Paw Patroller at Fort McHenry
Dog on leash outside of Visitor and Education Center.

National Park Service

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is a pet-friendly park. Visitors are welcome to bring their pets to certain areas of the park, but please be mindful of the following regulations and limitations:

  • Leaving pets unattended in a vehicle is prohibited. If you see an unattended pet please notify park staff immediately.

  • Pets may be walked in designated areas of the park, but must be on a leash not exceeding six (6) feet in length at all times. Leaving a pet unattended and tied to an object at any time is prohibited.

  • Pets are not permitted in the Historic Zone (area within the split-rail fence), Star Fort, and any other buildings, including the Visitor and Education Center.

  • Pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Garbage cans are available throughout the park for disposal of pet waste. It is unlawful to abandon waste bags in the park. Please bring your own supplies as the park is not responsible for providing clean up bags to visitors.

  • It is unlawful to allow pets to harass and/or chase the wildlife. Visitors must maintain control of their pet and keep a safe distance from any other animals.

These regulations and laws exist to keep pets, visitors, and park resources safe. There are no exceptions to the regulations for carried pets (in arms, carriers, strollers, backpacks, etc.) in restricted areas of the park. For more information, please consult the Superintendent's Compendium.

Please be mindful of weather conditions when bringing your pet to the park. Extremes in hot and cold tempatures can sometimes be harmful to pets. Water fountains are available throughout the park but visitors should bring their own containers in order to provide water to their pets.

During the summer season, park programming includes artillery firing at scheduled times. Visitors with pets that are sensitive to sudden and loud noises are encouraged to take considerations when planning their visit during the summer season.

Service Animals

Qualified service animals assisting visitors with disabilities are permitted throughout the park and in all park facilities, including the Historic Zone and Visitor and Education Center. However, they must be on a leash.

Bark Ranger at Fort McHenry
Newly sworn in Bark Ranger


B.A.R.K. Ranger Program

More Dates coming soon!

National parks are exciting places for pets to visit with their family while on vacation. Sometimes these new places can be so exciting as to be overstimulating. Join these events to learn how to have a positive experience with your pet in unfamiliar environments. Learn the B.A.R.K. principles so you and your pet can have a safe and fun visit anytime you go to a national park. This program is part of the Healthy People Healthy Parks Initiative. B.A.R.K. stands for:

  • Bag your pet’s waste
  • Always leash your pet
  • Respect wildlife
  • Know where you can go

Want to become a B.A.R.K. Ranger? Click to learn how!

Paw Patrol
Dog lovers and their furry friends can join the Fort McHenry Paw Patrol volunteer program.

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Volunteer Opportunities

We are excited to offer a unique volunteer opportunity for dog walkers who want to help preserve, protect, and interpret the history and resources of the birthplace of 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' The Fort McHenry Paw Patrol is a group of volunteers and their four-legged friends who patrol the park and demonstrate good canine behavior to other visitors. Find your BARK and join the Paw Patrol today!

Last updated: May 6, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

2400 East Fort Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21230


410 962-4290 x250

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