Pets in Acadia National Park

Pets are only allowed within Acadia National Park with certain restrictions. They must be restrained at all times on a leash no longer than six feet in length. This protects dogs from becoming lost and from other hazards such as porcupines and sick, injured, or rabid animals. Leashes also help protect park resources, including wildlife and vegetation.

Pets should not be left unattended. Summer sunshine poses a threat to pets left in vehicles. On a bright, sunny day, even in temperatures as low as 60° F, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car - even with the windows cracked - can reach over 100 degrees within 10 minutes. Please remain mindful of this at all times.

Pet owners are responsible for removing pet waste from campgrounds, picnic areas, parking lots, roads, and other developed areas. In campgrounds, wastes must be removed from all areas within 200 feet of established campsites, and in Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds, all areas within the campground loops.

Where you CAN go with your pet:

  • There are 100 miles of hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads in the park where pets are permitted.
  • Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds permit pets.
  • On Isle au Haut, pets are permitted for day hiking only.

Where you CAN'T go with your pet:

  • Because most lakes in the park are public water supplies, pets (and people) may not swim in them. The two swimming beaches (Sand Beach and Echo Lake) are also off-limits to pets from May 15 through September 15.
  • Public Buildings
  • Ranger-Led Programs
  • Wild Gardens of Acadia at Sieur de Monts
  • Some park trails are very steep and require the use of iron rungs and ladders. Pets are prohibited on the following trails:
    • Precipice
    • Beehive
    • Ladder Trail to Dorr Mountain
    • Beech Cliffs Trail
    • Perpendicular Trail (Mansell Mountain)
    • Jordan Cliffs Trail between Penobscot East Trail and the carriage road
  • Duck Harbor Campground on Isle au Haut

Acadia Park Headquarters:

(207) 288-3338

Exceptions & Conditions

Service animals are an exception to these rules and may accompany their owner to all park locations. If you are looking for kennels where you can leave your pet for a short time, local chambers of commerce can provide that information. There is one in Ellsworth and Bar Harbor.

With the exception of the park's carriage roads, the use of dog sleds, dog carts, and skijoring with dogs is permitted on all closed motor roads and fire roads under the following conditions:

  • Dog sleds may be pulled by no more than four dogs, with a combined tow and tug line of not more than 12 feet. Sleds must be equipped with a braking system, and in the winter, with one snow hook.
  • Skijorers must utilize a commercially manufactured skijor belt with quick release and tugline. The tugline should be equipped with a built-in shock cord, and may not exceed a combined length of 10 feet. Skijorers may use up to two dogs, which must be harnessed with either an “X” or “H” harness. A simple dog collar is not considered a harness.

Protect Your Pets

Pet lovers view their pets as family members. When we travel somewhere, especially on a vacation, we feel like they should be with us as much as if they were our own child. However, please consider carefully when taking pets into certain park locations where it could be risky due to slippery rocks, seaweed, and especially areas where they could fall from heights. Especially be careful if leaving a pet in a vehicle for any length of time. Preferably, never do this for any reason. The temperature may feel cool outside with the ocean breeze but the temperature inside the car can rise very quickly to a level that can harm and even cause death.