The best hikes in Gauteng to do with your dog this winter

Keeping active in winter is important but make it fun by going on new adventures with your best furry companion!

Hiking is great to get outdoors, get your body moving, and have a blast – even in the colder months. The best part about going for a hike? Your doggo can go with you!

Going for a hike in can actually be more enjoyable than in summer. You don’t have to go super early to avoid the blistering heat and you can hike more comfortably than on a hot summer’s day.

Let’s dive into Gauteng’s hiking hot spots!

Why you should take your doggo on a hike with you

First things first, your doggo will LOVE you for letting them join.

Hikes are a fabulous source of stimulation for dogs as there are so many new smells and visuals for them to explore. A hike is a great way for both of you to get outdoors and increase your fitness levels. Not only that but you and your dog will bond like never before!

Make it your mission to visit a new spot every weekend with your furry best friend.

Where should you go?

Huddle Park Golf and Recreation

This lovely location has easy walking trails from 2.5 to 5 kilometres. These trails are ideal for those looking to simply get outdoors rather than going on an intense hike.

This venue is open year-round and if your family includes at least two humans and two pooches, you can purchase an unlimited dog-walking membership.

Lonehill Koppie

This koppie is located near Lonehill Park and it features multiple small streams if you’re looking for an outdoorsy hike that’s still close to the city.

Sandton Field and Study Centre is also an off-leash haven in the northern suburbs so your dogs can run free for a while!

Walkhaven Dog Park

This is the best place for your doggo! The farm has all things dog – grasslands for romping, ponds for a quick dip (not ideal in the chilly season), plus a dog-friendly restaurant and bar.

The farm is free for your pooch but you’ll need to pay a small fee. It’s right near the Cradle of Humankind, so there are lots to explore in the area.

The Wilds

This is a National Monument located right in the middle of the city. It is gorgeous and is considered by many to be Joburg’s “secret garden.” You can visit on your own, with your doggo 7 days a week during business hours, or sign up to take a formal tour.

Sable Ranch

Located in Magaliesburg, this hike will take you up a pretty steep mountainside. This trail is more challenging than your casual stroll in a dog park. The venue centres around adventure and action! Take a pick between 5-12km and take in the spectacular views.

After your hike, there’s a charming, canopied area to grab a bite and a drink!

Post-hike refreshment around town

Of course, after all that hiking and adventuring, you and your pooch deserve a snack and something to drink. There are lots of places the two of you can visit together in Johannesburg, including:

Arbour Café & Courtyard

A French bistro that features yummy crêpes for you, fresh water, and a friendly pet for your pup

Delta Café

Serves breakfast and brunch for the humans and treats for doggos

Vovo Telo

Home of delicious coffee, baked goods, and other artisanal specialities

Voodoo Lily

A fun café in the suburb of Birdhaven with a menu that includes kid and dog-friendly treats.

Mind your petiquette

Don’t forget that taking your pooch on adventures with you requires them to have some good manners! Your pooch needs to remain on a leash where it’s required and they need to keep within their own boundaries so as to not interfere with others.

If your doggo has a bad temper or doesn’t play well with others, rather keep them at home. The safety of those around you is super important.

Some important things you need to remember

Take lots of water with you for both you and your doggo. There are dog-friendly water bottles you can buy too.

Humans dress warmly and doggos need to have comfortable harnesses and leads.

Bring little plastic bags to pick up any mess your dog may make on the way.

Choose a trail that matches both your and your doggo’s fitness levels so that no one is struggling and not enjoying the adventure.

Have fun! Let this be a great bonding time with your doggo. Don’t feel the need to take it too seriously.

We hope you have the best time on your next adventure!

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