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.
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