the site where you won't be able to wipe the wag off your dog's tail
National Parks With Hiking
Big Cypress National Preserve
Dogs are allowed on the trails but not in the backcountry
Canaveral National Seashore
Dogs are not allowed beyond the parking lot
Everglades National Park
Dogs are not allowed on the developed trails or in the backcountry
Fort Caroline National Memorial
Gulf Island National Seashore
Dogs are not allowed on the beach in this park
Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve
Dogs are allowed throughout this park
Links to National Forests With Hiking
Apalachicola National Forest
Ocala National Forest
Osceola National Forest
State Parks With Hiking
Florida State Parks
Dogs are excluded from the following places in Florida state parks: food-service areas, designated camping areas, cabins, bathing and swimming areas including land and water portions, park buildings, playgrounds, and other designated areas.
Some parks permit dogs in campgrounds - proof of rabies vaccination is required.
Bahia Honda State Park
Big Lagoon State Park
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park
Blackwater River State Park
Bulow Creek State Park
Caladesi Island State Park
Cayo Costa State Park
Collier-Seminole State Park
Dead Lakes State Park
Deer Lake State Park
Econfina River State Park
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
Falling Waters State Park
Florida Caverns State Park
Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail
Grayton Beach State Park
Henderson Beach State Park
Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park
Ichetucknee Springs State Park
John D. Mac Arthur Beach State Park
Koreshan State Historic Site
Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park
Lake Talquin State Park
Little Manatee River State Park
Long Key State Park
Manatee Springs State Park
Mike Roess Gold Head Branch State Park
Myakka River State Park
O'Leno State Park
Ochlocknee River State Park
Oscar Scherer State Park
Oteta River State Park
Paynes Creek Historic State Park
Ponce de Leon Springs State Park
Ravine Gardens State Park
Rocky Bayou State Park
San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park
San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park
Sebastian Inlet State Park
St. Andrews State Park
St. George Island State Park
St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
Suwannee River State Park
Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail State Park
Three Rivers State Park
Tomoka State Park
Torreya State Park
Waccasassa Bay Preserve State Park
Wakulla Springs State Park
Share A Favorite Hike With Your Dog In Florida
Your Dog's Favorite Hikes In Florida
Submitted by Ellen & Rocky
Dogs aren't allowed on the beach at St. Andrews State Park so we like to take the Heron Pond Trail on the other side of the park. It is about a mile loop through the rolling dunes and we wind up at the shallow Grand Lagoon where Rocky can enjoy the beach and water like everyone on the other side of the breakwater!
Submitted by Sara & Raver
I live in Sarasota, FL and they do have one designated dog beach in Sarasota County. Itís actually in the town of Venice (about 30-40 miles south of Sarasota) at Browhard Beach. It is the best dog beach that I have been to in the state. They have the greeting area that is not on the beach where there is a little park and washing stations for the dogs, and you can choose to walk down a small pathway to the beach and let them run right on the beach. Our dog, Raver, loves it to death. He gets himself so tired from running in the waves with other dogs that he sleeps all night long! Itís a great dog beach and we try to take our dog there whenever we can. There is also another dog beach on Bonita Beach in Collier County (it may be Lee County) that is nice as well.
Submitted by Rhea & Cricket
Sarasota and Bradenton allow dogs along causeway beaches and De Soto park in Bradenton has dog trails and a nice stretch of beach for dog and owner to walk.
Submitted by Jim & Blueberry, Bambi (Doodle) & Babe
I live in Florida and I noticed the previous reference to Ft. Desoto Park. Yes it is nice and it is convenient but it is a far cry from the Ft. Myers beach area. First there are a number of beach front motels that allow guests with dogs. During the magnificent sunsets (Ft. Myers is on the west side of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico) you may find your dogs being teased in the water by dolphins just a few feet away. The sand is magnificent and the beach area is probably 4 times deeper than what Ft. Desoto offers. The entire beach (except for the pubic beach by the pier) is dog friendly - that translates into miles of dog beach. The dogs must be on a leash but only once have I encountered a warning when the dogs were running free and that was on a holiday weekend by a friendly beach patrol. At night the dogs love to run and chase birds illuminated only by the moonlight.
Now for the real treat - head further south about 10 miles or so from Ft. Myers Beach to Lovers Key state park and at the south end is a paradise of leash free beaches for the pups. I think it is actually a county beach at the end of the state park property.
You may encounter 2 dogs or 50 as they run and splash in the shallow water. My Aussies and Border Collie come home so trashed and covered with sand they are barely able to make it back to the car. Ft. Myers is probably the most beautiful area in Florida and one of the few truly natural areas left. I lived here over 15 years before I discovered Ft. Myers. It is also one of the most reasonable tourist stops and features many excellent restaurants.
Another place closer to Tampa is Honeymoon Island state park which is on the Gulf near Dunedin.
There is a daily fee but you can take your coolers, beach chairs and dogs for a day in the sun. One end of the island's beach is reserved for dogs on a leash. It falls somewhere in between Ft. Desoto and Ft. Myers as far as beaches are concerned. I don't know much about the Atlantic side of Florida's dog beaches - does anyone have any favorites??
Submitted by Pam
We recently moved to the Tampa Bay area. We took Ivy, our yellow lab, to Pinellas County's Ft. De Soto Park. November is off-season here, I guess. We had the place pretty much to ourselves, at least on the weekday that we were there. There is a nice Paw Playground there, fenced and divided for small and large dogs, with water and a cooing off station. Disposal bags are provided. Just aound the corner is an off leash dog beach. Ivy had a blast, chasing the ball, swimming, and "protecting" us from another lab. Dogs must be under voice command at all times and you must, of course, "pick up" after your dog. The handful of other owners there were doing this, thankfully. We found the dog beach very clean and the park beautiful. There is a paved main trail where you can hike with your dog also. The north beach area was voted number one beach for 2005 by Dr. Beach, but no dogs are allowed there. It is fantastic, though.
Submitted by Jennifer
There is a wonderful dog beach in Venice, Florida. There is an enclosed area with a bath station. From this area you can exit to a beautiful beach where your dog can run free and play with other dogs. Good for us we have friends that live near there and found it by chance.
Submitted by Anne
On beautiful Cape San Blas, on Gulf of Mexico, in Florida's panhandle, dogs are allowed on the beach. Cape San Blas beaches were named number 1 beach in the USA in 2002 by Dr Beach. There are a lot of pet-friendly accommodations which you can rent.
Submitted by Judy
Coco Plum Beach in Marathon, FL is much more dog friendly than Sombrero Beach. In Islamorada, Founders Park has a dog friendly portion with a small jetty that does can swim from. Also, on the Gulf coast, you didn't mention the dog park in Venice which also has a wonderful beach.
Submitted by Mark
Smyrna Dunes Park is built on 250 acres at the northern tip of the New Smyrna Beach peninsula. The park is home to a variety of animals, birds, reptiles, marine life and vegetation. Three miles of elevated wooden walks, picnic areas, pavilions and an observation tower allow visitors to enjoy the park while protecting the sensitive sand dunes from foot traffic. The park is open from sunrise to sunset. There is an admission charge of $3.50 per vehicle. Dogs on leash are allowed on inlet side. I have taken my Italian Masitiff "Beren" to this park many times. Everyone is very friendly and the dogs have great time running and play in the water. The park pavialion has an area you can rinse your dog and provides doggie baggies at the begining of the trails if you forget yours. The web site does not talk much about the dog beach but it is a great place to go.
No Dogs Allowed?
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