Plan a dog’s day out in Victoria’s state forests

Published on 19 June 2024

Supplied: Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action

There’s nothing quite like a newly discovered walking trail, and the fresh smells that come with it, to get a dog’s tail wagging.

Here in Victoria, we’re lucky enough to have access to plenty of green spaces in metropolitan and suburban areas for our furry friends, but did you know that dogs are also welcome in our state forests?

There are more than 3 million hectares of state forests in Victoria, featuring more than 180 walking trails and hundreds of free campgrounds and day visitor areas. Dogs are allowed in all state forests, except Murrindindi Scenic Reserve, provided they’re on a leash and under your control.  Dogs are not allowed in most national parks.

Before visiting a forest with your four-legged mate, here’s a few things to know:

  • Dogs must be kept on a leash or under your immediate control when in a recreational area or walking along a trail.
  • Some trails are shared with horse riders and mountain bike riders. If you see these along a trail, keep your dog under control, stop and stand aside to allow them to pass.
  • Make sure you know what to do if you come across safety hazards in the forests, such as ticks or snakes.
  • Be mindful of going out in hot weather. Always carry plenty of water for you and your dog to stay hydrated.
  • As always, please pick up after your dog. Sites do not have rubbish bins so you can bury poo in a hole 20cm deep to ensure it is properly disposed of.

Ready to plan your next outdoor adventure? Visit Explore Outdoors or download the free More to Explore app for a full list of walking trails in state forests, including photos, trail maps and grading information.

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