Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine is a popular dog friendly beach, depending on when you visit. Scarborough has very specific rules as to where dogs are allowed during the spring and summer in order to protect the endangered Pipping Plover shorebirds. However, if you follow the signs and obey the rules, you're guaranteed to have a tail wagging good time at Higgins Beach!
April 1 to Labor Day: No Dogs are allowed in the area of Champion Street to Spurwink River. To avoid this area, when facing the ocean, remain in the front of the kiosk area and to the right.
May 15 to Labor Day: No Dogs are allowed in the area of Champion Street to Spurwink River. 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. This long sandy beach is approximately a half-mile in length. At the dog end of the beach there are rocky outcroppings perfect for inquisitive pups who like to go tide pooling, and for timid dogs who want to get their paws wet but avoid the crashing surf. Higgins Beach is best visited during low tide, because the dog end of the beach disappears with high tide. Limited on street parking is available, and one hour metered parking is enforced May 1 through September 15 from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. There is a municipal parking lot nearby on Ocean Avenue, and a nominal fee is charged during the on season.
To learn more about the other dog beaches in Scarborough, including Pine Point Beach and Ferry Beach, please visit our Dog Friendly Places page. There you will also find information on the less restrictive dog beaches in the area including Kinney Shores in Saco and Old Orchard Beach.