How can I Find Good Places to Take my Dog Camping?

J. Beam

Camping is a favorite weekend pastime of many outdoor enthusiasts, but dog lovers sometimes find it difficult to include their canine pals in the excursion. Finding good places to go camping with your dog requires planning ahead and learning policies of local campgrounds, but there are many pet-friendly camping facilities to be found. Start by doing some research and asking friends and co-workers of places they have visited with their four-legged friends.

Pet owners who want their dogs to roam free should find campgrounds with no leash laws.
Pet owners who want their dogs to roam free should find campgrounds with no leash laws.

To find the best campgrounds for camping with dogs, use online resources. Most every city has a website that details their Visitors Bureau. Within each site you can usually find information about camping grounds, including whether or not dogs are allowed. Most state and national parks allow dogs to visit, but you should still be sure they are permitted to camp with their owners. If you can’t find specific information about camping with dogs, write down the phone numbers of places that interest you and call.

Dogs who enjoy water should be taken to destinations with beaches, lakes or streams.
Dogs who enjoy water should be taken to destinations with beaches, lakes or streams.

When camping with a dog, look for campgrounds that offer hiking trails. Since most facilities require owners to keep their dogs on a leash at all times, you'll want to take several opportunities to walk with your dog. Also, be sure to verify whether you are required to tether your dog while at your campsite. If so, be sure to bring along a stake and long enough chain. If you must tie up your dog, you want him to have room to roam a bit and standard leashes just aren’t long enough.

Some campgrounds have designated areas for dogs to be let loose. If you can locate such a facility, you’ll appreciate this added allowance. Take advantage of it and bring along a ball or flying disc to play with your dog. If your dog enjoys the water, make sure to check facilities for lakes or streams where your dog can go free.

Remember that public campgrounds must take into consideration all of their visitors, not just those with dogs so be a courteous dog owner. Show your gratitude towards pet-friendly facilities by being conscientious of picking up after your dog, following the rules regarding leashes, and not allowing your dog to disturb other campers with barking.

Exploring different places to go camping with your dog is an adventure in itself. There will likely be facilities you won’t return to, but perhaps just as many that you will visit again and again. If you plan to travel far for your camping trip, be sure to check for pet-friendly hotels along route. Traveling and camping with your dog can be a great experience if you plan a trip that accommodates both of you.

There are many pet-friendly campgrounds where dogs will be excited to be.
There are many pet-friendly campgrounds where dogs will be excited to be.

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Discussion Comments


If anyone is looking for a nice Dog friendly Campground near DC, Annapolis or Baltimore, go to Duncan's Family Campground. They gave our dogs treats when we checked in and they said all dogs get treats. The owner has five dogs herself so it's important to be dog friendly. There is a nice fenced in dog park back in a wooded area next to the trail. There was a small stream that our labs loved (not inside a fenced area). We stayed in one of their cabins. We put down a pet deposit which we didn't mind doing at all. We were just happy they could be with us. Cool place.


Anytime we start to pack our camping gear, our dogs get excited. They know we are going camping and they love it! They get to spend the whole weekend with us, take long walks, and explore new trails.

If I was not able to take my dogs camping with me, I would not go, or find a place where they could come with me. As long as you keep your dog on a leash, keep them quiet and pick up after them, I don't know why you would not be able to camp with them.

That is certainly one thing you would want to know before hand though. It would be bad if you got to a camping site away from home and then realized you couldn't have your dogs with you.


I have camped in many state parks across the Midwest and have never had a problem camping with my dogs. I have found that most people are pretty considerate and follow the rules. The most important one being, that your dogs must be tied up or on a leash at all times.

I have never been to a campground where there were not a lot of dogs, so this is crucial. You take a chance whenever you are doing any outdoor camping that dogs will be noisy and bark during the night - especially if they are not used to the many different sights and sounds of a campground.


Custer State Park in South Dakota is wonderful, beautiful, with great hiking. Mount Rushmore is nearby -- dogs can't go in there, but they have covered parking so your dog can stay in the car and be comfortable (best to go early in the day).


From experience, I know that State Parks in California and Delaware are dog-friendly, New Jersey is not, Pennsylvania is mixed.

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