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Dog Beach at Matapeake Clubhouse and Beach

The Dog Beach at Matapeake Clubhouse and Beach in Stevensville, MD features a winding natural surface trail through the woods that ends at the sandy banks of Chesapeake Bay. The trail is a nice short hike for pooches, yet is long enough that it’s adequately separated from the public areas. Dogs can run off leash, retrieve in the water and sniff out the surroundings at this pet-friendly designated beach area. Visit Website

Or call (410) 758-0835 or email qacrecreation@qac.org for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating

Dog Beach at Matapeake Clubhouse and Beach has received a rating of 4.0 out of 5 bones by 22 canine critics on BringFido.

Visitors generally praise the Dog Beach at Matapeake Clubhouse and Beach as a great spot for dogs to swim and play, though some note concerns about cleanliness and parking challenges. Some travelers express disappointment with the size of the beach or difficulty finding the location.

AI-generated from the text of reviews

  • Miguel
    Jul 25, 2022
    Nice little beach

    There was plenty of parking in a nicely paved parking lot. The beach can be found at the end of a short (300-400ft) trail through the woods. I would HIGHLY recommend bringing enough water and a water bowl for your pup. To my knowledge there wasn't an easily accessible fresh water point.

  • Lisa
    Aug 20, 2021
    Great for water exploration!

    Great spot for a first water experience!

  • Nicole
    Jul 19, 2021
    Great spot for first timers

    My pup hasn’t really explored the beach before, so this was a great spot for first time beach exploration. It isn’t that big, but the shallow water goes out quite a ways so you can walk out w/ your dog as they learn to navigate the waters. Can be busy, so go on an off time if possible.

  • Loree
    May 2, 2021
    Nice beach

    we like the larger sandy beach area, it’s bigger than we’ve visited in VA or Maryland. little shallow, but enjoyable. Nice little trail you have to walk to access beach which some steps. The sand had lots of sticks, could use a good raking/clean up.

  • Jessica
    Jul 10, 2020
    First Dog Beaxh

    The area was small but we got there early and found a nice big spot. My dogs are off leash trained and had a great time with the other dogs that were there. If your dog is not leashes trained or command trained don’t bring them. The dogs wonder and play together the entire time. Also it’s a dog park, prepare to get dirty and sandy bc dogs are everywhere. My cocker spent hours chasing sticks and balls in the water. My 10 week old Boston loved meeting new dogs. If u have a puppy that needs socialized this is your place. I WISH they had a area for dogs to show off in but they don’t. We will be back!

  • Canadian
    Jul 2, 2020
    Great Swimming for Dogs and their peeps

    This beach is heaven for dogs and their owners who like to swim. It has some natural shade and lots of options to put chairs/blankets. The beach is nice and sandy. The water was warm (we were there in July). The parking lot gets full in the afternoon so get there before noon. The path is to the right of the gate and is a 5 minute walk on a lovely shaded trail. It is a separate dog friendly beach.

  • Ella
    Jun 25, 2019
    Fun time at the beach

    Although this is not the cleanest clearest beach in the area, it is definitely a place to visit if you have a dog. Dog owners will appreciate the privacy of the area, it's separation form public areas, and access to the water.

    Parking could be improved. There is a small FREE parking lot next to the club house, but other than that, the other parking option is in a nearby trail, they require pay/display ticket, and claim the machine to pay is close by, but the actual location of the machine is not specified, making it hard for people to pay for parking, and a $50 ticket will be given to cars parked there without proof of payment. They could provide better instructions on where to pay for parking.

  • Kate
    Jun 15, 2019
    Having A Blast

    Duke loves it here. We have been several times and it never disappoints. Sometimes its packed, other times we have been the only ones there. The beach is clean and well maintained. And fun is always had by all!

  • Darby
    Jul 7, 2018
    Little dog beach amoung the city

    Having slightly higher than usual expectations since I used to frequent the original dog beach in San Diego for years.... I was happily surprised with the outcome of our visit today! Although the area is small, which is also great for keeping dogs who stray in one area, my boy had a blast. Wasn’t too crowded, no bugs, no trash, and owners cleaned up after their pets. We will definitely be returning to this wonderful little spot soon!!

  • Sarah
    More than a year ago
    Love this beach!

    Much bigger than Downs, can swim with your dog and we didn’t think it was any more dirty than Downs. Will make this our #1 dog beach!

  • Mikayla
    Jun 17, 2018
    Pretty good!

    If you're used to rural dog-friendly beaches, you probably need to lower your expectations. Urban areas can be pretty horrendous for dogs who want to run - often, the only places are crowded, fully paved dog runs or parks where dogs are not allowed off-leash (and it's enforced). This dog beach is a welcome refuge. There is a small stretch of soft sand that would make even humans comfortably dig their feet into it. There is a wooded area, so you might need insect repellent, but the plus is you probably won't need an umbrella because there's plenty of shade. It's carry-in/carry-out, so bring everything you need and remember to bring bags for trash/dog poop to carry out. The people I've come across here are easy going and friendly. The dogs are well-behaved. It is a bay in one of the more population-congested areas in the country - so BE SMART. Don't visit after it rains, and definitely don't go in the water if it has rained anytime lately. Otherwise, this is a lovely place to bring your dog to run and swim. It's free to boot, and not very crowded. If you want an empty beach, wake up early and go in the morning.

  • Kelsey
    More than a year ago
    First Dog Beach Ever - Not Bad

    This is the first dog beach I have been to and I was impressed compared to the reviews. I got there with atleast 15 people and probably 12-15 dogs so it was a busy day! As it is the Chesapeake Bay, there was some expectation of some refuse from people or boats. This is why I rated a 4-star. The beach is small, dogs seemed well-behaved, and people cleaned up after their dogs. The porta-potty and trash is at the parking lot and the beach was easy to find! We ended up leaving because Dakota swallowed a lot of bay water and got sick. I would go again, but will check out the other nearby dog beaches before I do.

  • Vanessa
    More than a year ago
    What you're able to tolerate

    8/1/16 Bring bug spray, sunblock, poop bags, beach chairs and a beach umbrella. Forest is behind beach. Horse flies, dragonflies, and mosquitoes are present on the beach. 'Bay-smell' moderate. Shoreline full of algea. Dead crabs on beach. No picnicking area on beach nor trash can. One porta-potty and trash can on the parking lot. Length of beach is not long but does the job. Went at 230P and was desolate. Not worth visiting unless travel time is 30 min or less.Will never come again.

  • Lillian
    More than a year ago
    Has potential but...

    [DOP: 7/7/2016] Stopped at Matapeake with the pup on way back from the Delaware beaches for a little car break. From the lot, there is clear directional signage and the short trail through the woods made for a good romp. However, upon landing at the beach, the algae that had collected on the shoreline and a few feet into the water was black and smelly. The stretch of sand was good for another bit of running back and forth but my pup didn't even try to approach the water (nor did I want her to). Perhaps I came on a bad day when the algae was in full bloom. So I'll leave my review at: the beach has potential, but maybe call ahead to see if someone can alert you to conditions on the beach before you go.

  • Sara
    More than a year ago

    We had gone to terrapin park first and then went to check out matapeake. The water was BLACK and the smell was terrible.

  • Patricia
    More than a year ago
    A great adventure

    At first I could not find because the entrance did not make sense. Once there I Loved it!!!! so did my nephew and dog.
    It is a great place, great adventure and experience. Everyone was very friendly, so you don't have to stress if your dog is OK going up to others, etc.
    This was our first time and I can't wait to go back.

  • Travis
    More than a year ago
    Fun time

    Positives: Very low traffic with plenty of friendly people and well behaved dogs. We spent about 90 minutes here after driving an hour to get there. This was our puppy's first trip to the ocean and she was a bit uncertain of what was causing the waves to keep crashing in on her. But we were able to let her adventure off-lead and she as well as the other dogs was well behaved and didn't wander off.

    Negatives: Lack of restroom access and the beach wasn't very well policed of garbage. We hiked out our trash as well as some other minor items to try and do our part.

    Overall it was an enjoyable time by our family and puppy and we will more than likely make the trip again, considering it only cost us the toll over the Bay Bridge.

  • Michelle
    More than a year ago
    woefully misrepresented

    This can barely stand to be called a beach. There was basically no separation from the public beach. I knew not to expect a fence or roped off area separate for the dogs, but people were camping out on the beach only about 20 feet away...a quick dash away in dog time. Furthermore, there was almost no room on the beach! There were 5 dogs already there when we got there and it was already crowded. With this being the highest rated dog beach, I'm afraid to even visit the others.

  • Margaret
    More than a year ago
    wonderful visit

    Good news! As of January 2015 you no longer need a parking permit! It was free parking/beach use. Lovely day visiting Matapeake Dog Beach with my golden retriever. We parked at the club house. There is a sign with an arrow that points the way to the trail you follow to the beach. You start off by walking on the outside of the club house fence and follow the path to the beach.

    Our only other Maryland dog beach experience was with Downs Memorial Park dog beach. Compared to Downs we thought Matapeake the nicer beach. A wider area of sand for the dogs to run around on and both the beach and the bay bed are sandy, not rocky. Very nice views of the Bay and Bay bridge.

    We plan on returning!
    No more parking fees either.

  • K
    More than a year ago
    Hard to find - but worth it!

    From the parking lot, you follow a path through the woods for about a 5-7 minute walk which opens up onto the "dog section" of the beach.

  • Sally
    More than a year ago
    I could not find it!

    Bummer! I really wanted to allow my Corgi to have a beach day and traveled from DC to Stevensville, to this park. When I arrived, the sign read "no pets" and stated that a permit was needed. There was no indication of a dog beach whatsoever! So I spent money crossing the bridge and driving around looking for a spot...to no avail. The website is misleading!

  • Jessi
    More than a year ago
    New Parking Fee

    Fantastic beach...we have been bringing our golden for years. NEW THIS YEAR, PARKING PERMITS ARE REQUIRED TO PARK AT ANY QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY PARKS

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Dog Beach at Matapeake Clubhouse and Beach