Dog Paddle 101: Creek Fun for Everyone

Explore our cool, shady Wissahickon this weekend on a very special Pack Walk with East Falls’ trainer Leigh Siegfried (Opportunity Barks).  We’re headed to “Dog Beach” for free play and great tips for fun, safe, splash time with your dog. (Or without — dog-free hikers are welcome!)

Water Fun Walk

Bring on the “dog days” of Summer! We’ve got 1800+ acres of creek-crossed woodlands, where temps are markedly lower, and the air is softer & sweeter.

Come learn our local trails in this amazing natural resource! FREE guided, 90-minute(ish) hike includes some gentle climbs and varied substrate. Casual pace. About mid-way though, we’ll stop at a wide, shallow beach for some splashing around — where having a dog tends to add to the fun!

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Totally not necessary, of course — this hike’s for people too. Dogs will be leashed and walking calmly for the entire walk except for “Dog Beach.” Dogs who wish to swim will follow a short path off the main trail down to a (mostly) enclosed area with room to run around. (Non-swimmers can enjoy beautiful views from the bridge above).

If this is your dog’s first time swimming, he may be a little intimidated. No worries, local trainer Leigh Siegfried will be on-hand to help everyone relax & have fun, “Swimming is great exercise, and most dogs love it!”  If your dog is iffy around water, he may change his mind when he sees his fellow Pack Walkers’ enthusiasm.

Or not. Our dog, Ducky, is a spaz around other dogs, so we’ll be taking Leigh’s tips home with us to work on Ducky’s swimming another time. Whatever your goals, you’ll fit in somewhere on the Pack Walk, no worries. Even if you’re just coming for a doggie fix!

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We get that a lot, actually: the city’s full of “No Pets” rentals, and it’s totally cool if you just want to come play with dogs in the creek. Or walk someone’s dog — which happens, too.

For best results, wear water hikers or Keens — or bring a pair of flipflops or something to change into. Shorts or fast-dry leggings, obviously. A towel, perhaps? Prepare to get wet! Don’t mind the waterproof camera…

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The rest of the hike features bridges, rocky overlooks, and golden setting sunlight. Meet 6:00 pm Saturday July 16 at the Hermit Lane parking lot off Henry Avenue — on your left almost immediately over the bridge (towards Roxborough from East Falls).

Hope you can join us! All breeds of dogs enjoy Pack Walks. No registration required, just show up — if you’d like to make it official, though, register for Northwest Philly Pack Walk updates on Meetup. Questions? Email us or Leigh.

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Leigh Siegfried (OPPORTUNITY BARKS) is an Associate member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and is a Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. She conducts private behavior counseling sessions, group training classes in basic and advanced manners and agility, and a variety of workshops at her new Scotts Lane location

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