Discover the Best Dog Friendly Beaches in Maine

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Written By Ramis Kalkan

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When planning a vacation to the picturesque state of Maine, dog owners often search for dog-friendly beaches in Maine to ensure their furry friends can join them on their coastal adventures. Maine’s breathtaking coastlines and numerous pet-friendly spots make it a perfect choice for those wishing to take their pooch along on their travels.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore some of the best dog-friendly beaches in Maine, spanning from Greater Portland’s scenic coastlines to Southern Maine’s sandy shores. We’ll also venture beyond the sand to discover parks and outdoor spaces where your pup can frolic freely.

Furthermore, we will provide essential tips for pet owners visiting these beautiful locales, including researching beach-specific rules and practicing good pet etiquette while enjoying all that Maine’s coastline has to offer.


Greater Portland’s Dog-Friendly Beaches

The Greater Portland area boasts several dog-friendly beaches for pet owners to enjoy with their furry friends. Gooch’s Beach, Willard Beach, and East End Beach offer pristine sand and water perfect for your pup to frolic in while adhering to designated beach hours during the summer months.

Gooch’s Beach: Cleanest Pet-Friendly Beach in Maine

Gooch’s Beach, located in Kennebunk, is known as one of the cleanest dog-friendly beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. Gooch’s Beach offers a pristine stretch of sand and glistening ocean waves, perfect for you and your pup to unwind or enjoy some fetch.

Willard Beach: Leash Rules and Restricted Hours

In South Portland lies Willard Beach, a popular destination that welcomes dogs before 9 a.m. or after 7 p.m. from May 1st through September 30th. During these times, leashes are required but can be removed when swimming if under voice control.


East End Beach: Close Proximity to Portland

  • Location: Just minutes away from downtown Portland on Eastern Promenade Trail
  • Pet Policy: Dogs allowed off-leash between November 1st – March 31st; must remain on-leash between April 1st – October 31st
  • Amenities: Adjacent grassy park, picnic tables, and restrooms

East End Beach offers a convenient option for those residing in or visiting Portland. With its rocky cliffs and views of Casco Bay, it’s an excellent spot to take your furry friend on a scenic walk.

In the Greater Portland region, pet owners can find a multitude of canine-friendly beaches to explore with their four-legged companions. Moving on from this area, Midcoast Maine offers an array of canine compatible coastline spots as well.


Midcoast Maine’s Canine-Compatible Coastlines

Venturing further up the coast of Maine, you’ll find stunning dog-friendly beaches such as Laite Memorial Beach in Camden and Old Orchard Beach. These picturesque locations provide breathtaking views alongside accommodating spaces for both humans and canines alike.

Laite Memorial Beach: Scenic Beauty in Camden

Nestled along the Penobscot Bay, Laite Memorial Beach offers a serene escape from bustling tourist areas. With its soft sand and gentle waves, this dog-friendly beach is perfect for a leisurely stroll or an invigorating swim with your furry friend. Dogs are welcome year-round but must be leashed during peak season (May 15th – September 30th) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Old Orchard Beach: Expansive Stretch of Sand Popular Among Tourists

A popular destination among tourists, Old Orchard Beach boasts seven miles of sandy shores that welcome dogs during off-season months (October through April). During summer months (May through September), pets are allowed on-leash before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m., ensuring ample time to enjoy the refreshing Atlantic Ocean waters together.


  • Pet-Friendly Tip: Always keep your dog on a leash when required by local regulations at these dog-friendly beaches to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.
  • Bonus Activity: Visit nearby pet-friendly attractions like Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens or take a scenic hike at Camden Hills State Park.

From the rugged coastline of Laite Memorial Beach to the expansive Old Orchard Beach, Midcoast Maine offers a variety of canine-compatible coastlines for you and your pup. Now let’s explore some lesser known gems along this beautiful stretch of shoreline.

Lesser-Known Dog-Friendly Gems Along the Coastline

Maine’s coastline is scattered with a variety of dog-friendly beaches, some of which are lesser known yet still offer stunning sights and enjoyable experiences for you and your pup. Apart from well-known spots like Bay View Camp Ellis near Saco River or Little Tunk Pond within Donnell Pond Public Reserved Land, there are hidden gems such as Marine Park at Sears Island Preserve or Drake’s Island nestled behind a historic fort offering open access points revealing breathtaking coastal views.


  • Bay View Camp Ellis & Little Tunk Pond: These popular destinations offer pristine sand and water perfect for a day out with your canine companion. Remember to follow local rules regarding leash usage and clean up after your pet.
  • Marine Park at Sears Island Preserve: This off-the-beaten-path location in Penobscot Bay provides a serene setting for a leisurely stroll along the beach with your four-legged friend. The park also features picnic areas, walking trails, and birdwatching opportunities. For more information on visiting this preserve, check out the Friends of Sears Island website.
  • Drake’s Island: Located near Wells Beach, this secluded spot offers stunning views of rocky cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Dogs are allowed during designated hours before 8 am and after 6 pm from June through September; however, they must be leashed at all times. For more information on visiting Drake’s Island, visit the Wells Town website.

Head to Maine’s pup-friendly shores for an extraordinary and special excursion with your four-legged pal. Whether you’re looking for sandy shores or rocky cliffs, Maine’s coastline welcomes dogs of all breeds and sizes. Other popular dog-friendly beaches include Long Sands Beach, Fort Foster Beach, Pine Point Beach, Goose Rocks Beach, Hadley Point Beach, Higgins Beach, Short Sands Beach, Kennebunk Beach, and Willard Beach. Don’t forget to check out vacation rentals that welcome dogs, such as Laite Beach Park and Mount Desert Narrows. With so many options to choose from, you and your furry friend are sure to have a paw-some time.

Maine’s lesser-known dog friendly beaches offer a variety of unique experiences, from Bay View Camp Ellis to Drake’s Island. For year-round pet perks, head over to Long Sands and Hadley Point for convenient amenities and unrestricted access during off peak seasons.

Year-Round Pet Perks at Long Sands & Hadley Point

Unlike other beaches that impose seasonal restrictions on dogs, Long Sands York allows pets all year round and provides bag dispensers so visitors can easily clean up after their pets. Similarly accommodating is Hadley Point, which permits four-legged guests throughout every season without time or leashing requirements.

Long Sands York: Convenient Amenities for Responsible Pet Owners

This popular beach in South Portland, Maine offers not only a beautiful stretch of sand along the Atlantic Ocean but also welcomes dogs and provides essential amenities like waste bags to ensure a clean environment for everyone. With no seasonal restrictions, you and your furry friend can enjoy this picturesque location any time of the year.

Hadley Point: Unrestricted Access for Dogs During Off-Peak Seasons

  • No leash requirement: Dogs are allowed to roam freely at Hadley Point Beach as long as they remain under voice control by their owner.
  • All-season access: Unlike some dog-friendly beaches with limited hours during peak tourist months, Hadley Point allows canine companions to visit anytime throughout the year.
  • Natural beauty: Located near Mount Desert Narrows, this beach boasts stunning views of rocky cliffs and sandy shores perfect for both relaxation and exploration with your pup.

Taking advantage of these two welcoming locations, Long Sands York and Hadley Point, will provide endless fun-filled memories with your beloved pet while enjoying Maine’s breathtaking coastline.

With its convenient amenities and unrestricted access for dogs, Long Sands York and Hadley Point provide year-round pet perks to responsible owners. By contrast, the beaches of Southern Maine offer varying hours depending on location – from early morning or evening strolls to all day fun under voice control.

Southern Maine’s Dog-Friendly Beach Hours

In towns like South Portland, York, and Kennebunk, dog-friendly beach hours are enforced during the summer months, allowing pets before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m. Wells Beach permits off-leash fun with voice control by their owners at all times.

South Portland & York Beaches: Early Morning or Evening Strolls

Pet owners in South Portland can enjoy some quality time with their furry friends on sandy shores such as Willard Beach, while those visiting York can explore Long Sands Beach or Short Sands Beach during designated pet-friendly hours. Fetch-friendly hours provide a great opportunity for your pup to have some fun and mingle, while abiding by the rules.

Kennebunk’s Beaches: All-Day Access from Labor Day until June 15th

If you’re planning a trip to Kennebunk, you’ll be pleased to know that its beautiful coastline offers several dog-friendly options like Gooch’s Beach, Mother’s Beach, and Goose Rocks Beach where dogs are allowed all day between Labor Day and June 15th each year. Make sure to follow leash rules when required.

Wells Beach: Off-Leash Fun Under Voice Control

Last but not least is Wells Beach which allows dogs off-leash throughout the entire day provided they remain under voice control of their owner at all times – perfect for well-trained pups who love splashing around in the Atlantic Ocean.

Southern Maine’s Dog-Friendly Beach Hours offer a variety of options for pet owners to enjoy the outdoors with their furry friends. However, Fort Foster Park is an even better option due to its beautiful coastal views and hiking trails that are open all year round.

Fort Foster Park – A Coastal Retreat for Canines

Located in Kittery Point, Fort Foster Park is a picturesque coastal retreat that welcomes dogs and their owners to enjoy its scenic beauty. However, the park enforces leash use throughout its grounds due to safety concerns related to both human guests and wildlife inhabiting the area.

Leash Requirements at Fort Foster Park

To ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment of this stunning location near Portsmouth Harbor entranceway, it is essential for pet owners to keep their furry friends on a leash at all times while visiting Fort Foster Park. This rule helps protect not only other visitors but also the diverse array of wildlife that calls this beautiful coastal region home.

Hiking Trails and Ocean Views for You and Your Furry Friend

  • Garrison Cove Trail: This easy 0.6-mile loop trail offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as glimpses into Maine’s military history with remnants from World War II-era fortifications along the path.
  • Pier Trail: At just under half a mile long, this out-and-back trail leads you through wooded areas before opening up onto an expansive pier where you can take in breathtaking ocean vistas alongside your leashed canine companion.
  • Fisherman’s Walk: For those seeking more rugged terrain, Fisherman’s Walk provides rocky cliffs overlooking York Harbor – perfect for adventurous pups who love exploring new landscapes.

In addition to these trails offering spectacular views of Maine’s coastline, Fort Foster Park also features picnic areas ideal for relaxing with your four-legged friend after a day of exploration. Remember to follow all park rules and regulations, including leash usage, so everyone can enjoy this coastal gem.

Fort Foster Park is an idyllic destination for pet owners looking to enjoy the Maine coast with their canine companion. For tips on visiting other dog-friendly beaches in Maine, keep reading below.

Tips for Pet Owners Visiting Maine’s Dog-Friendly Beaches

To ensure a memorable trip with your four-legged companion, it is essential to follow designated beach rules such as leash usage, restricted hours, cleaning up after your pet, and keeping them under voice control when allowed off-leash. Additionally, consider visiting lesser-known gems along the coastline that offer breathtaking views without overcrowding.

Adhering to Local Rules and Regulations on Each Beach

  • Leash requirements: Familiarize yourself with the specific leash laws at each dog-friendly beach in Maine. Some beaches require leashes at all times while others allow dogs off-leash during certain hours or seasons.
  • Restricted hours: Be aware of any time restrictions for pets on the beach. For example, some beaches only permit dogs before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m., while others have no time restrictions.
  • Cleaning up after your pet: Always carry waste bags and clean up after your furry friend to keep Maine’s beautiful coastlines pristine for everyone to enjoy.

Exploring Hidden Gems Along Maine’s Diverse Coastline

Rather than sticking solely to popular tourist destinations like Old Orchard Beach or Goose Rocks Beach, venture out and explore some of the hidden treasures along Maine’s Atlantic Ocean shoreline. These lesser-known spots often provide equally stunning scenery without large crowds competing for space on sandy shores or rocky cliffs.

A few examples include:
– Marine Park at Sears Island Preserve: A peaceful retreat located near Belfast.
– Drake’s Island: A secluded beach tucked behind a historic fort in Wells.
– Hadley Point Beach: A year-round dog-friendly beach on Mount Desert Island, perfect for watching sunsets.

FAQs in Relation to Dog Friendly Beaches in Maine

Are Dogs Allowed on the Beaches in Maine?

Yes, dogs are allowed on many beaches in Maine. However, each beach has its own specific rules and regulations regarding pets. Some may have designated dog hours or leash requirements, while others allow off-leash fun year-round. It’s essential to research the beach you plan to visit beforehand.

What Beach Can I Take My Dog to in Maine?

In Maine, there are several dog-friendly beaches such as Gooch’s Beach, Willard Beach, East End Beach, Laite Memorial Beach, Old Orchard Beach, and more. Each of these locations offers unique experiences for pet owners and their furry friends. Be sure to check the specific rules for each beach before visiting.

Are Dogs Allowed on Sandy Beaches in Maine?

Dogs are generally permitted on sandy beaches throughout Maine; however, some popular destinations like Sand Beach at Acadia National Park enforce strict restrictions during peak seasons (June 15 – September 8). Always review local guidelines before bringing your canine companion along with you.

Why Should Dogs Be Allowed on the Beach?

Dogs should be allowed on the beach because it provides them with a natural environment for exercise and socialization opportunities with other animals and humans alike. Additionally, visiting a dog-friendly shoreline helps strengthen bonds between pets and their owners by sharing enjoyable outdoor activities together.


Maine boasts a variety of beaches suitable for pet owners seeking to spend quality time with their four-legged friends. From Greater Portland’s cleanest beach, Gooch’s Beach, to Midcoast Maine’s off-the-beaten-path Drake’s Island, there are beaches all over the state that welcome dogs.

Before heading out to any of these dog-friendly beaches in Maine, be sure to research specific rules and pack essential items like water and waste bags. And always practice good pet etiquette while enjoying the shoreline!

Ready to plan your next trip? Check out Is It Pet Friendly, an online resource for finding pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and activities across the country.