Runner with dog on leash
Runner with dog on leash

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

Bag your pet’s poop

  • Dispose of bagged pet waste in the nearest garbage can.

  • Leaving poop in bags on the trail is considered littering.

  • Pet waste not picked up leads to sanitation issues and a decline in water quality.

Always keep your pet on a leash

  • Leashes must be no longer than 6 feet. GPS pet trackers are not acceptable leashes.
  • Off-leash pets will trample plants and create unauthorized trails.
  • Your pet is more likely to have dangerous encounters with wildlife, other animals, and people when off-leash.
  • Bodies of water in the park may have unsanitary water for your pet to play in.

Respect all animals

  • Please 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

  • Rules may vary slightly from park to park.

  • Always stay on trails: your pet is more likely to pick up ticks when off trail.

  • Going off trail can damage and kill plants and cause soil compaction.

Remember: Pets are not allowed on the Billy Goat Trail section A, or on the boardwalk to Great Falls.

Last updated: November 9, 2019

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Mailing Address:

1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740



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