cape cod national park paws dog info

Cape Cod National Seashore

Located in the state of Massachusetts

The Cape Cod National Seashore (CCNS), created on August 7, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, encompasses 43,607 acres on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. It includes ponds, woods and beachfront of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion. The CCNS includes nearly 40 miles of seashore along the Atlantic-facing eastern shore of Cape Cod, in the towns of Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, Eastham, Orleans and Chatham. It is administered by the National Park Service.

  • All fire roads within Cape Cod National Seashore (depicted on topographic maps available at park and local bookstores)
  • Head of the Meadow Bicycle Trail year round and Province Lands and Nauset bike trails, November 1-April 30
  • Fresh water ponds within Cape Cod National Seashore (beaches and water), October 16-May 14
  • Cape Cod National Seashore ocean beaches except as follows:
    • During the summer, pets are not permitted on lifeguard-protected beaches. Passing through lifeguard-protected areas of the beach is permitted.
    • During shorebird nesting, staging, and migrating periods, pets are not permitted in posted locations. Passing through these areas is prohibited.
  • 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)
  • Designated nature trails at any time; check signs and at visitor centers for Great Island exceptions
  • Nauset and Province Lands bike trails, May 1-October 31
  • Fresh water ponds within Cape Cod National Seashore (beaches and water), May 15-October 15
  • Areas where certain shorebirds nest, especially the piping plover, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Birds may abandon nests when they perceive threats or are disturbed. These areas are posted seasonally when prohibition is in effect.
  • On lifeguard-protected beaches during the summer months. You may walk your leashed pet through these areas to enjoy walks on stretches of beach.
  • West and Sunset horse trails in the Province Lands;l Cape Cod National Seashore trams, except working service animals.
  • 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.

(508) 255-3421

Cape Cod National Seashore Website

Cape Cod National Seashore Camping

Cape Cod National Seashore Hiking

Cape Cod 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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