Dog with a green BARK ranger kerchief on a leash at an overlook in Catoctin Mountain Park.
Who's a good BARK ranger? You are! Yes you are!

NPS (Catoctin Mountain Park)

Lots of people enjoy walking the towpath with their dogs. Working together, we can make sure that people, pets, and the park are all protected.

When you visit a national park with your pet, remember to B.A.R.K.:

Bag your pet’s poop

  • Properly bag and dispose of your pet's waste. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is a trash free park and garbage cans are not available. Pet owners should plan ahead to clean up and remove their trash.
  • Leaving bagged waste on the trail is littering.
  • Pet waste left on the ground makes a mess for others and harms water quality in the park.

Always keep your pet on a leash

  • Pets must be restrained on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
  • GPS pet trackers are not leashes.
  • Keeping pets on leash protects people, plants, wildlife, and your pet.

Respect all animals

  • Keep your pet at a respectful distance from any wildlife or other animals you encounter.
  • Off-leash pets may spook horses or mules on the towpath of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.
  • Off-leash pets can injure and alter behavior of wildlife in the parks.

Know the rules

  • Pets are not allowed on the Billy Goat Trail section A, or on the boardwalk to Great Falls.
  • Stay on marked trails. Going off trail can damage sensitive plants and cause erosion. Pets are more likely to pick up ticks when off trail.

These regulations and laws exist to keep pets, visitors, and park resources safe. There are no exceptions to the regulations for carried pets (in arms, carriers, strollers, backpacks, etc.) in restricted areas of the park. For more information, please consult the Superintendent's Compendium.

Please be mindful of weather conditions when bringing your pet to the park. Extremes in hot and cold tempatures can sometimes be dangerous to pets. Water fountains are available throughout the park but visitors should bring their own containers in order to provide water to their pets.

Service Animals

Qualified service animals assisting visitors with disabilities are permitted throughout the park and in all park facilities. Service animals must be on a leash and picked up after.

Last updated: April 1, 2023

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Mailing Address:

142 W. Potomac St.
Williamsport, MD 21795



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