A guide for you and your dog
Pets are welcome at Richard Bong State Recreation Area when their owners obey the rules. Basic Rules Rules apply to all dogs except service animals assisting people with disabilities.These guidelines also apply to other pets.
- Dogs are permitted in campgrounds and on trails, roads, and outlying areas. They are not permitted in picnic areas, any buildings, shelters, the beach area, playgrounds, naturalist programs or marked nature trails.
- Dogs must be on a leash, no longer than 8 feet, at all times.
- Dogs must be under control at all times.
- Dogs can not be left unattended.
- Dog owners are responsible for removal and proper disposal of waste.
- Dogs cannot interfere in any manner with the enjoyment of the park by others. Most of the complaints we receive about dogs concern their behavior–droppings, biting, barking, unattended animals, and other annoyances.
- If a dog owner fails to control their dog or their dog creates a disturbance, a citation may be issued and they may be asked to leave the property.
The only picnic area where dogs are allowed is the designated and signed pet picnic area in Parking Lot B.
Dogs are prohibited on nature trails at all times; these include the Vista nature trail and the Visitor Center nature trail.
Dogs (and hiking) are prohibited on trails in the winter while they are snow-covered. This preserves the ski track for cross-country skiers.
Pets are allowed on-leash on any of the trails listed below:
- Gray (1.7 miles)
- Red (8.3 miles)
- Orange (6.4 miles)
- Yellow (4.4 miles)
- Green (1.8 miles)
- Blue (4.2 miles)
Dogs in the Water
Dogs are prohibited at the beach. If you want to cool down your pet, we suggest taking them to the boat launch area. Because that area is also used for fishing, please be cautious of fishing line and hooks.
Dog Training Area
The park has an area designated as a training area for hunting dogs. The area is used for on-foot training, training with horses and training in the water. A training license is required when using live birds or ammunition.
Dog training means the activity of teaching a hunting dog to retrieve, point, flush, and/or track game for the purpose of hunting or for dog trial competition.
Dog trainers are serious about training, have paid their license fee and do not appreciate pet dogs running loose while they are training. Please keep in mind that live ammunition is used in the dog training area.
To protect nesting birds and other animals, the Class 2 dog training area is closed April 15-July 31.
Be Nice to Your Pet and Your Neighbors
- Leaving your pet unattended is prohibited. It is not fun for your dog and is inconsiderate to others.
- Do not leave your pet in a vehicle. The temperature inside, even with windows cracked, can quickly reach dangerous or fatal levels!
- Bring plenty of water when you and your dog hike together.
- Be mindful of where you tie your dog while camping or picnicking so that children or other visitors will not be frightened or bitten.
- Responsible dog owners clean up droppings, it will reduce water pollution and disease risks.
- Your dog should have a current rabies/distemper vaccination and an identification tag.
- Bringing your dog to the park puts it into unfamiliar surroundings. Keep your dog in your tent or camper at night. It will be more secure and less likely to bark.
- Remember pets are susceptible to ticks too. Be sure to check your pets for ticks.