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Unleash Your Fun: Top Dog-Friendly Beaches on Long Island

Long Island is a beautiful place to visit with your furry friend, and there’s nothing better than taking your dog for a day out at the beach. But before you go, it’s important to know which beaches are dog-friendly and what to expect when you get there.

In this article, we will explore the top dog-friendly beaches on Long Island as well as tips for taking your dog to the beach, and amenities you can expect at Gardiner County Park.

Tips for Taking Your Dog to the Beach

Taking your dog to the beach can be a great experience, but it’s important to prepare beforehand. Before leaving your home, ensure that your dog is comfortable with water, and that they’re wearing a water-proof harness.

Dogs can become excited or anxious, and if they see a bird or another dog, they may run off. Therefore, it’s best to keep your dog on a harness to keep them safe.

To make your trip to the beach more fun, bring along some beach-friendly toys. Your dog may enjoy chasing a frisbee, fetching a ball or even playing tug of war with a rope.

However, ensure that the toys are not made of plastic as they could be a choking hazard. Be aware that specific beaches have different rules and requirements regarding taking your dog, so ensure to research ahead of time.

Additionally, clean up after your dog and dispose of the waste appropriately, keeping the beach clean for other visitors.

Top 7 Dog-Friendly Beaches on Long Island

1. Gardiner County Park

Gardiner County Park is on the east end of Long Island and is a popular spot for dog-owners.

This beach has a year-round dog-friendly area where dogs are allowed off the leash, and there is also an extensive network of hiking trails. Visitors can relax in the picnic area and make use of the park’s clean restrooms and facilities.

2. Port Jefferson Public Beach

This beach is ideal for early morning walks with your furry friend, as dogs are allowed on the beach before 9 am.

During this time, dogs can run off the leash and enjoy exploring the sand and water. Once the day progresses, dogs must remain on the leash, and this rule applies year-round.

3. Fire Island

Fire Island is a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

This beach is dog-friendly only during the non-peak seasons, so it’s best to check before heading out. During the peak season, Memorial Day to Labor Day, dogs are allowed only in the national seashore areas.

4. Cedar Point County Park

Cedar Point County Park is known for its rocky shoreline, which draws in adventure lovers.

Dogs can join you on this exploration, and they are allowed off-leash before 9 am. During open hours, dogs must remain on their leases.

5. Shadmoor State Park

Shadmoor State Park offers a diverse landscape of cliffs, beach, and forest.

During the off-peak season, dogs are allowed on the beach, but on-leash. In the summer months, this popular beach becomes less dog-friendly, with clear restrictions.

6. Camp Hero State Park

This park is known for its natural beauty and historic landmarks.

Dogs are allowed on the beach before 10 am and after 6 pm from March through September. Before and after the beach hours, dogs must remain on a leash at all times.

7. Mud Creek Dog Park

This park is a heaven for dogs in the Hamptons.

They have a fenced-in, off-leash area for dogs to run and play in the water. Dog owners can relax on the pavilion and enjoy the view while the dogs cost-free.

Amenities for Dogs and Their Owners at Gardiner County Park

Gardiner County Park is a great destination for anyone on Long Island who owns a dog. Apart from being dog-friendly, the park offers several other amenities that are useful for dog owners.

The park’s hiking trails are a popular destination for dog-owners who want a change in scenery from the beach. The park also has a fenced-in dog park that allows dogs to play off-leash.

The picnic area is another great feature of Gardiner County Park, allowing visitors to enjoy a family meal or snack in the fresh air. This area is clean and well-maintained, so visitors don’t have to worry about dirty picnic benches or trash cans.

While here, take advantage of the park’s water fountain designed specifically for dogs to keep them hydrated. Visitors will also be pleased to know that the restrooms and facilities are clean and well-maintained.

The parking lot at Gardiner County Park is small, so it’s important to arrive early to secure a spot. Long Island is a beautiful place to visit with your dog, and there are plenty of dog-friendly beaches to choose from.

However, be sure to do your research ahead of time to ensure you’re well-prepared. Once you’re there, take advantage of the amenities provided to make your trip more enjoyable.

Whether you’re hiking at Gardiner County Park or relaxing on the beach with your dog, make the most of your time on Long Island.

3) Port Jefferson Public Beach

Port Jefferson Public Beach is a wonderful location for any dog owner who wants a beach that is not too crowded. In this section, we will discuss nearby dog-friendly activities and restaurants to make your trip to this beach more enjoyable, as well as parking and beach characteristics.

Dog Activities and Nearby Restaurants

One of the most popular activities for dogs in Port Jefferson Public Beach is hiking the nearby trails. Mount Misery, the Greenbelt Trail, and the Davis Peach Trail are all located close to this beach, and they offer the best views of nature that Long Island has to offer.

While on a hike with your pup, make sure you bring water and stay on the trails to avoid ticks, poison ivy, and other hazards. There are several local dog-friendly stores around that you should also check out.

The Bathing Corpse Society in Port Jefferson offers dog grooming and cleaning services. The PetSmart is situated close by, making it an accessory and supply stop for your furry friend.

After a long day at the beach, enjoy a meal with your furry companion at any of the local dog-friendly restaurants and breweries. Danfords Hotel & Marina is a pet-friendly hotel and restaurant that takes pride in providing a great dining experience for both you and your pet.

For a casual experience, head to Toast Coffeehouse, a dog-friendly coffee shop that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.

Parking and Beach Characteristics

Port Jefferson Public Beach is situated near a residential district, giving you easy access to the beach via a small, free parking lot. Visitors should arrive early to avoid a struggle for parking, which could be the only downside.

There is also street parking, but it’s limited. Once you’re on the beach, you’ll notice that it isn’t typical sandy beaches.

Instead, the beach is a combination of pebbles and sand. When heading into the water, shoes are not necessary but tread cautiously as the transition happens at different depths-ranging in height up to three feet.

4) Fire Island

Fire Island is a scenic island situated on the south shore of Long Island, known for its serene beaches and abundant wildlife. In this section, we will examine the dog-friendly areas on Fire Island and the leash requirements and seasonal restrictions in place.

Dog-Friendly Areas on Fire Island

The Bayside Beaches are great for walking your dog on the sand and taking in captivating views while enjoying the sound of the waves. The boardwalk on the west end, known as the Parkside community, is a popular spot for families and their pets to enjoy a beach day.

If you’re camping on Fire Island, Watch Hill Campground has designated areas for dogs along the paths, but make sure you keep them on a leash as they’re sharing the space with others. Additionally, dogs are allowed on the ferry round trip and water taxis that welcome dogs with open paws.

Leash Requirements and Seasonal Restrictions

Fire Island is unique compared to other beaches that allow dogs. On Fire Island, you must keep your dogs on a 6-foot leash at all times from March 15th to Labor Day.

After Labor Day through March 14th, dogs are permitted off-leash in all areas except for the prohibited areas by the National Park Service. The National Park Service has stringent restrictions in place to protect wildlife and the environment, and visitors should observe these regulations.

Fortunately, Fire Island has many dog-welcome locations for visitors to enjoy. The areas designated for off-leash dogs before 10 am and after 6 pm is the Eastern Great South Bay, Point O’ Woods, and the Sea View pier.


Overall, Port Jefferson Public Beach and Fire Island offer fantastic dog-friendly beaches with a range of activities and restrictions. When visiting these beaches, make sure you prepare for your trip, such as having a water-proof harness and making use of local dog-friendly amenities such as parks and restaurants.

It’s also important to observe all leash requirements and seasonal restrictions to ensure future access to these beaches.

5) Cedar Point County Park

Cedar Point County Park is a place to go with your furry friend when you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This park is a beautiful 600-acre property that offers numerous outdoor activities.

In this section, we will discuss the hiking trails and other activities for dogs and their owners, as well as the park characteristics and dog regulations.

Hiking Trails and Other Activities for Dogs and Their Owners

Cedar Point County Park offers some of the most scenic hiking trails on Long Island. These trails offer views of rolling hills, forests, and coastline.

The park also includes a marina that provides boating access to the scenic waters surrounding the park. The park’s beach is a popular spot for swimming, scuba diving, and fishing.

There is also an abundance of bird-watching opportunities for visitors who love being surrounded by nature. Dog-owners can book a dog-friendly campsite within the park and enjoy all the other park amenities as well.

Park Characteristics and Dog Regulations

Cedar Point County Park is a large park with over 600 acres of land, and pets are welcome, but they must be on a leash and well-behaved. Visitors should maintain a six-foot distance between themselves, their pet, and other park visitors.

One of the exciting features of Cedar Point County Park is the historic Cedar Point Lighthouse, which was built to help boats navigate into Sag Harbor. While the lighthouse remains part of the park, only the beach area is open to dogs.

Visitors who plan to book a campsite should do so ahead of time since it’s a popular spot for camping, and campsites are known to be booked up months in advance.

6) Shadmoor State Park

Shadmoor State Park is located on the south shore of Long Island and provides visitors with a picturesque landscape. One of the best parts of this park is the easy hiking trails that offer dramatic cliff and shoreline views.

In this section, we will discuss the park features and easy hiking trails, as well as the dog regulations and areas prohibited to dogs.

Park Features and Easy Hiking Trails

Shadmoor State Park spans over 100 acres and offers 16 or more trails, including easy hiking trails, which are ideal for dog-owners. These trails provide you with stunning views of the dramatic cliffs and colorful foliage of the park.

The park also has plenty of picnic areas, and visitors can enjoy the scenery while dining with their furry friend.

Along with coastal hiking trails and ocean views, the park’s open green spaces are perfect for activities such as frisbee throwing or catch with your pup.

It is the perfect place to have a family picnic, fly kites, and enjoy beautiful sunsets.

Dog Regulations and Areas Prohibited to Dogs

Shadmoor State Park allows dogs but requires them to be on a leash at all times while in the park. Dogs can comfortably go off-leash while playing at the playground at the end of the parking lot.

There are a few areas in the park that are off-limits to dogs, including the golf courses, boardwalk, guarded beaches, playgrounds, and buildings. Visitors should be mindful, and it’s important to follow these restrictions to ensure that everyone can enjoy the park safely and comfortably.


Cedar Point County Park, and Shadmoor State Park offer visitors unique outdoor experiences that are perfect for dogs and their owners. Hiking on scenic trails, exploring dramatic cliffs and colorful foliage, enjoying picnic areas, and playing catch are just a few of the activities you can do while enjoying the Long Island outdoors.

When approaching these parks with your canine friend, always remember to follow pet-related regulations, whether it’s the leash rule or other restrictions to ensure that everyone has a good time.

7) Camp Hero State Park

Camp Hero State Park is a beautiful beachfront location known for its rich history and host of activities visitors can enjoy with their furry friends. In this section, we will discuss the diverse activities for dogs and their owners, as well as the regulations and fees visitors must comply with to enjoy the park.

Diverse Activities for Dogs and Their Owners

Camp Hero State Park is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hiking and biking. The park has extensive trails that offer stunning views of the scenic coastline that is surrounded by dramatic ocean vistas and bluffs.

The old military bunkers offer a unique exploration experience for history buffs. Surfing, swimming, and picnicking are all popular activities that visitors can enjoy here.

The park provides ample parking and amenities such as restrooms and shaded picnic areas, to make visitors comfortable.

Regulations and Fees

While visitors are welcome to bring their dogs, they should be on a leash and well-behaved. Visitors should always keep their dogs on the leash unless in designated areas.

Additionally, they should clean up after their pets to maintain the cleanliness of the park. To enter Camp Hero State Park, visitors should plan for an $8 entrance fee per vehicle.

The price is relatively reasonable considering the park’s features plus ample parking and all necessary amenities.

8) Mud Creek Dog Park

Mud Creek Dog Park is ideal for pet-owners seeking an isolated location on the eastern end of Long Island, away from city life. In this section, we will discuss the unique beach characteristics and safe play areas that visitors can enjoy, as well as the lack of amenities and peaceful atmosphere of the park.

Unique Beach Characteristics and Safe Play Areas

Mud Creek Dog Park offers a beautiful, secluded beach to spend a day with your furry friend. As a natural boundary dog park, the wide expanse of sand dunes provides plenty of play space.

Dogs can run through the sand dunes, relax near the shoreline, and jump in the water. Though the play area is expansive enough, pet owners must monitor their dogs to avoid conflicts with other pet owners or dogs.

Visitors should be mindful of other dogs and clean up after their own pets to ensure everyone’s safety

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