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14 Places to Take Your Dog Swimming in Maryland

From dog beaches to indoor hydrotherapy pools to stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking with your dog, 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 14 favorite spots for dogs to swim in Maryland, complete with tips for first-time visitors from local pups.



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

Parking: $6 (cash or check) OR *as of 2023* non-Anne Arundel County residents can purchase an Annual Pass for $40 here!

Hours: 7AM to sunset daily

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.




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

Parking: $6 (cash or check) OR *as of 2023* non-Anne Arundel County residents can purchase an Annual Pass for $40 here!

Hours: 7AM to dusk daily

Leash Rules: Dogs can be off-leash at this fenced-in 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 a leash if you're looking to spend more time here with your dog!




Address: 1112 Romancoke Road, Stevensville MD, 21666

Parking: Free

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset

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 trail straight to the 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, clubhouse, or its lawn.


After making a right on Sonny Shultz Blvd, proceed approximately 0.2 miles to the Matapeake Beach and Clubhouse parking lot. The trail 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.




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

Parking: Free

Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset

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 a 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!





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

Parking: $5 (cash only)

Hours: Open daily from 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-mile 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!




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.




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.




Main Location: 2015 Turkey Point Road, Essex, MD 21221 (NEW: they also have locations in Canton & the Inner Harbor!)

Parking: Free

Hours: Varies, check their website for the latest

Cost: Rentals start at $30

Leash Rules: Dogs do not need to be leashed while on the board, but a biothane drag line 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. Don't have one? Here is one of our favs on Amazon Prime.


Registration for Dogs of Charm City x Bmore SUP Doggie Paddle classes for Summer 2024 can be found HERE. We highly encourage the humans to have prior paddle board experience before registering for a group Doggie Paddle (no experience required for dogs though). No experience? We all have to start somewhere, right?! Check out one of our First Timer Doggie Paddle classes! These groups are smaller, depart out first thing in the morning when the water is calm, and more time is spent on land introducing your pup to the board and how to properly get on and off the water.


Address: 600 Quiet Waters Park 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 are welcome! You can also book a private rental and bring your dog anytime for no extra charge.



10. Whoof on the Wharf

Address: 48 S River Road, Pier 7 Marina, Edgewater, MD 21037

Parking: Free

Hours: Varies, check out their website for the latest

Cost: Rentals start at $35

Leash Rules: Dogs do not need to be leashed while on the water!


Canoe, kayak, and paddleboard with your dog on the South River at the newest dog-friendly watersports destination in Annapolis! From group excursions to yappy hours and dog yoga classes, Whoof on the Wharf offers something for every dog lover who enjoys being on the water with their pup. Equipment is available to rent, but you are also welcome to bring your own and launch from their landing. Stop in the marina clubhouse afterward for dog ice cream and some retail therapy!


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

Parking: Free

Cost: Starts at $25 & reservations are strongly encouraged!

Hours: 10a-7 M-F, 9a-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). The pool is located within the Pet Depot Pet Store, so grab a post-swim treat before leaving. 😏 Open year-round.




Address: 12948 Travlah Road, Potomac, MD

Parking: Free

Cost: Starts at $48 on Wild Wednesdays only

Hours: Daily from 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. A swim coach is in the water with your dog at all times.



13. North Point State Park

Address: 8400 North Point Road Edgemere, MD 21219

Parking: Varies from $3/vehicle to $6/person

Hours: Daily from 8AM to sunset

Leash Rules: Dogs must be leashed at all times


Pets are allowed in all undeveloped areas. Pets are allowed in day-use areas after Labor Day to Memorial Day weekend. Off-season, from Labor Day to Memorial Day, dogs are allowed in the water access areas. During summer months there is water access open for dogs in the undeveloped areas, accessed by park trails. Ask for assistance at the Gatehouse or Visitor Center for directions to these spots!



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! (No, this is not an ad 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 Park (closed through Summer 2024 for improvements)

  • Rocky Gap State Park

  • Canine Fitness Center LLC

  • Olde Towne Pet Resort


Deleware and Maryland's Dog-Friendly Beaches:


*Note: All Delaware State Parks require dogs to have a license! Get yours here.

  • 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 (Sept 16 to May 14)

  • Dewey Beach (Sept 16 to May 14, or before 9;30 AM or after 5:30PM May 15 to Sept 20)

  • Lewes Beach (Oct 1 to April 30, or before 8 AM or after 6:30PM May 1 to September 30)

  • Cape Henlopen State Park (year-round)

  • Slaughter Beach (year-round)

  • Cape Charles (year-round)


Love exploring dog-friendly places in Maryland? Check out these posts:



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