Guide Dogs in DCR Parks

Dogs and their owners are welcome in DCR’s parks, and we encourage all dog owners and their dogs to be respectful of other park users and neighbors. Join us in the stewardship of our parks by being a responsible dog owner and park partner.
DCR welcomes dogs on-leash at most DCR parks, forests, and reservations. However, there are a number of locations where dogs are not allowed, mostly for public safety, public health, or habitat concerns or deed restriction purposes.

Table of Contents

Off-leash areas

 DCR allows dogs off-leash at the following properties, in the specified areas only:   
(Please note:  Dogs must be on-leash in all parking areas.)

North Region

  • Breakheart Reservation in Saugus, at Bark Place.
  • Callahan State Park in Framingham, on designated trails.
  • Georgetown Rowley State Forest in Georgetown and Rowley, on trails.   
  • Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle, on trails not in the farm or pond area.  
  • Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover, on trails not in the recreational area and campgrounds.  
  • Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest in Dracut, on trails.   
  • Middlesex Fells Reservation in Stoneham, in Sheepfold area.

Boston Region

  • Southwest Corridor Park in Boston, in Carlton Court Dog Park, abutting Carleton Street between Braddock Park and Holyoke Street.

South Region

  • Borderland State Park in Easton/Sharon, in designated area.
  • Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in Edgartown, on designated fire lanes.  
  • Stodder’s Neck in Hingham, in designated areas.  
  • Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, on trails, with the exception of the trail that extends from the Cohasset gate to the power lines, and not in recreation areas or campgrounds.    

Central Region

  • Erving State Forest in Erving, on fire roads and access road, not in the recreation area or campground.
  • Mt. Grace State Forest in Warwick, on trails 100 feet from the recreation area.  
  • Warwick State Forest in Warwick, on trails not in the recreation area or campground.  

West Region

  • Chester-Blandford State Forest in Blandford, on trails.
  • Clarksburg State Park in Clarksburg, on trails not in the recreation area or campground.   
  • Jug End State Reservation and Wildlife Management Area in Egremont, on trails.
  • October Mountain State Forest in Lee, on trails not in the recreation area or campground.
  • Pittsfield State Forest in Pittsfield, on trails not in the recreation area or campground.  

Rules may vary at each of these areas.  Please follow posted rules and regulations.

Key Actions for Off-leash areas

Service animals

Service and medical support animals, when acting within their service capacity, are welcome at DCR properties, even those where pets are otherwise prohibited.

Rules and etiquette

To ensure an enjoyable parks experience for all visitors, DCR requests that all dog owners observe the following rules and etiquette while recreating with dogs at DCR properties where dogs are allowed:

  • Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with current tags for license and rabies vaccine.
  • Bring no more than four (4) dogs per person at one time, unless the owner has a special use permit or commercial dog walking permit issued in accordance with DCR regulations.
  • Always clean up after your dog(s) and carry out waste or dispose of it in an appropriate receptacle.  Do not leave it on the ground.
  • Dogs must be on-leash in all parking areas.
  • Make sure that dogs do not damage conservation land.
  • Unless invited, do not allow your dog, even if friendly, to approach other dogs or people, who may not desire such contact.  Keep dogs under effective control at all times and make sure they do not engage in aggressive behavior.
    • In on-leash areas, dogs must be tethered on a leash of no more than ten feet in length
    • In designated off-leash areas, dogs must be under control either through voice control or electronic training collar, or in a manner directed by a law enforcement officer, DCR ranger, or other DCR personnel.  This means your dog:
      • is within sight at all times
      • comes immediately when called
      • stays at your command
      • does not charge or chase people, dogs, horses, or wildlife
      • is leashed when entering or exiting an off-leash area.   The owner should have one leash in hand for each dog.

Visitors who do not abide by these rules may be subject to eviction from the park and/or receive a fine. 

Commercial dog walking permits

Commercial dog walkers must obtain an annual commercial dog walking permit from DCR in order to bring up to eight dogs at a time to DCR parks.

Commercial dog walking permits are issued for a calendar year and must be on the walker at all times while handling dogs in a DCR park.

Key Actions for Commercial dog walking permits

Where are dogs not allowed

Dogs are not allowed, mostly for public safety, public health, or habitat concerns or deed restriction purposes.

  • Walden Pond State Reservation, Concord, MA
  • Moore State Park, Paxton, MA
  • City Square Park, Charlestown, MA
  • Plum Island’s Sandy Point State Reservation, Newburyport, MA
  • Boston Harbor Islands
  • DCR buildings (administrative offices, visitor centers, restrooms)
  • Indoor skating rinks   
  • Cabins, yurts, and the encompassing areas
  •  DCR playgrounds
  •  DCR swimming pools
  •   DCR parking areas
  •   DCR coastal beaches and designated swimming areas of inland beaches from May 1 through September 15, unless otherwise posted.
  • Starting on April 1 of each year and extending through September 15, unless otherwise posted, DCR coastal beaches designated as priority nesting habitats for shore birds.    
  • All DCR’s Division of Water Supply Protection land and water, including the Quabbin, Sudbury, Wachusett, and Foss Reservoir watersheds, as well as the area on Rt. 122 in Barre and Oakham surrounding the Ware River Roger H. Lonergan Intake. 
  • Other posted areas

Key Actions for Where are dogs not allowed

Additional Resources for Where are dogs not allowed