Pets in Parks

Pennsylvania State Parks welcome pets in designated areas. Pets are permitted in day-use areas, on designated sites in campgrounds, in designated cabins, camping cottages, and yurts, and all areas not otherwise closed to pets. Pets are prohibited in swimming areas, inside buildings, in non-pet overnight areas, or in 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.

Where to Camp features a statewide list of all Pennsylvania State Park campgrounds offering overnight facilities and associated amenities including campgrounds that permit pets.

Camping lists the guidelines for pets on designated campsites. Participating campgrounds with pet friendly campsites are listed in the Pets in Campgrounds Factsheet 2016 (.pdf) (472 kb, 1/16) and the Pets in Campgrounds Factsheet 2017 (.pdf) (1,000 kb, 4/16).

Lodging Locations features a statewide map and list of all cabins, camping cottages, and yurts, and associated amenities including facilities that permit dogs.

Dogs in Cabins Program lists information and guidelines for the cabin program. A list of participating parks, pet friendly facilities, and other related details are in Dogs in Cabins Factsheet 2016 (.pdf) (129 kb, 1/16) and the Dogs in Cabins Factsheet 2017 (.pdf) (518 kb, 4/16).

What is a Pet?

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.

Pet Guidelines & Regulations

Responsible ownership is the key!

  • Dogs 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 must be under physical control at all times. 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.
  • Pets may not create a disturbance or nuisance. Excessive barking is a disturbance.
  • If entering a campground, pets are to be walked in the designated walking areas/walkways. Pets may not be walked through non-pet areas of the campground unless it is designated as a pet-camper travel route.
  • 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.
  • Pet food must not remain outside of a camping unit or vehicle because it will attract rodents/wildlife.

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