Pets

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.

For information about service animals, see the accessibility page.

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

Bag your pet’s poop

  • Dispose of bagged pet waste in a garbage can.

  • 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.

Last updated: June 30, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740

Phone:

301-739-4200

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