There is a brief, blissful period at this time of year when it's warm enough to enjoy a sea breeze, but no one is lying in the sand (or on the rocks) just yet: which means it's still off-leash season at many local beaches!
The following photos come from some of my favorite public spaces to visit with my rescue dog, who tends to take issue with other large white things, like FedEx trucks. Anywhere away from a road where he can run free makes a great dog walk for me. While there are plenty of options in Portland proper (see the bottom of this post), you can mix up your routine with a short trip off of the peninsula too.
FERRY BEACH, SCARBOROUGH
Dogs are allowed without a leash right through June 15th! From mid-June through September 15th, you can still visit with your pet: from sunrise to 9am well-behaved dogs are allowed to run free (although owners must carry a leash), and from 5pm to sunset, leashed walks are permissable.
WILLARD BEACH, SOUTH PORTLAND
From early October through the end of April, dogs are allowed off-leash but under voice control. From May 1st through September 30th, dogs on a leash are allowed between 7-9am and 7-9pm.
QUARRY RUN DOG PARK AND TRAIL, FALMOUTH/PORTLAND BORDER
Granted, Quarry Run is on the site of a former landfill, but it includes a long walking trail, as well as seven fenced-in acres of dog park with varied terrain. If you have a social animal, this one is a must-visit, year-round.
ROYAL RIVER PARK, YARMOUTH
From April 15th through November 15th dogs are required to be on a leash from 9am-6pm. During the darker days of winter, off-leash time begins at 3pm. Regardless, the river walk is worth it and the "Picnic Point" section of the park is an off-leash area at all times. Yarmouth is also home to the excellent Pratt's Brook Park, a series of trails over 220 acres that are off-leash year-round.
WINSLOW PARK, FREEPORT
This year the camping season begins on May 24th. During the off-season, dogs under voice control are welcome, and summer visitors paying an entry fee may bring their leashed dogs (however, throughout the year dogs are not permitted on the sandy beach or playground).
Portland loves pets (visit Fish & Bone or Planet Dog or shop with your dog at Longfellow Books for evidence of this.) Within the city limits, unleashed dogs are allowed under voice command in the following public areas:
- Capisic Pond Park, Capisic Street Portland
- Evergreen Cemetery (to the north and west of Northern Avenue, in undeveloped wooded area)
- East End Beach (day after Labor Day to the day before Memorial Day)
- Eastern Promenade Park Off-Leash Area, Cutter Street Portland within (1) the area bounded by the following: Cutter Street to the lower sidewalk to the exit side of the Fort Allen roadway and back to Cutter Street; and (2) the mid-slope nature path. Said areas of Eastern Promenade park to be open to dogs under voice control from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. of each day, and from Labor Day through Memorial Day from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. of each day.
- Hall School Woods, 23 Orono Road Portland
- Jack School Dog Run, North Street and Washington Avenue Portland
- Pine Grove Park, Harpswell Road Portland
- Portland Arts & Technology School Dog Run, 196 Allen Avenue Portland
- Quarry Run Dog Park
- Riverton Park, Riverside Street Portland
- University Park, Harvard Street Portland
- Valley Street Dog Park, Valley Street Portland
- Any city-owned island park areas and open space (unless posted otherwise).