance work. The second option is much easier as it’s mostly a flat walking path.

Once you’ve reached the top of the bridge, you have the option to venture down to the gully via a steep trail and enjoy fantastic views from underneath the bridge.

Knapsack Viaduct
Distance: 3 km (return)
Grade: Easy / moderate
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Knapsack Street or Mitchells Pass

2. Lennox Bridge Loop

Lennox Bridge in Glenbrook
Lennox Bridge in Glenbrook

The Lennox Bridge in Glenbrook is a heritage-listed road bridge that carries the Mitchells Pass across Lapsstone Creek.

This used to be the main road into and over the Blue Mountains, long before the Great Western Highway was built.

The stone arch bridge over Lapstone Creek was constructed in the first half of the 19th century and can still be crossed by car today. There is parking at the bridge if you don’t feel like walking and simply want to explore the area.

To turn a visit to the Lennox Bridge into a walk, head to Olivet Street in Glenbrook and do the 1.5 km loop walk along Lapstone Creek. This is a lovely walk that also happens to be off-leash for dogs.

Lennox Bridge Loop
Distance: 1.5 km (loop)
Grade: Easy
Dogs: Off-leash
Trailhead: Map location

3. Birdwood Gully Round Walk

Cliff overhang in Birdwood Gully
Cliff overhang in Birdwood Gully

The Birdwood Gully Walk is a lovely 2.6 km loop in Springwood that is still relatively unknown. The path is easy to follow but can be a bit rough and steep at times.

There are two entry points to the Birdwood Gully Round Walk, both on Bednal Road. However, the best and safest spot to park your car is at the intersection of Bednal Road and Lucinda Avenue.

The rainforest scenery along the Birdwood Gully Round Walk is very pretty, with various caves, creek crossings, and cliff overhangs to explore.

This is a fairly easy walk, but the descent into the gully and the unavoidable climb out of it might be a bit too challenging for smaller dogs.

Birdwood Gully Round Walk
Distance: 2.6 km (circuit)
Grade: Easy / moderate (steep sections)
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location

4. Horseshoe Falls Walking Track

Horseshoe Falls in Hazelbrook
Horseshoe Falls in Hazelbrook

The Horseshoe Falls walking track is an exciting bushwalking trail that takes in four small but very pretty waterfalls in Hazelbrook.

There are various entry points to this walking trail, but the most obvious one is on Oaklands Road. From there, the walk is approximately 3.5 km (return) to the furthest waterfall, Burgess Falls.

Depending on how keen and energetic your dog is, you don’t have to do the entire walk to Burgess Falls. You can make this adventure as long or as short as you see fit.

It’s a lovely walking track, but keep in mind that the trail can get very muddy, even after only mild rain, due to the gully environment.

Horseshoe Falls Walking Track
Distance: 3.5 km (return)
Grade: Easy / moderate
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location

5. South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk

Federal Falls in South Lawson
Federal Falls in South Lawson

The South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk is a popular walking trail that takes in four pretty waterfalls along an easy-to-follow bushwalking path.

The official starting point of the South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk can be found at the corner of Honour Avenue and Livingstone Street.

Dogs tend to love this walk as there is so much to explore. But this is a real bushwalk, so it’s certainly not a walk that is suitable for all dogs.

It’s also worth noting that this walking track runs past the former Lawson golf course, which today functions as a large dog park with an off-leash section.

South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk
Distance: 2.5 km (circuit)
Grade: Easy / moderate (steep sections)
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location

6. Dantes Glen Walking Track

Start of the Dantes Glen Walking Track
Start of the Dantes Glen Walking Track

The Dantes Glen Walking Track in North Lawson is a fantastic, family-friendly walking trail that passes three small waterfalls navigating through beautiful bushland scenery.

This dog-friendly walking track forms part of the longer Empire Pass waterfall circuit, but only the Dantes Glen section is within Council land boundaries.

The start of this walk can be found in North Lawson Park at the end of St Bernards Drive. Look for the big signpost, and start hiking to Dantes Glen, Fairy Falls, and St Michael’s Falls.

Dantes Glen Walking Track
Distance: 1.8 km (circuit)
Grade: Easy
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location

7. Wentworth Falls Lake

Wentworth Falls Lake
Wentworth Falls Lake

Wentworth Falls Lake is a beautiful park and water reservoir that was created as a result of the damming of Jamison Creek, which flows into Jamison Valley via the Wentworth Falls waterfall.

It’s possible to walk around the entire lake, but for a shorter version, simply follow the paved walking path along the southern side of the lake.

If you want to do the entire loop, it’s about 3.5 km long and includes a bit of walking on suburban streets.

Wentworth Falls Lake is also one of our favourite picnic areas in the Blue Mountains, with excellent facilities such as BBQs, shelters, tables, a playground, toilets, and parking.

Wentworth Falls Lake
Distance: 3.5 km (circuit)
Grade: Easy
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location

8. Minnehaha Falls Walking Track

Views of Minnehaha Falls
Views of Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls is a beautiful waterfall on Yosemite Creek in the (North) Katoomba area of the Blue Mountains.

Not only is the waterfall a pretty sight (and a lovely place to swim in summer), but the 3 km return bushwalking trail to get there is just as enjoyable.

The walking trail follows Yosemite Creek, with a smaller cascade waterfall and various lookout points to explore. The last stretch to the waterfall includes a steep metal staircase.

Parking is available at Minnehaha Falls Reserve at the end of Minni Ha Ha Road. That is also where you will find the starting point of the walking track to the waterfall.

Minnehaha Falls Walking Track
Distance: 3 km (return)
Grade: Easy / moderate
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location

9. Mermaids Cave Walk

Mermaids Cave waterfall
Mermaids Cave waterfall

The Mermaids Cave in Blackheath is a large sandstone rock overhang situated in a beautiful forest environment, with a small but picturesque waterfall to complete the setting.

While this is only a short walking trail (less than 1 km return), it’s an exciting little adventure for both humans and their canine friends. The cave and waterfall are pretty, but the long staircase as part of the walk is just as impressive.

Just be mindful that this staircase down to the cave is quite steep and slippery, and your dog will need to be comfortable with that challenge.

The starting point of this walk is on Megalong Road, with a well-sized parking area on the opposite side.

Mermaids Cave Walk
Distance: 600 m (return)
Grade: Easy (but steep)
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location

10. Coachwood Glen Nature Trail

Pulpit Hill Creek on the Coachwood Glen Nature Trail
Pulpit Hill Creek on the Coachwood Glen Nature Trail

If the walk to Mermaids Cave is a bit too short, drive another 2 km further on Megalong Road and do the Coachwood Glen Nature Trail.

This trail meanders through the beautiful landscape of the Coachwood and Mountain Ash Forests and includes a few crossings of Pulpit Hill Creek.

The trail consists of two sections: the Mountain Ash Track (east of the creek) and the Pulpit Hill Creek Track (west of the creek).

Both sections are easy to do and offer pleasant forest scenery.

Coachwood Glen Nature Trail
Distance: 800 m (return)
Grade: Easy
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location

11. Porters Pass Circuit

Fort Rock along the Porters Pass Circuit
Fort Rock along the Porters Pass Circuit

Did we save the best for last? Well, it sure is the most challenging walk on this list of dog-friendly walks in the Blue Mountains.

The Porters Pass Circuit is an adventurous 5.5 km loop that combines four different walking trails with various highlights to take in, such as the Colliers Causeway, the Centennial Grove Grotto Canyon, and Fort Rock.

This exciting walking track has multiple entry points, but a good spot to start this adventure is at the end of Burton Road in Blackheath.

And since there are multiple entry and exit points, you can choose to do parts of the walk rather than the entire loop. It’s quite a challenging hike, with various obstacles, and not every dog will be ready for that.

Porters Pass Circuit
Distance: 5.5 km (circuit)
Grade: Moderate / hard
Dogs: On a lead
Trailhead: Map location
Read our list with dog-friendly walks in Sydney and our list with off-leash dog parks in Sydney for more ideas for adventures with your best mate!
 

11 Blue Mountains dog friendly walks

 

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