Park Service - Pet Policy

two dogs on leashes

Maryland State Parks welcome you and your pet to enjoy the great outdoors together! We ask that you please adhere to the following guidelines in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, and to protect park resources, wildlife and other visitors. In order to help keep our parks available to pets, responsible pet ownership is essential.

Please check with each state park for their specific policy before visiting with your pet.

Maryland Park Service Pet Policy 

Responsible Pet Owner Guidelines

Pet Definition

  • Consistent with existing definitions of "pet" in State regulations and law, the Maryland Park Service pet policy refers to domesticated animals, such as cats and dogs, and does not include farm animals including, but not limited to, cattle, goats, sheep and swine. Horses are permitted on designated trails and in designated campgrounds.

Park Rules

  • All pets must be licensed and have all required vaccinations, including a rabies vaccination.
  • Pets must be leashed. Pets may be off-leash and under voice control while swimming in designated areas or hunting (with the appropriate permit).
  • Pet owners must clean up after their pet. Waste disposal containers are available in most areas.
  • Service animals are permitted in all pedestrian areas.
  • Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not allowed in park buildings.
  • Pets, with the exception of service animals, are not allowed in playgrounds.
  • Pet owners must obey all park signs that prohibit the entry of pets into specific areas.
  • Excessive barking is not permitted in any park area, especially during campground "quiet hours" (10:00 p.m.- 7:00 a.m.).

Click here for a complete listing of state park undeveloped areas, campgrounds, day-use and picnic areas, and swimming beaches where pets are allowed

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Online Services


Contact the Park Service

  • To Report Violations of Park Rules: 1-800-825-7275 (Park Watch) or 1-410-260-8888 (Communications Center)
  • General Information: 1-800-830-3974 (Annapolis Office)
  • Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
  • Email Us