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Pets in Parks

Pennsylvania state parks welcome pets in designated areas!

Pets are permitted in:

  • Day-use areas
  • Designated sites in campgrounds
  • Designated cabins, camping cottages, and yurts
  • All areas not otherwise closed to pets

Pets are prohibited in:

  • Swimming areas
  • Inside buildings
  • Non-pet overnight areas
  • Any area designated as an area closed to pets

Because uncontrolled pets may chase wildlife or frighten visitors, pets must be physically controlled and attended at all times and on a leash, caged, or crated. Electronic fences and leashes are prohibited. Temporary fencing and all types of electronic shock collar or monitoring systems do not meet the physical control definition and are therefore prohibited as the primary control method. In addition, pets may not be tied to trees, porches, or anchored to the ground.

State Park Pet Guidelines and Regulations

Responsible ownership is the key! Please obey the following rules when bringing your pet to a state park:

  • Pets that are considered vicious, aggressive, or that display hostile behavior, will not be permitted in the park.
  • Pet owners must pick up after their pets and dispose of pet waste properly.
  • Dogs and cats must have current rabies vaccinations. A pet must display a valid license, if required in its home state.
  • Pets must not be left unattended, except when using a restroom or visiting a park building for a brief period of time. When doing so, the pet must be kept in a camping unit or vehicle, weather conditions permitting.
  • Pets may not create a disturbance or nuisance. Excessive barking is a disturbance.

Where to Camp with a Pet

A statewide map and list of all Pennsylvania state park campgrounds offering overnight facilities and associated amenities including campgrounds that permit pets is on the Where to Camp page.

Pet Camping Fact Sheet (PDF)

Additional Pet Camping Guidelines

  • Pets can only be brought into a designated campground if caged, contained in a vehicle, trailer, motor home or camper, or on a leash. Inquire at the park office about specific leash length requirements.
  • No more than two non-caged pets are allowed to stay on any one campsite.
  • Pet food must not remain outside of a camping unit or vehicle because it will attract rodents/wildlife.
  • Pets are to be walked in the designated walking areas of the campground and on designated pet walkways when accessing other areas of the park from the campground. Pets may not be walked through non-pet areas of the campground unless it is designated as a pet-camper travel route.

State Park Lodging Facilities that Allow Dogs

A statewide map and list of all Pennsylvania sate park cabins, camping cottages, and yurts, and associated amenities including facilities that permit dogs is on the Lodging Locations page.

Dogs in Cabins Fact Sheet (PDF)

Additional Guidelines for Dogs in Cabins

  • A maximum of two dogs per cottage/cabin are allowed, regardless of size.
  • Dogs must be clean and free of ticks, fleas, worms, and mange.
  • For the dog’s health and safety of park staff, dogs may not be left unattended in cottages/cabins.
  • Only house-trained dogs are allowed in cottages/cabins. Female dogs should not be in cottages/cabins while in cycle (heat).
  • Extra fees will be assessed for damages to the cottage/cabin and/or fixtures, or if special cleaning is required. Park staff will assess damage fees based upon the materials and labor required to make any repairs necessary to return the damaged area to its condition before the damage occurred.
  • Dog food must not remain outside of a cottage/cabin because it will attract rodents/wildlife.

What Do Pennsylvania State Parks Consider as Pets?

A house pet is limited to any dog or cat commonly kept in household captivity, or a caged pet.

A caged pet is an animal that will not be released from its cage for the duration of its stay in the state park, like birds and hamsters.

A pet is not livestock, like horses, cows, pigs, sheep, and goats.

A pet is not a vicious or dangerous animal, like any animal with a history of attacking without provocation.

More information is available at any Pennsylvania state park office or by calling 888-PA-PARKS.