Are Dogs Allowed in Acadia National Park? 2023 Guidelines
Acadia Park is one of the more dog-friendly national parks in the United States. You can visit with your dog along several trails. Many campgrounds even allow pets when certain regulations are followed. However, it’s important to keep in mind that visiting a national park with your pet poses some unique risks and challenges—even when they are allowed.
Of course, Acadia Park has many regulations you must follow when visiting. Furthermore, dogs aren’t allowed everywhere. Knowing where you’re allowed before you start your trip is essential.
Guidelines for Visiting Acadia National Park with a Dog
When visiting the park, you must always keep your pet on a leash no longer than 6 feet. This rule is federal law for all national parks. Even well-trained pets can become hurt by porcupines and animals with infectious diseases. The dog should stay near you throughout your trip by keeping them on a shorter leash.
All waste must be collected and disposed of properly. There are designated trash receptacles throughout the park that you can use for this purpose. Bring your doggie bags, though. Dog poop is not a natural fertilizer and can introduce chemicals and diseases into the park.
Your pet cannot be left unattended at any point, including at the campsite and in a car. It only takes a minute for the temperature in a car to rise rapidly, so you should never leave your dog unattended in one.
Be sure that your canine doesn’t threaten wildlife at any point. Don’t scare animals when they are nesting, feeding, or resting. Be careful around nests, in particular. Any scent left behind by a dog can disrupt the behavior of wildlife. Some animals may not return to nests that smell like dogs.
The park also recommends checking you and your dog for ticks thoroughly and regularly. While there is no regulation around this, ticks pose a real risk for you and your pet.
Where Can Dogs Go in Acadia National Park?
Not all trails allow dogs, often because dogs simply cannot access them safely. Some trails include ladders and rungs, which dogs cannot use.
With that said, there are about 100 miles of trails where dogs are permitted. Dogs are allowed on most trails (unless stated otherwise). They’re allowed on all carriage roads and in Blackwoods, Seawall, and Schoodic Woods campgrounds.
Dogs are only allowed on Isle au Haut for day hiking. Overnight stays aren’t permitted.
Many areas of the park have public water supplies. No swimming is allowed in these—whether by people or dogs.
Sand Beach is closed to pets from June 15th to September 8th, and Echo Lake is closed from May 15th to September 15th. These beaches get extremely busy and hot during the summer, so they aren’t safe for pets.
Public buildings usually do not allow dogs inside them. Plan accordingly. You can also not take your dog with you on any ranger-led programs and Duck harbor campground doesn’t allow dogs.
Here is a list of trails that are explicitly closed to dogs at all times:
Trails closed off to dogs at all times:
Several other trails aren’t recommended for pets, as well. Most of these trails are steep and don’t allow dogs to access them. These include:
Trails not recommended for pets:
Acadia Park is one of the few national parks that are dog-friendly. Your pet is allowed in many park areas if regulations allow. Following these regulations is vital to ensure that your canine is kept safe and allowed to return for years.
Remember, dog-friendly areas are a privilege and can be taken away. Many national parks have closed their doors to dogs due to continued regulation breaking. Let’s prevent Acadia Park from ending up the same way.
Be sure to prepare carefully when taking your dog camping. Ensure you have enough water for both you and your dog, for instance, and use precautions when dealing with ticks.
Featured Image Credit: Mike Photoluvr, Shutterstock