12 Places to Take Your Dog Swimming in Maryland

Updated: Nov 7


From dog beaches to indoor hydrotherapy pools to stand-up paddleboarding, there are many dog-friendly swimming options for water-loving pups here in Maryland that are open year-round! Read on for the inside scoop on our top twelve favorite spots for dogs to swim in Maryland, complete with tips for first-time visitors from local pups.



1. Downs Park Dog Beach

Address: 8311 John Downs Loop, Pasadena, MD, US, 21122

Parking: $6 (cash or check)

Hours: 7AM to Dusk, Closed on Tuesdays

Leash Rules: Dogs can be off-leash on the beach, but must be leashed on park trails outside beach

Downs Park Dog Beach is small, secluded, and (mostly) fenced-in. There are plenty of shady areas and amazing views of Chesapeake Bay! the 236-acre park hosts more than 5 miles of paved and natural trails to be enjoyed with your pup before or after swimming.





2. Quiet Waters Dog Beach

Address: 600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis, MD 21403

Parking: $6 (cash or check)

Hours: 7AM to Dusk, Closed on Tuesdays

Leash Rules: Dogs can be off-leash on the beach, but must be leashed on park trails outside beach

Voted runner up for Best Spot to Take a Dip in our 2020 Choice Awards, Quiet Waters Dog Beach is probably the most visited dog beach by Baltimore locals. This 340-acre park also offers several trails that wind through forests and past grassy fields to explore on leash if you're looking to spend more time here with your dog!






3. Matapeake Park Dog Beach

Address: 1112 Romancoke Road, Stevensville MD, 21666

Parking: Free

Hours: 8a to Dusk

Leash Rules: Dogs can be off-leash in defined dog areas, but must be leashed on park trails outside beach

Situated on Kent island right off of the Bay Bridge, Matapeake is a public beach with a designated dog beach area. Compared to Downs Dog Beach, Matapeake beach has a slightly wider area of sand for the dogs to run around on. Be aware that dogs are not allowed to access other parts of Matapeake State Park including the public beach or clubhouse.


After making a right on Sonny Shultz Blvd, proceed approximately 0.2 miles to the Matapeake Beach and Clubhouse parking lot. The path to the dog beach begins at the fence that borders the rear of the clubhouse. It is about a 5-minute walk to the dog beach on a shaded, wooded trail.





4. Terrapin Nature Park

Address: 191 Log Canoe Cir, Stevensville, MD, US, 21666

Parking: Free

Hours: 8AM to Dusk

Leash Rules: Dogs must be leashed in all areas of the park


After parking in the parking lot, follow the side trail to the beach, a 10-12 minute walk. Dogs have to be kept on-leash, but the gorgeous views of the Chesapeake Bay will make up for it! The beach is a very small strip of sand on the bay, but the 3-mile walking trail makes for a nice outing!


Stop by Blackwater Distilling located right across the street after the beach for a drink on their dog-friendly patio or one of their shaded picnic tables.





5. Calvert Cliffs State Park

Address: 10540 H G Trueman Rd, Lusby, MD 20657

Parking: $5

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Leash Rules: dogs must be leashed in all areas of the park


Calvert Cliffs State Park Beach is home to 13 miles of hiking trails and dog-friendly picnic areas. The Red Trail will take you to the beach where your dog can swim. It’s a 1.8 shaded trail through the woods that will take you to an all-natural beach. Calvert Cliffs State Park is known for being home to all kinds of wildlife - beavers, turtles, lizards and more!





6. Patapsco Valley State Park

Address: 8020 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21043

Parking: Free

Hours: 9AM-Sunset

Leash Rules: Dogs must be leashed in all areas of the park


Voted Best Spot to Take a Dip AND Best Hiking Spot in our 2020 Choice Awards, Patapsco State Park is a top destination for Baltimore dog owners year-round. Swimming is allowed in all areas along the river unless posted otherwise. If you are coming for the first time, we recommend checking out alltrails.com beforehand to plan a route (there are 200 miles of trails!). Our favorite dog-friendly hiking areas with areas for swimming and splashing around include McKeldin, Hilton, Avalon and Woodstock.





7. Gunpowder Falls State Park

Address: 2813 Jerusalem Road, Kingsville, MD 21087

Parking: Free

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Leash Rules: Dogs must be leashed in all areas of the park


Spanning more than 18,000 acres of green forest with over 100 trails and tons of water access, there is a LOT to be explored at Gunpowder. Big Gunpowder Trail, Gunpowder South Trail, Sweet Air Loop, Jerusalem Mills Trail Loop and Gunpowder North Trail are favorite trails among local dog owners.


The giant Hammerman Beach area of Gunpowder is not dog-friendly during the swimming season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), however, you can bring your dog to run on the beach and swim after Labor Day during the off-season.





8. BMORE Sup

Address: 7255 Bayside Rd, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732

Parking: Free

Hours: Varies, check their website for the latest

Cost: Rentals start at $25

Leash Rules: Dogs do not need to be leashed while on the board, but a long lead may be a good idea if your dog's recall while swimming needs some work 😉


If you haven't tried stand-up paddleboarding with your dog, you need to give it a try this summer! Sign up for a group doggie paddle class with other dogs and dog owners, or book a private rental and select the $5 dog add-on option! Dogs must wear a life jacket.


Upcoming Group Doggie Paddle Classes:

  • Tuesday, September 15th @6PM benefitting Wings of Love Kuwait (at Dundalk)

  • Sunday, September 27th @10:30AM (at Tiki Lee's)




9. Capital Sup

Address: 7314 Edgewood Road, Annapolis, MD 21403

Parking: Free

Hours: Varies, check out their website for the latest

Cost: Rentals start at $25 (less if you bring your own board!)

Leash Rules: Dogs do not need to be leashed while on the board, but a long lead may be a good idea if your dog's recall while swimming needs some work 😉


SUP with your PUP and Paddle the waterways with your furry companion on a guided tour led by instructor Lindsay Cook and her dog Huckleberry! Life jacket rentals are available for $10. All levels of paddlers and waterdogs welcome! You can also book a private rental and bring your dog anytime for no extra charge.


Upcoming Yappy Hour Group Classes:

  • Sunday, September 13th @ 6PM benefiting Wings of Love Kuwait

  • Wednesday, August 19th @ 6:30PM




10. Pet Depot Hydrotherapy Pool

Address: 2151 Greenspring Dr, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

Parking: Free

Cost: Starts at $22

Hours: 10a-7 M-F, 10a-6p Sat, 10a-5 Sun

Leash Rules: Dogs do not need to be leashed in the pool area. Long leads are provided if you choose to guide your dog around the pool if it's his or her first time swimming


Beat the heat and take swimming indoors! The Pet Depot indoor pool is 4-feet deep on all sides and has a ramp for dogs to enter. Life jackets and towels are provided. You can reserve the pool in 15-minute intervals, and up to 5 dogs can enter the pool at once (no humans allowed in the pool). Be sure to call ahead to make a reservation! The pool is located within the Pet Depot Pet Store, so grab a post-swim treat before leaving. 😏 Open year-round.





11. K9 Aquatic Center

Address: 12948 Travlah Road, Potomac, MD

Parking: Free

Cost: Starts at $35

Hours: 9AM-5PM

Leash Rules: Dogs do not need to be leashed in the pool area.


With five pools heated to 85 degrees, K9 Aquatic Center knows what they are doing! The pools are sanitized with a state-of-the-art UV system, and the filters are changed weekly. K9 offers regular swim sessions, pool parties, and special pricing on Wednesdays and Fridays. A swim coach is in the water with your dog at all times.





12. Book a Private Pool at Swimply.com

Cost: Booking is by the hour and ranges from $25-$100/hour. Most pools allow you to swim with 5 or more people, which is included in the hourly rate.


Meet Swimply, the AirBnB of pools! Turn on the dog-friendly filter to find a private pool in your area to rent for an hour or a whole day! Use code FIRSTTIMER25 for $25 off your first swim. (No, this is not an add and we do not get a commission for this... we just think this app is a great option for dogs who like to swim!)



MORE SPOTS TO CHECK OUT:

  • Fort Smallwood

  • Rocky Gap State Park


Beaches in Maryland and Deleware that Allow Dogs:

  • Assateague Beach (year-round)

  • Fenwick Island State Park (year-round, small fee)

  • Ocean City (Oct 1 to April 30)

  • Rehoboth Beach (Oct 1 to April 30)

  • Bethany Beach (Oct 1 to May 14)

  • South Bethany Beach (Oct 16 to May 14)

  • Dewey Beach (Oct 1 to April 30, after 5:30PM May 1- Sept 20)

  • Lewes Beach (Oct 1 to April 30)

  • Slaughter Beach (year-round)

  • Cape Charles (year-round)


And that's a wrap!! We hope that you've discovered a new place or two to take your dog for a dip. Looking for more dog-friendly places in Maryland to visit with your dog? Check out the winners of our Dogs of Charm City 2020 Choice Awards!

contact

LINKS

Mailing Address:

Dogs of Charm City

714 S Wolfe St. #38782

Baltimore, MD 21231 

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