Ferry Beach in Scarborough, Maine is a good off-season Dog beach. Scarborough has very specific rules as to where Dogs are not allowed during the spring and summer in order to protect the endangered Pipping Plover shorebirds. Therefore, during the nesting season Dogs are very limited to where they can play on this beach, especially during high tide and due to the extremely fragile dunes. However in the off-season, Dogs have a lot more range to play on this sandy beach located along the Scarborough River Channel.
April 1 to Labor Day: No Dogs are allowed in the area starting at the south end of the municipal parking lot and extending south to Ferry Rock; and to the southeast for the full length of Western Beach. There are signs and a kiosk map to help you avoid these areas.
May 15 to Labor Day: No Dogs are allowed in the area starting at the south end of the municipal parking lot and extending south to Ferry Rock; and to the southeast for the full length of Western Beach. No Dogs allowed on entire beach between the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. From sunrise to 9:00 AM Dogs are allowed off-leash under voice control, with leash in hand in the non-restricted area. In the evening from 5:00 PM to sunset Dogs must be on-leash in the non-restricted area.
After Labor Day to May 14: Dogs must be on-leash between the hours of 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. All other times Dogs are allowed off-leash under voice control, except starting in April when Pipping Plover restrictions are in effect.
Please note sometimes the birds don't obey the rules, and additional areas may be roped off. Just follow the signs, and keep your dogs at least 200 feet away, and you should be all set. Ferry Beach is best visited during low tide, because the unrestricted Dog area of the beach is very small during high tide. However, be aware that there are mudflats that may make for a messy ride home. There is a municipal parking lot, and a nominal fee is charged from the Friday before Memorial Day through the Tuesday after Labor Day from 9:00 AM to to 5:00 PM. Also please note that similarly named "Ferry State Beach" in the neighboring town of Saco does NOT allow dogs at all, nor does nearby Scarborough State Beach.
When visiting Scarborough, we prefer Higgins Beach and Pine Point Beach, because they have more room for Dogs to play. For less restrictive dog beaches in the area including Kinney Shores in Saco and Old Orchard Beach, please visit our Dog Friendly Places page.