Many users of the Apple Capital Loop Trail that straddles the Wenatchee and East Wenatchee sides of the Columbia River have a common complaint;  why do so many people let their dogs run free on the loop trail?

The loop trail is a great amenity and is enjoyed by thousands of people out walking, jogging, running, bicycling, rollerblading, you name it.  Some are families with small kids in strollers or new bike riders, still a bit unsteady on two wheels.  As the weather improves, trail use will increase.

Then there are the dog walkers; those that recognize their best friend should be on a leash for safety reasons and those that don't.

A recent post on Wenatchee Rants & Raves Facebook group shows it's a hot topic of discussion among group users.  There are plenty of thoughts around the community at large, I'm sure, that have not been posted.

Many complaints center around owners blissfully unaware of the inconvenience or worse, their unleashed dog's behavior can present by charging someone or getting in the way of someone on a bike, skateboarding or rollerblading.  Even pedestrians can feel intimidated depending on the dog approaching them.

Anyone walking a dog on a leash will have a special kind of frustration when they encounter other dogs running loose in a public space like the loop trail.

Then there is the poop patrol or lack thereof, in many cases that is likely associated with those who would turn the Apple Capital Loop Trail into their own off-leash park.

Remember the rules posted by Chelan PUD, which operates the park system along the Columbia and manages the Apple Capital Loop Trail.

  • Pets Must be on a Leash. Pets and domestic animals are prohibited in designated wildlife and sensitive habitat areas.
  • Use no more than half the trail when you are with a pet so as not to block the flow of other users.

The Chelan PUD produced a TV commercial underscoring this point in recent years

While we are on the subject of trail etiquette, we all should be courteous of everyone out there.  Here are a few reminders from Chelan PUD

So please keep your dog on a leash while using the Apple Capital Loop Trail.  It's safer for everyone and safer for your dog.  If you want to have an off leash experience, the City of Wenatchee operates Hale off leash park at the south end of Worthen Street.

Your dog will love it!

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