Sandy shorelines to run along and rocky islands to scramble over—there are some places along Maine’s 3,000 miles of coastline for you and your furry companion.
Laite Memorial Beach | Camden
Hidden from the road at the base of a grassy hillside, this pebble beach faces Camden Harbor and Mount Battie. From May 1 to September 30 dogs are allowed on the beach from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. They can be off leash as long as the owner can control the dog with voice commands and has a leash in hand. If you are visiting from out of town, there are several dog-friendly inns in the area, including 16 Bay View, Grand Harbor Inn, and the Lord Camden Inn.
Hendricks Head Beach | Southport Island
Nestled behind Hendricks Head Light and less than a mile from the Southport General Store is a summer haven for dogs. This local island beach allows dogs to run and swim off leash any time of the day. Kitten Island, a mini mountain that offers views of the Sheepscot River, is close to the shore and provides dogs with a place to climb and explore. If you’re looking for less sandy terrain, across the street is Hendricks Head Preserve, which has a half-mile trail through a pine forest.
East End Beach | Portland
At the foot of the Eastern Promenade is a paved walking trail that leads to a small beach with views of Fort Gorges and Peaks Island. Here, dogs are allowed to play off leash before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The owner must have the leash in hand and be able to control the dog with voice commands. Doggie bags are provided.
Long Sands Beach | York
With a mile and a half of white sand and a long boardwalk, this popular destination is a great place for dogs to run and play along the shore. From May 20 to September 20 dogs are allowed to be off leash from sunrise to 8 a.m. They are also allowed after 6 p.m. but must be on a leash.
Gooch’s Beach | Kennebunk
This dog-friendly beach is located on the eastern end of a string of beaches and connected to both Middle and Mother’s Beach by a long coastal sidewalk. Dogs are allowed on all three of these beaches before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. from June 15 to the day after Labor Day. Owners can walk their dogs off leash if they can control them with voice commands.
Willard Beach | South Portland
Located near Southern Maine Community College, this stretch of sandy coastline is a favorite play spot for families and their dogs. Off-leash dogs are allowed from May 1 to September 30 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you’re looking for more to explore, leashed dogs are allowed to walk along the Spring Point Shoreway Trail, which leads to Spring Point Ledge Light.
Bar Island Sandbar | Bar Harbor
At low tide, the sandbar connecting Bar Harbor and Bar Island appears, allowing owners and their leashed dogs (six-foot leash required) to walk along the gravel bar to the uninhabited island. On the island, the trail weaves through the woods and leads to another view of Bar Harbor. Timing for this hike is critical: the sandbar is exposed for only three hours at a time.