assateague island national park paws dog info

Assateague Island National Seashore

Located in the states of Maryland and Virginia

Assateague Island National Seashore is a unit of the National Park System. Located along the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island is the largest, natural barrier island ecosystem in the mid-Atlantic region that remains predominantly unaffected by human development. Located within a three-hour drive of the Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, the National Seashore offers a setting in which to experience a dynamic barrier island and to pursue a multitude of recreational opportunities. The stated mission of the park is to preserve and protect "unique coastal resources and the natural ecosystem conditions and processes upon which they depend, provide high quality resource based recreational opportunities compatible with resource protection and educate the public as to the values and significance of the area".

  • Pets are allowed only in specific areas of the Maryland side of the island. Contact the park prior to travel
  • Parking areas and along paved roads
  • Some campgrounds and picnic areas
  • Must be restrained or kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.
  • Dogs must wear a collar with current tags at all times
  • Pick up after your dog at all times – Leave no trace

*Please see more details for leash info

  • Inside buildings (unless service animal)
  • Dogs are prohibited from: The entire Virginia portion of Assateague Island, All backcountry campsites, Nature trails, Lifeguard-protected beach, Portions of Assateague State Park, North of the State Park to the Ocean City inlet
  • Never leave your pet unattended or alone inside a vehicle
  • Never off leash – unless inside a vehicle, tent, dog crate or other portable kennel
  • Untagged dogs or dogs with uncurrent tags
  • Excessive barking

*Please see more details for leash info

  • Extreme range of weather
  • Extreme heat
  • Poisonous Snakes
  • Poisonous Plants
  • Spiny and prickly plants
  • Predatory animals
  • Be aware of animal traps and hunting areas
  • Swim safely, extreme water areas
  • Ticks and biting insects
  • Do not drink from waterways
  • Bring plenty of drinking water

Leash Laws: Most parks require dogs to be on a leash in some or all areas, however, some parks allow dogs off leash in certain locations, please consult the parks website before going off leash, Thank you!

  • Dog life vest or flotation device is recommended
  • Consult the park website before traveling all information is to be used as a guide.
  • Respect local wildlife.
  • Leave no trace – What you bring in, you bring out.
  • If you are visiting during the hottest months of the year, a “palm test” is recommended before walking your dog – place your hand on the pavement for a minute and see if it is comfortable there. If the pavement feels hot to your palm, it will be hot to your dog’s paws.

(410) 641-1441

Assateague Island National Seashore Website

Assateague Island National Seashore Camping

Assateague Island National Seashore Hiking

Assateague Island National Seashore Volunteer

We do our best to keep all information current and accurate - If you see an error or think we have missed something please contact us directly.

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We do our best to keep all information current and accurate - If you see an error or think we have missed something please contact us directly.

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