Dog on a trail BARK ranger
Become a B.A.R.K. Ranger Ambassador

Follow the Gulf Islands National Seashore pet rules below and become a B.A.R.K. Ranger ambassador.


Pets are not allowed in the following areas:

- On all park beaches gulf and bay side, and in water less than five feet in Florida according to state law.
- On all beaches of the barrier islands and in water less than five feet in Mississippi according to state law.
- In all forts and facilities such as pavilions, fishing/ferry piers, and visitor centers.
- On top of historic structure like sea walls, forts, and batteries.

Rules for areas pets are permitted:

- Pets must remain on a leash, no longer than six feet, at all times.
- For health reasons, owners must clean up after pets.
- Pets are welcome on trails, multi-use paths, or on the park roads.
- Pets must be attended to at all times, this includes the campgrounds.
- Horses may be ridden only on the trails and fire roads of the Naval Live Oaks area, north of U.S. Highway 98.

Pets are prohibited by Escambia and Santa Rosa County ordinances on most of the beaches within the Florida areas. Pets are prohibited by Harrison County ordinances in Mississippi. Pets conflict with the orderly visitor use in swim beaches, picnic shelters, pavilions, and inside public buildings and facilities and other locations receiving highly concentrated public use. The interior of these fortifications are closed to pets so as not to interfere with guided tours of the forts or to intrude on the historical character the seashore attempts to maintain. Less restrictive measures would not comply with state law or provide the type of venue the seashore attempts to maintain, for the enjoyment and education of visitors.

The shoreline areas of the barrier islands of Mississippi (Ship, Horn, Petit Bois, West Petit Bois, and Cat Islands), represents some of the only remaining natural habitat along the Mississippi coastline for a wide variety of shorebirds to nest, feed, and rest. The shoreline and adjacent dune areas on these islands are crucial to the nesting success of shorebirds, many of which are threatened, endangered, or otherwise considered species of special management concern. Dogs in these areas can cause entire colonies of birds to flush and abandon their nests leaving eggs or chicks vulnerable to take due to exposure from the elements (e.g. heat) and predators. Loss of any shorebirds, including adults, chicks, or eggs due to dogs encroaching upon nesting areas can have a direct and adverse effect to the nesting success and recovery of these wildlife species.

For more information, please visit our Law & Policies page.

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Last updated: September 16, 2022

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Mailing Address:

1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563

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