Acadia Dog Policy
Acadia National Park is Dog Friendly
Acadia is a beautiful and dramatic park that encompasses granite mountains, rocky coastlines, beaches, forests, and lakes. It covers much of Mount Desert Island and several nearby coastal areas. This is one of the most popular National Parks in the US, and boasts an extensive trail system, roadways, carriage roads, and campgrounds.
Acadia National Park is a dog friendly National Park. Dogs are allowed along a number of trails and in most campgrounds.
Acadia National Park also runs the BARK Ranger program where you can get a special dog tag by following best practices with your dog (see the BARK Ranger section below). As of the last report, the BARK Ranger tags currently must be purchased at Acadia National Park, and cost $6.95 (as of September 2023).
Dogs are allowed on most trails at Acadia National Park. There are over 100 miles of trails where dogs are allowed.
The following trails are closed to dogs:
- Ladder Trail to Dorr Mountain
- Beech Cliffs Trail
- Perpendicular Trail (Mansell Mountain)
- Jordan Cliffs Trail between Penobscot East Trail and the carriage road
The following trails are not recommended for dogs. These trails may have ladders or rungs, and may be very difficult for dogs to traverse:
- Acadia Mountain
- Flying Mountain
- Giant Slide
- Cadillac Mountain - West Face
- Bubble and Jordan Ponds Path, between the carriage road and The Featherbed pond
- Norembega Goat Trail
- Bubbles-Pemetic Trail
- Penobscot Mountain (Spring) Trail
- Upper Beachcroft Trail
- Upper Gorge Trail
Dogs are allowed at three out of four campgrounds. Here are the details on the campgrounds at Acadia:
Dogs are allowed on all carriage roads at Acadia National Park. There are 45 miles of these roads for hikers, bicyclists, and horse-drawn carriages. These roads are typically easier than the trails, but still very scenic, so they are usually very popular. You can read more about them at the NPS page about Acadia's carriage roads
Bark Ranger is a really great program that some National Park Service destinations run. The Bark Ranger program teaches dog owners responsible behaviors with their dogs, and in return you get a special dog tag that’s different for each park (note: some parks require you to purchase the tag at the end). You start the program by going to a park office and picking up a checklist. When you complete the checklist (see the link below for more details), you can get your special dog tag.
B.A.R.K. is an acronym for:
- B: Bag your poop
- Help keep the park clean by bagging and picking up your dog poop, and properly disposing of it. Don’t leave your bagged poop on the side of the trail, hanging from branches, or throw it into the woods. Please note dog poop is not a natural fertilizer — it can carry disease that can spread to wildlife or other dogs.
- A: Always wear a leash
- Dogs must be restrained on a leash no longer than 6'. Retractable leashes that extend beyond 6' are not allowed. Not everyone appreciates a dog running up to them, and many people are scared or allergic to dogs — a leash prevents uncomfortable situations between your dog and others. Leashes also help protect your dog from running off if anything spooks them.
- R: Respect wildlife
- Dogs can chase or scare wildlife such as birds and turtles. They can also damage nesting areas. Some parks have wildlife, such as bears, coyotes, or wolves, that can threaten your dog. Please be respectful of wildlife with your dog, and if you do encounter wildlife, keep dog at distance to protect both your dog and the wildlife.
- K: Know where to go
- Know which trails allow dogs, and which don’t. Don’t leave dogs unattended in vehicles while you go off to hike. See the link below for more details.
For more information on the Bark Ranger program, please see: https://www.nps.gov/articles/be-an-acadia-bark-ranger.htm
We also have a list of all parks that run the BARK Ranger program.