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September brings an end to restrictions on dogs at most Maine beaches

Enjoying a day at the beach
Enjoying a day at the beach
Jane Beecher Russo

With the close of the Labor Day weekend, Maine's beaches fall back to off season rules in regard to dogs. Although most of the regulations remain the same, dog access restictions are typically lifted at most beaches. Check with the town website to be sure of their policy before you head out with your buddy (ies).

Having the ability to access the beach with your dog(s) has always been a fringe benefit of being a dog owner in Maine. Over the years, towns have fine-tuned their beach access rules in order to make our treasured beaches available for the enjoyment of all, while keeping endangered areas and animals protected. There has been increasing specific guidelines for beaches restricting access to off leash dogs during certain times of the day or the year. Pine Point beach is just one example of changes to the dog rules, as referenced in the Scarborough dog policy with regard to beaches.

There are, of course, always the general restrictions that people and dogs must adhere to at Maine beaches, that of remaining off of the protected dune areas, avoiding all marked piping plover nesting areas, and keeping our beaches and oceans clean. Once you've reviewed the guidelines for the beach you'd like to visit with your dog, you'll both be able to enjoy a little bonding time while walking, running, throwing, and socializing.

It's hard not to appreciate the incredible wonder that mother nature gives us in the ever changing, ever rolling ocean tides. The relief we find in the wind, the sun, and the roaring surf are reminders to us that our bodies and minds seek rest from the stresses of our daily lives and the daily news of dangers facing our country and the world at large. Isn't it time that you came on down to check out that nearby beach? You and your dog will be glad you did.