National Recreation Area

Delaware Water Gap Dog Policy

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is Dog Friendly

Dogs Allowed
with 6' Leash & Exceptions []
Dogs Allowed
with 6' Leash & Exceptions []
Dogs Limited

Delaware Water Gap encompasses 40 miles of river, over 150 miles of hiking trails, three beaches, and more. The park offers hiking, fishing, hunting, paddling, and exploring.

Delaware Water Gap is dog friendly. Dogs can go to most areas, including trails, while on a leash.

There are some places dogs can't go, though. They are:

  • Pennsylvania
    • Dingmans Falls Visitor Center and Recreation Site which includes the Boardwalk Trail
    • George W. Childs Park
    • Milford Beach (from Memorial Day → Labor Day)
    • Raymondskill Falls Recreation Site
    • Smithfield Beach (from Memorial Day → Labor Day)
    • Valley View Group Sites
  • New Jersey
    • Turtle Beach (from Memorial Day → Labor Day)
    • Kittatinny Point Picnic Area
    • Rivers Bend Group Sites

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area also runs the BARK Ranger Program, where you can earn a special dog tag by learning and following responsible practices (see the BARK Ranger section below).


Pet Policy Details
BARK Ranger
Yes []
Annual Visitors

Trail Policy

Dogs are allowed on most trails while on a leash no longer than 6'. You can read about trail options at the National Park Service site.

The exceptions where dogs are not allowed are:

  • Dingmans Falls Visitor Center and Recreation Site which includes the Boardwalk Trail

Campground Policy

Dogs are allowed at most non-group campgrounds. In addition to the campground on farther below, there are the following dog-friendly campgrounds:

Beach Policy

Dogs are not allowed on Milford, Smithfield, or Turtle beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, they are allowed on those beaches the rest of the year.

BARK Ranger

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:

We also have a list of all parks that run the BARK Ranger program.

Location & Map

Have a photo of your dog here?

Note: Policies can change -- please make sure to check official dog/pet policies prior to making plans or booking travel.

Please tell us if you think there’s anything we should add or change on this page.

All other text and images, except where noted, copyright ASR Concepts, LLC, all rights reserved.