If you’re planning a visit or a move to Maryland, you may wonder about pet-friendly activities that you and your four-legged family member can enjoy. In Berlin and the surrounding areas, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do and places to explore where your pet is welcome. Here are a few of our favorite pet-friendly parks, beaches and local businesses in and around Berlin.


A woman and her dog walking togetherMany of Maryland’s state parks allow pets to visit undeveloped portions throughout the year. In addition, others welcome pets in certain pet-friendly areas, as well as sections designated for picnicking. Some of the parks do have restrictions — such as limiting pet visits to weekdays or restricting them from boat launch areas — so be sure to check the rules before venturing out with your furry friend.

Worcester County alone, specifically Berlin, is home to two beautiful and pet-friendly state parks. Both parks offer boat rentals and launches, campsites, swimming and picnic areas, fishing and canoeing.

Pocomoke River State Park

Pocomoke River State Park is situated on the banks of the Pocomoke River and includes two primary sections. The Milburn Landing area can be accessed from Route 364 or Route 12 and is seven miles from Pocomoke City. Meanwhile, you’ll find the Shad Landing area a little over three miles south of Snow Hill near Route 113.

The park is open from sunrise to sunset, with some activities like hunting in permitted areas, boat launching and fishing allowed after normal park hours.

Pets are allowed at Milburn Landing. At Shad Landing, pets may be present within the marina day-use area, including the boarding boat ramp. In addition, you can bring your pet to the Acorn Trail camping loop, and pets may be present in day-use areas anytime between Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend.

The park offers a variety of plant life along with many types of animals, including bald eagles, river otters and 50 species of fish. Spanning 15,000 wooded acres, the park has gained fame for its cypress swamps and loblolly pines.

Assateague State Park

Another Worcester County gem, Assateague State Park is located along Stephen Decatur Highway. The day-use parking lot, as well as public access to the beach, are available from 7:00 am to sunset every day of the week. As with Pocomoke River State Park, certain activities are allowed outside of normal park hours; check with the park for specific requirements.

Pets are allowed throughout the year at the park’s marina, and registered campers in some campsites — including Loop H, J and I, along with the adjacent beaches — may bring their pets with them. Pets can be present in the day-use areas between Labor Day and the Friday preceding Memorial Day.

Assateague State Park, just eight miles from Berlin, stands as the only oceanfront park in Maryland. Situated on a barrier island with Sinepuxent Bay to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the park offers two miles of beaches. Surfing, fishing, swimming, collecting shells and sunbathing are among the many popular activities at the park. In addition, visitors can explore the bay side via kayak or canoe, and a variety of wildlife is visible in the marsh areas.

Ocean City Dog Playground at 94th Street

Less than 20 minutes away from Berlin, Ocean City is a great place to take your dog for a day of fun in the sun. One option is the Ocean City Dog Playground at 94th Street, which offers two fenced areas for dogs to have a ball as they run around off-leash.

This doggie paradise includes picnic tables, drinking fountains for both dogs and their humans, disposable bags and waste dispensers. Small dogs under 28 pounds have their own designated area, while the big dogs can run in a separate area with pooches of their own size.

If you want to use the dog park, you’ll need to register with the Town of Ocean City, Maryland. A day pass costs five dollars per dog, and a one-week pass costs $15. Ocean City residents can get an annual pass for $50 and five dollars for each additional dog. Non-residents of Ocean City can secure an annual pass for $100 and five dollars for each additional dog. The town accepts payment by credit card, cash or check.

To register, you’ll need to show a current dog license issued by a municipality, as well as proof of current rabies vaccination.

Northside Park — Ocean City

Northside Park, situated next to Ocean City’s recreational complex, offers several walking trails and allows leashed dogs. Trails are paved and include waste bags and receptacles. The 58-acre park is the largest — and most popular — in Ocean City, and it offers attractions including concession stands, playgrounds, a lagoon for fishing, picnic areas, gazebo, softball and baseball fields and a lighted soccer field.

The nearby recreational complex includes conference and community rooms, a kitchen, a gymnasium, sitting areas, a patio and a 21,000-square-foot annex used for various sports.

You and your dog will enjoy walking on the beautiful, paved trails. Consider bringing along some cold water and snacks for you and your furry friend to enjoy when you’re done.

Delaware Beaches

Located less than half an hour from Berlin, Delaware beaches offer fun for you and your pet. At Fenwick Island State Park on Route 1, just over 17 miles from Berlin, you can enjoy a beautiful beach that remains fairly free of crowds for most of the year.

Visitors note that the entire beach is open for dogs only during the off-season but that a significant section of the beach is available to dogs throughout the year. If you and your dog enjoy socializing, you’re likely to encounter a variety of friendly humans and dogs alike at this beach.

Delaware’s Bethany Beach is another scenic spot for you and your dog to visit in the off-season. Dogs are not allowed on the beach May 15 through the end of September, but you and your furry friend can enjoy the sun and waves during the remainder of the year. If you do visit between October and May, be sure to keep your dog on-leash. Be aware that surfing and swimming are allowed only in specified areas.

Additional Attractions

Berlin and the surrounding areas are home to a variety of businesses that welcome dogs. For example, at the Atlantic Hotel Restaurant, at 2 N. Main St., well-behaved pets are welcome to join their humans as they dine outdoors. Consider contacting the restaurant before you arrive to make sure seating is available for you and your pet.

Offering eco tours along with rentals of canoes and kayaks, Ayers Creek Adventures is another pet-friendly, Berlin business. If you enjoy an adventure, consider taking along your pet for a canoe or kayak trip — but be sure to keep your friend leashed.

If you are searching for a pet-friendly, supportive living community, Gull Creek offers the ideal environment. With small-town ambience and proximity to a variety of beaches, parks and other attractions, Gull Creek provides a welcoming place for you and your four-footed friend to call home. To schedule your visit, please contact us today.