Osprey Loop Dyke Trail in Pitt Meadows, BC, on the Aloette River
We recently discovered this gem of a rural family cycling trail, just 30 minutes east of Vancouver.
Not only is it great for cycling, but the Osprey Loop is also one of the most dog friendly trails we have ever found.
Route: Osprey Loop Dyke Trail, Pitt Meadows, BC
Surfaces: All gravel, running along the top of a dyke
Distance: 7 km (4.3 miles) loop
Difficulty level: very easy, completely flat
Type of bike required: any kind, but mountain bike or hybrid would be best
Safety level: very safe, completely off road
Suitable for: the whole family, including seniors, kids, dogs, trikes and balance bikes
Congestion: can be a little busy during peak hours
Dogs allowed? Yes – some parts are on leash and some are off leash
Average Joe Cyclist Rating: Gold Bike-Star for a pleasant family bike ride or hike, with beautiful scenery and friendly people and dogs
How to get to the Osprey Loop Dyke Trail from Vancouver
To get to this dog friendly trail just east of Vancouver: Travel east on Highway 1. Take the Maple Ridge exit (the last exit before the Port Mann toll bridge). Follow the Maryhill Bypass to the Pitt River Bridge. Cross the bridge. Turn left at the second set of lights (Harris Road). You will reach a stop sign. Go straight through for about a km. On the right is a parking lot; on the left is a small verge where you can also park. The Osprey Loop trail is on the left side, so try to park on that side.
The Osprey Loop is well worth the trip – you need to transport your bikes (and your dogs) there, but once you get there, it’s a little slice of cycling heaven. This dog friendly trail is a dyke trail that runs alongside the Alouette and Pitt Rivers, slicing through the beautiful Pitt Meadows countryside, with horizons as far as the eye can see.
Sights along this dog friendly trail include blueberry farms, roaming cattle, small marinas, the interesting flotsam of boats long dead, wonderful mountains, birds in abundance and the occasional bald eagle, and at some points the Pitt River Bridge in the distance.
This dog friendly trail is utterly flat, with absolutely no car access, so it could not be safer for cycling or walking the dogs. This dyke trail is as family friendly as it’s possible to be. We met a woman in her retirement years who has been cycling these dog friendly trails for 40 years – with the same Raleigh bike! Here it is – unfortunately the lady declined to be photographed, but here is her tough old Raleigh. We were very impressed to see a senior person enjoying miles of cycling on a vintage bike. That might be us one day – except that with my bike obsession, it would be a new bike.
We also loved that everyone we met was mellow and friendly. This dog friendly trail is bike friendly, dog friendly, and human friendly. But if you go there in the afternoon on the weekend, do not expect to be able to ride fast. There are dogs roaming free everywhere, and young children enjoying possibly their first bike ride. On the other hand, what a great place to take your child to learn to ride a bike. If they fall, it’s on soil, not pavement, and it’s completely safe.
This 7 km dog friendly trail could potentially be a cycling training trail, if you are in training to get fitter and cycle better (see my Beginner Cyclist Training Plan). But to use this dog friendly trail as a cycling training trail, you really would need to get there at daybreak on the weekends, or fairly early on a weekday. Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist took a walk there recently with our grandson, at 10 a.m. on a weekday, and it was very quiet, and they saw a bald eagle. She says you could have done a cycling training ride there at that time, as it was very quiet.
However, on weekend afternoons, there will be too many small children and dogs for it to be safe to cycle fast.
As for dogs on this dog friendly trail: part of the trail specifies on-leash dogs, and part of it specifies off-leash dogs – for no logical reason that we could see. However, the reality is that no one has their dogs on leash – there really is no reason for it. If someone had a dog that chased wildlife, that would be a reason – but all the dogs we saw were well behaved, friendly, and totally not dangerous. This is definitely one of the best dog friendly trails we have ever found. The only problem with this trail: we can never decide whether to take our bikes or our dogs there!
I highly recommend this trail for family cycling; fitness training during quiet times; family walks at all times; and an exceptionally wonderful dog friendly trail to take your dog for a great run or walk. And the air actually smells clean and fresh. It was quite a lovely shock after city life.
Best Ways to Carry Your Dog on Your Bike
|Best multi-function option. Intended for pets up to 13 lb. Can be used on and off the bike to transport your pet. Can also be used for shopping. Available in fabric style and also in retro wicker option||Front handlebars. The bracket system has 3-way adjustability so you can fit the basket on any bike.||Safety harness; extra pockets; shoulder strap for use as pet carrier; removable sun shade; lifetime warranty. Very handy, multi-purpose with zippered pockets. Included adjustable safety leash. Bracket system makes it possible to take the basket on and off your bike in seconds with one hand. Bottom line: a well-made, affordable, multi-purpose dog bike basket for small dogs. Also available in a retro wicker version.||Usually less than $50. Please click here for exact current price on Amazon.|
|Best for dogs that feel safest close to their owners. Comes in a range of sizes, rated for dogs up to 30 pounds.||Simply wear it like a backpack.||This innovative Dog Backpack Carrier is Veterinarian Approved and could be just the ticket for anxious dogs. Available in a range of colors. A side pocket is provided to carry things other than your dog. Backed by strong customer service. Use it to take your dog along when you go biking, hiking, on transit, shopping or even skiing. Includes ventilating side panels. The 5 safety features should keep your dog safe. Also, this carrier is obviously suited to cycling in an upright position.||Usually around $55. Please click here to check the best current price on Amazon.|
|Best Budget Option. Intended for pets up to 11 lb. Multi-function. Can be used on and off the bike to transport your pet. Can also be used for shopping||Front handlebars. Attaches with a quick-release handlebar mount.||This budget basket is both removable and foldable. Like all of the baskets, it can be used for pets or shopping. The quick release mount means you can quickly remove it. When using it with a pet, the adjustable 15” sewn-in leash will keep your pet safely secured. The fabric is waterproof, making it easy to wipe down and keep clean. The frame is metal.||Usually less than $30. Please click here for exact current price on Amazon.|
|Multi-use carrier with pockets. Intended for pets up to 19 lb. Included tether to attach to your pet’s collar, plus a draw string mesh cover to make your dog more secure.||Front handlebars. Features quick-release buckles. Easy to install, & collapsible.||A nice touch is the padded sheepskin liner bottom. Easily remove the bottom floor board for cleaning. This is a multi-use carrier: can also be used as a dog shoulder bag using the shoulder strap, a dog backpack, or a pet car seat booster. You can unzip the front window to reveal a mesh side that lets in cooling air. Also included are mesh pockets to carry treats, keys, etc.||Usually around $50. Please click here for exact current price on Amazon.|
|Keeps your dog super safe and secure. Intended for pets up to 12 lb. Best suited to short-legged dogs.||Front handlebars or rear rack. Mounts with a quick and easy, but very strong, spring-loaded attachment on the bottom, which can be attached to your handle bars or your rack. Also, it is easy to put it on the bike and remove thanks to the quick release bracket.||This basket will keep your pet very safe and secure, thanks to its combination of spring loaded caging on the top, plus included safety leash, plus an extra safety strap that you loop onto the bike. It is also multi-functional – the padded carry handle makes it easy for you to use it as a pet carrier. This is a sturdy, affordable, coated steel-wire basket. Ships with an anti-microbial padded floor liner.||Varies between $30 and $60. Please click here for best current price on Amazon.|
|Best for dogs who don't like being in baskets, or cyclists who don't like baskets. Intended for dogs up to 110 pounds. Medium trailer holds dogs up to 50 lb with inside cab 26 L x 17 W x 20 H; Large trailer holds dogs up to 110 lb with inside cab 33 L x 22 W x 26 H||Quickly connect the trailer hitch to your bike; then, after the ride, disconnect the hitch and collapse the trailer for storage. Features an extra-wide wheelbase and a lower center-of-gravity for outstanding ride stability, and to make it easier to access for senior dogs.||This trailer has a strong, steel frame. Includes back, front and side ventilated windows. Included interior safety tether keeps your dog safe, as do the reflectors on the exterior. Front door has a zippered, mesh screen layer, plus zippered, clear vinyl layer for wind. Over-sized sunroof provides ample airflow and allows your dog to poke his head out. Removable, washable cushion. Includes 3 external pockets.||Usually around $210. Please click here for exact current price on Amazon.|
|Multi-function pet carrier intended for pets up to 14 lb.||Front handlebars. This carrier is easy to install in a few minutes, and quick to disassemble too. Double straps hold the basket in place.||Multi-purpose pet travel carrier, functions as a bike basket, a pet carrier backpack, and pet car seat. Included interior tether can be attached to your pet’s collar to keep it safe. Soft pads for comfort when you use it as a backpack. Mesh front and top are provided for coolness and ventialation. Plus, your dog can enjoy a rolled-up front window.||Usually around $45. Please click here for the best current price on Amazon.|
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