The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Maryland

South Ocean Beach
Assateague Island National Seashore • Berlin

Assateague Island - the sands were connected to the mainland until 1933 when an August hurricane tore open an inlet to the Sinepuxent Bay - is best known for its free-roaming Chincoteague ponies. Legend has it that the original herd escaped a shipwrecked Spanish galleon and swam ashore. The ponies rule the island and Seaman can see them on the roads or even meet them in the surf.

A lighthouse was erected in 1833 but ships still ran aground, including the Dispatch, the official yacht of five American presidents. The cruiser was ruined beyond repair when it reached the shore unscheduled on October 10, 1891.

Dogs are not allowed on the three short channel-side nature trails and can not go on lifeguarded beaches but once you and your dog start hiking at South Ocean Beach there are miles of undeveloped beach until the Virginia border is reached and dogs are not allowed further. That is the better part of a dozen miles so Sea- man can get a full day of beach hiking at Assateauge on the undeveloped, windswept beach sands.

Dogs are welcome any time of the year but even in summer you may well have most of this beach to yourself and your dog - especially in the off-season. Your best trail companion is also welcome in the National Seashore campground. Pack your own sticks for fetching in the surf; not much driftwood stays on the beach

HIKING TIME: 2-3 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Antietam National Battlefield
Dogs are allowed on the trails across the battlefield

Assateague Island National Seashore
Dogs are allowed on the beach but not on the trails

Catoctin Mountain Park
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Greenbelt Park
Dogs are allowed everywhere in this park

Monocacy National Battlefield
Dogs are allowed on the trails on the battlefield

Links to National Forests With Hiking


State Parks With Hiking


Maryland State Parks
Several of the Maryland state parks restrict dogs to certain areas. The following parks do not allow dogs: Assateague, Calvert Cliffs, Cunningham Falls (except in the wildlands areas), Deep Creek Lake, Fort Frederick State Park, Greenbrier, Herrington Manor, Martinak, Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, New Germany, the beach and trails at Point Lookout, Sandy Point, Smallwood, Swallow Falls (Memorial Day to Labor Day), Washington Monument

Big Run State Park 
Cedarville State Forest 
Dans Mountain State Park
Elk Neck State Park 
Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area 
Gambrill State Park 
Garrett State Forest 
Gathland State Park 
Green Ridge State Forest
Greenwell State Park 
Gunpowder Falls State Park
Janes Island State Park
Monacacy River Natural Resources Management Area Morgan Run Natural Environmental Area 
North Point State Park 
Patapsco Valley State Park 
(no dogs in day use)
Patuxent River State Park
Pocomoke River State Forest
Pocomoke River State Park
Potomac-Garrett State Forest
Purse State Park 
Rocks State Park 
Rocky Gap State Park 
Rosaryville State Park 
Savage River State Forest
Seneca Creek State Park 
Soldiers Delight Natural Environmental Area 
South Mountain State Park
St. Mary's River State Park
Susquehanna State Park
Tuckahoe State Park


Hiking With Your Dog Maryland