Dog Beach at Downs Park
Or call (410) 222-6230 for more information.
- Jessica FisherAug 6, 2023Dangerous
As with any dog beach/park, a RESPONSIBLE owner knows their dog and whether or not it’s ok to leave off leash. We’ve tried this beach twice and both times there have been owners with aggressive dogs that lunged toward me and our puppy. One of the owners even said “oh he has a problem with puppies”. So, in other words she knows her dog has issues with other dogs and still let him run free?! To be clear we were still on leash and not even completely down the stairs yet. We have a 5 month old Ridgeback (60 lbs) The second time we made it to the sand and the area was filthy. Dog poop and other rubbish. So, while the issue is really with the people that visit this park vs the actual park, if they policed the policies of having well behaved dogs and cleaning up after your pets (and yourselves) this would be a place we’d try again.
- AmyAug 20, 2022Downs Park & Dog Beach
The beach area is just a small area but it was perfect! There were 2 other families there for a total of 7 dogs- we were there for about 20-30 min & then hit the trails for a nice walk, trails are gorgeous and shady. Pups had lots of fun -will definitely be back
- EleanorMay 31, 2022Very small
Super small and crowded, stairs to get down to beach, slightly long walk from parking lot which could be an issue for some people
- ClaudineJul 27, 2021I LOST MY DOG here, be careful!!!!
It's a beautiful little beach, but do NOT let your dog off leash here unless they have perfect recall. The beach area is fenced in so I let my dog free, thinking she couldn't go anywhere. Well, the fencing doesn't go all the way to the water, and there's a small wooded area hiding a gap in the fence that's ostensibly blocked off by large rocks. Well, it's not, and the wooded area is just dense enough that I didn't see my dog sneak out of the dog park enclosure! She ended up getting caught by some friendly strangers on the pier a good distance away and they called me, that's how I found her again. I repeat, DO NOT let your dog off leash here unless they have perfect recall, this is NOT an enclosed dog park!!!!
- CatherineJun 27, 2021Excellent!
we just adopted our guy and wanted to see how he would do in a pup live place with other dogs. this beach is so cute a little small but we really enjoyed our time at dog beach. We will definitely return!
- MarciJun 16, 2021Great location
My Saint Bernard had a great time!
- LizzieJun 8, 2021Fun in the Sun!
Great day out in the sun. Nice fenced-in area with shade and sand. When we went there was a nice group of dogs. Park also has great trails and plenty of parking.
- AnabelleSep 7, 2020Great!!!!!must Come!!!!
this place is the beat dog park ever. people can’t swim but dogs can. Other friendly dogs and owners.
- WesleyJul 13, 2020This dog beach is a blast!
The dog beach is fenced in and the sandy beach and shallow water is the perfect play space for your dogs! I went there with my two dogs and they had a blast running around playing with other dogs and their humans. The beach was clean, people were picking up after their digs, and everyone was friendly and inviting. We can't wait to go back. The beach is quite safe and well fenced in. There are no hooks in the sand or any of that kind of silliness.
- CierraJul 28, 2019Super small
This beach was a LOT smaller than we expected it to be. It was super crowded on a Sunday which is obviously expected but then because of how small it was we did not stay long. I was super disappointed but that’s just me
- GladysSep 15, 2018Lone Star Ticks+ poop everywhere
I went less than a month ago, Aug 18’. It was very fun as it was our pups first official trip. As she was very small, we pretty much carried her throughout the trail until we got to the beach. That’s the only place she roamed around as we did not walk on any grass. When we were about to leave and tried to put her down in her booster in the car, we saw two lone star ticks on her that hadn’t yet attached. We were able to pull them out and kill them. I would encourage everyone to check their dogs very well. Although they may be on tick meds, you most likely are not and wouldn’t want your car/clothes/furniture infested, especially with a lone star tick and become allergic to meats. We also took a picture of the dead tick and had our Vet confirm it. There are plenty of other places in MD that are bigger and cleaner for pups to swim in! This one was disappointing compared to others we have now been to.
Also there was poop all over the dog beach. It would be nice for all owners to be responsible so that other dogs don’t step on it. Very unclean.
- HamiltonMay 26, 2018Great Fun, Could Use a Few Changes
Lots of fun! Our pup loves it. He was never a big swimmer until we went here a few times. I love that this exists - it could be improved, but honestly we love it as it, you just have to watch your pet. It's somewhat smaller than you would expect, the fence actually has a few gaps where overly-exploring pets could roam out, the swamp nearby can be accessed by your pet, and there is no pup rinse-off station. Still, lots of fun to be had here
- SarahMore than a year agoOur retriever retrieves!
We adopted a 10 year old lab/ Chesapeake Bay mix 6 months ago. He never played fetch or swam until we went to this beach!
He bounded into the water before we had the leash off (wet feet!) and when I picked up a stick we could see the light bulb click on. He fetched the stick and swam for 20 minutes having an absolute ball. Then he slept the whole way home and for the next 24 hours. He’s so content, I can’t wait to take him on a weekday when there might be fewer people.
- TraceyMore than a year agoGreat beach day
My dog is a little shy but all the dogs were friendly and owners were very responsible. Only wish it was a little bigger. We went swimming then a hike. Great time
- KimMore than a year agoGreat exercise for swimmers
My retriever and I have been frequent visitors of this park for several years. We love it. Over the years I've seen lots of things that could lessen your experience at the dog beach.
-Yes, like the other reviews stated this area is not entirely fenced. Your dog should be under voice command. Lots of dogs run towards the pond or gate in a pack.
-It is an off leash area. Take your dog off leash, please! I've seen dogs get choked by extended leashes by owners who were too fearful to allow their dog off leash.
-The area is not huge, but enough to swim and socialize!
- Don't bring float toys you love. In fact, bring toys you expect to lose or share.
-I've seen families set up full blown picnics and get upset when dogs kick sand on them. Some dogs get food aggressive. Do not bring food.
-It's a dog beach, you're going to get wet, Sandy, and dirty. Even if your dog isn't swimming!
- Try to discourage your dog from drinking the water by bringing your own.
-Also, in regards to the snakes I've only seen one water snake one time. My dog swam after it and it never came back.
Hope these tips help your dog beach trip. Don't forget your towel!
- MacklynMore than a year agoFun Day in the Sun
Mimzy had a BLAST today at the Downs Memorial Park Dog Beach! She loved digging in the sand and going into the water! She's one tired pup! I highly recommend this Dog Beach to anyone who wants to go to an off leash beach with their dog! The beach is quite small, but everyone is super friendly and on a weekday we were the only one on the beach (we went in the morning) for quite a while. It started to get more crowded around 12, but everyone enjoyed it! There is a $6 fee per car to enter the park and I would drive to the end of the park to be the closest to the dog beach... It did lack signs pointing you the right way, but we found it easily enough! Also there wasn't any wash area for the dogs to wash off so beware of that! But overall it was a wonderful visit and we will be back!
- KendallMore than a year agoFencing
We took our 1 year old pup there for the first time yesterday. Seeing the gate and the rules that encourage off leash time, we assumed that the beach area was fully fenced or at the very least had the plastic orange fencing in areas that weren't fenced. Our pup had a bad experience with waves at the beach taking him under last year so we were all for allowing him to enter the water when he was ready. However, as he was adjusting, he was exploring. We did not realize that the swamp area was only partly fenced off with the orange plastic fencing and he made his way back into the swamp area. As we tried to go get him another dog arrived and he went out to where the steps were. The other dog had not entered the gate yet so our pup made his way about 5 feet to the left of the gate and just went around the fence post. I was very confused by the reasoning behind the metal fence even being there with a gate if the dogs can just go around it and get out. This was really our only issue. After getting him back to the beach and testing the water some with he other dogs, he completely forgot about the swampy area and the high weeds. But in all actuality, if you are going to encourage off leash time and put up a gate to go in and out of, the fencing should go around the whole perimeter so that the gate can actually serve its purpose. On an average day, our pup is obedient. But just like most young dogs, if something new and exciting is happening, they may have selective hearing.
- LindsayMore than a year agoDowns Memorial Dog Park
My pet Nicko and I spend around 2hrs at the park on a week day; lots of other activities available and areas where children and family can enjoy a nice day out. We enjoyed the view and park recreation, we will be back for sure soon
- BrandieMore than a year agoNice Little Dog Beach
I took my two dogs here recently on a day off. The beach is quaint - soft sand and small waves. As others have mentioned, it is small, but we had a good time anyway. I found it to be clean, other dog owners were polite, and it was nestled privately away from other parts of the park, which was nice. It was a great place to relax and spend the afternoon with my dogs. I'd definitely go back. I'd give it five starts if it were just a bit bigger.
- VoulaMore than a year agoSmall Beach
We drove a little over an hour to get to the park. and this was our first trip there. The beach was much smaller than expected. We went on a saturday. so the area was pretty crowded. We didn't see any snakes or fish hooks, but since the area is pretty small there isn't much room for dogs to really run around. Overall, it wasn't a bad experience, but I'm not sure it was worth the drive.
- ValeriaMore than a year agoNice little beach
Nice little beach for dogs but people should be more respectful of the rules. It gets crowded easily, 10 dogs is already too many. Dog and owner must be very patient if planning on going during normal hours, but if your dog loves to swim, it totally deserves a try.
- VeronicaMore than a year agoPretty good dog beach.
We go here regularly and have a season pass. The beach is fun and the dogs are usually well behaved. We did have an issue once with someone who didn't control an aggressive dog and had to be quick to rescue our dog, but most people who come are much better with their dogs. The beach is small, but big enough for the dogs to run around. Yes, I have seen snakes occasionally, but they were not venomous or aggressive. I mean, we have snakes in Maryland, and it's wetlands. There are going to be snakes sometimes. Never had any trouble with fishing hooks. People aren't allowed to swim, but there's no lifeguards and with the way the dogs pee and poop in the water, I'm okay with not going in...
- JasonMore than a year agoThe usual experience
My family and I have visited this park frequently. It is good to note that these parks close on Tuesdays. We visit at least once or twice a month. I have never seen snakes on the beach. I have seen the dog beach swamped with happy pets and owners and never seen any dog injured by "abandoned" fish hooks. This is a wonderful park and beach and I highly recommend it.
- CatherineMore than a year agoGood times
I agree with the others, I would rank it higher if the beach were larger. It's just a short walk from the parking lot to the beach. Bathrooms, a drinking fountain (for humans), and picnic spots nearby. Sand is soft, there are a few logs or rocks to sit on. The nice lady at the front gate had a biscuit and sweet words for my pup. It is winter, so no snakes. No evidence of fish hooks, however, the pier you can see in some of the photos is the designated fishing pier for Downs Park so it could be possible.
- JeffMore than a year agoSnakes on a Beach!
Snakes everywhere! In the water, on the shore, in the bushes behind the very narrow beach! You could see then swimming in the water among the few dogs that dared go in the water. The beach itself is very small and not worth the hike to it. Avoid this place!
- PiaMore than a year agoGreat Fun!
I read all the previous reviews about this beach and saw it was low. I really wanted to take my Husky to the beach and this was the closest place. I called ahead about children. They stated that kids 6 and under are not allowed which is understandable. There is also a $6 fee, but there are fees at all state parks. There is also a lot of stuff for families. Well, back to dog beach! All the dogs were nice and owners very attentive, friendly and understanding. The beach was not dirty. I did not see any fish hooks or trash. I mean its for dogs and its off the Chesapeake bay. No this is not Key West or Bahamas. I would definitely go again. It was very spacious. I had my 7 yr old with me and snacks we had a great time.
- MelissaMore than a year agoBad
Poor information, had kids in the car and never bothered to tell us they couldn't be on the beach too. Bad, bad, bad experience. Unhappy dog and kids
- TinaMore than a year agoEnjoyable afternoon
We enjoyed our afternoon at this dog beach. As others have noted the beach itself is fairly small. The sand is soft and our dog had a great time. We would have ranked it higher if it weren't so small.
- JeanMore than a year agoGreat place for a day trip
We took our 2 yr old cattle dog mix here in June 2013. Our dog had a great time swimming and playing fetch in the water. We just wish It was A little bit bigger. The beach is located all the way in the back of the park. Park in last parking lot and follow signs to beach. Dogs are not allowed on fishing pier but they are allowed on walking trails. We were lucky enough to catch a concert on the day we came! Also there are bags to pick up after your dog and hose to wash withafter the beach!
- GeryMore than a year agoDog beach NOT safe
There is a sign at the dog beach that swimming is not allowed. When I asked why, I was told that there is abandoned fishing hooks in the sand, and they don't want people stepping on them... I don't know what planet these people are from, but if it's not safe for me, why would I risk my dog getting injured?
Another issue is tons and tons of pesky flies which will attack both people and dogs. And for this they charge an admission fee?