Pets in Parks

Pennsylvania State Parks welcomes pets in designated areas. Pets are permitted in day-use areas, on designated sites in campgrounds 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.

Where to Camp has a listing of parks that allow pets in campgrounds.

Camping has the guidelines for pets on designated campsites.

Dogs in Cabins Pilot Program has information of which parks allow dogs in designated camping cottages and yurts, and the guidelines.

Cabins has locations and the guidelines for dogs in designated cabins.

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.

For reservations, call toll-free, 888-PA-PARKS (888-727-2757), 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. These parks have limited pet sites so be sure to specify to the call center operator that you desire a campsite that permits pets.