When you plan a dog-friendly trip to MidCoast Maine, fill your itinerary with places where you and your furry friend can get some fresh air and explore the natural landscapes. The area is home to some of the most beautiful parks and preserves in the state, and many of them encourage visitors to bring their dogs along. 

Whether you prefer rocky trails, sandy shorelines, or a little bit of both, there are endless opportunities to get outdoors and explore with your dog in MidCoast Maine. We've put together a list of the locations that are too good to miss. 

1. Clark Island

Managed by the Maine Coast Heritage, Clark Island is a 124-acre wonderland for dog walkers and nature lovers. Stroll the wide, easy, mowed grass and gravel trails and bring your pup exploring along the island’s attractive beaches, a rock quarry, and a diversity of wildlife habitats.

The island is easily accessible on foot from Saint George via a paved bridge. The Craignair Inn sits directly adjacent to the bridge and the island’s scenic trails. In fact, this location is the namesake of The Causeway Restaurant at our dog-friendly inn!

2. Birch Point State Park

Located on Penobscot Bay, Birch Point State Park invites dogs and their humans to take walks and eat picnics under towering pine trees. A curved stretch of shoreline is also available if you want to fish or take a dip in the water.

The 62-acre park is open to visitors year-round, but you and your pup will have to stick to the woods in the summer. Dogs aren't allowed on the beach during the peak season from April through September. 

3. Camden Hills State Park

With 20 different hiking trails, there's plenty of room to stretch your legs at Camden Hills State Park. Keep your dog on a leash as you take in panoramic views of the sprawling woods and rocky shoreline or ascend to the park's highest peak, Mount Megunticook. When you're ready to relax, settle in with your pup and a packed lunch. The park is located north of Camden and is open all year. 

4. Beech Hill Preserve

You'll find 295 acres of natural beauty at Beech Hills Preserve in Rockport. Take a stroll with your dog down the Summit Road Trail or Woods Loop Trail, and take some photos of the mountains and bay. Before you go, check out the Beech Nut, a stone hut nestled at the top of Beech Hill. The preserve also offers blueberry picking during the summer months, but dogs aren't allowed on the field.  

5. Curtis Island 

If you and your dog love being on the water and discovering new places, hop on a boat and head over to Curtis Island, located off the coast of Camden. Follow the perimeter trail around the island's shoreline or stop by the island museum.

On your excursion, you'll have an excellent view of Curtis Island Light, one of the many beautiful lighthouses in Maine. However, you'll have to limit your photos to outdoor areas. The lighthouse isn't open to the public. 

6. Erickson Fields Preserve

For a low-key outing, head to Erickson Fields Preserve, a former dairy farm in Rockport. The 1.4-mile trail passes colorful gardens and into the forest. It also features designated areas where your dog is free to roam off-leash, but be sure to keep one on hand. Leashes are required after 9:00 a.m. and along other parts of the trail. 

7. Laite Memorial Beach

Your dog can splash and play off-leash at the small but charming Laite Memorial Beach in Camden. Wander the rocky shore and cool off in the calm waters of the harbor. When you're ready, take a break at a nearby picnic table with a snack for you and your pup.

8. Trout Brook Preserve

In the small town of Alna, you'll find Trout Brook Preserve. The two-mile walking trail crosses an old railway before winding through the forest and along the stream, where visitors can fish for salmon. Feel free to bring your dog along for the journey, but be sure to use a leash at all times. 

9. Camden Harbor Park and Amphitheatre

The Camden Public Library received ownership of the Harbor Park and Amphitheatre as a gift in the early 1930s. Since then, the Amphitheatre has been listed as a National Historic Landmark, and the park has become a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. It offers two acres of grassland and shoreline, perfect for throwing balls or snapping selfies with your canine companion.

10. Cross Cushing Nature Preserve

The 31-acre Cross Cushing Nature Preserve in Cushing is ideal if you and your dog prefer shaded woodlands and forests. Follow the 1.6-mile trail through mature spruce and pine trees. For a change in scenery, take a detour down to the shores of the Georges and Meduncook Rivers. Stretching across the Cushing Peninsula, the mossy preserve is home to many species of birds and other wildlife. 

11. Dodge Point Preserve

Just outside of Newcastle, you'll find Dodge Point Preserve, a former tree farm. It's now a series of trails that are open to the public, including dogs. You can let your pooch walk freely as long as you always have a leash available in case you need it.

Follow the Damariscotta River on the Shore Trail for access to swimming and sandy beaches. If you'd prefer green grass, choose the Old Farm Road Trail for an easy walk through the forest and past old farm properties. 

Recharge at Pet-Friendly Hotels in Maine

After a full day of walking, hiking, and swimming, it's time for a good meal and some rest. You'll find plenty of dog-friendly restaurants in Camden, Maine, and the surrounding areas. Many have outdoor tables where you and your dog can dine together. Depending on where your daily travels take you, try Fresh and Co. in Camden or Graffam Bros Seafood Shack in Rockport.

Before you turn in for the night, grab a mouthwatering meal at The Causeway Restaurant, located inside the Craignair Inn in Spruce Head. Our pet-friendly Maine coast inn is the best place to wind down, get some sleep, and eat breakfast before you head out for another adventure. Check out our pet-friendly rooms and book your stay at the Craignair Inn today.