nugget the puggle rests at bank street beach in harwich, ma

harwich: Dog-friendly activites

There’s a lot of cool stuff to do with your dog in Harwich. Dog-friendly activities include walking around downtown Harwich Port, where a bunch of restaurants now have outdoor seating that’s great for dog owners.

Harwich has some fun beaches – both ocean and fresh water – and some nice wooded hiking trails that allow dogs. We hope you and your pet enjoy these things to do with your dog in Harwich and let us know if you have any suggestions.

Beaches that allow dogs in Harwich

There’s a bunch of nice dog-friendly beaches in Harwich, including ocean-side and fresh water ponds. Beaches on the oceanside face south into Nantucket Sound. They tend to have calmer waves and warmer water conditions than the beaches of the outer cape that face the open Atlantic.

Most beaches require parking passes. Daily parking passes are available at Red River beach. Harwich’s beach rules prohibit dogs during the summer season, with one exception.

Harwich Beach Dog Rules

  • Dogs are only allowed on beaches in Harwich during the offseason.
  • Pets not allowed on harwich beaches during the summer season, which ranges from Memorial Day – Labor Day each year.
  • Clean up poop!

Dog-friendly beaches in Harwich

Bank Street Beach

Bank Street Beach in Harwich requires a town parking sticker. Nice sand with a good Jetty to the left. The beach is very popular and the parking lot fills up early in the day. People used to walk from the free town lot (from the beach, take a left at rt. 28 and its just ahead on your right, near the Chamber of Commerce). But now a sign says not to do that. Dogs only allowed during the offseason.

Earle Road Beach

Parking sticker required. Earle Road Beach is a fairly small beach with a similarly sized parking lot. They did expand the lot size a while back so it’s better then it was. This beach fills up much later than Bank Street.

Jacknife Harbor Beach

Jacknife Harbor Beach sits on the Harwich-Chatham line off of Route 28. You can park on one side of the road, and there’s a larger parking area down the hill.

At high tide the path to the beach is a puddle. pleasant bay beach’s access road on chatham side of the beach can flood in high tides on some moon cycles, be aware or your tires will get to say hello to the ocean.

#1 BEACH DOG RULE for Jacknife Harbor: you Must clean up after your dog! please bring a bag and clean up your mess, keep the beach looking cleaner than when you found it. people go shellfishing here.

harwich’s side of jackknife harbor beach allows dogs to play in a limited sandy beach area in the offseason. this beach tends to be rocky and has broken shells. bring foot protection. It’s not the best dog-friendly beach in Harwich in terms of sand quality.

Pleasant bay beach in harwich is a fun place to swim after a tennis ball. the shallow, gentle waters of pleasant bay are great for youngsters or poor swimmers, dog and human alike. lots of hermit crabs, blue crabs, and horshoe crabs will keep children entertained all day long.

The river develops a rather strong current as the tide goes in and out. Make sure your dog or child is a strong swimmer if you’re playing in the river area.

Jackknife Harbor sits right on the Harwich / Chatham line.  Dogs are allowed on the harwich beach side in the offseason.
Jacknife Harbor sits right on the Harwich / Chatham line. Dogs are allowed on the harwich beach side in the offseason.

Long Pond Beach

Long Pond – Cahoon’s Landing beach

Both Long Pond Beach and the smaller Cahoon’s Landing beach require a harwich town beach sticker to park. Dogs aren’t allowed during the summer season. But in the fall these beaches are nice for swimming and chasing tennis balls. 

Long pond has a bigger swimming area boat roam, and bathrooms. Cahoon’s Landing is much smaller, there’s porta-potties and boats aren’t allowed to launch. Cahoon’s has nicer sunsets over the water than the main Long Pong beach.

Nugget watches the sun go down at cahoon's beach in harwich, ma. Dogs are allowed at harwich beaches only in the offseason.
Nugget watches the sun go down over Long Pond at Cahoon’s Landing beach in Harwich, MA. Dogs are allowed at Harwich beaches only in the offseason.

Pleasant Street Beach

Parking sticker required. Pleasant Street beach is pretty popular, it’s the second-most-likely Harwich beach to fill up (after Bank Street). Pleasant Street beach has a large parking lot usually fills up during nice days in the summer, especially weekends. If you get there and it’s full, head back towards Lower County road and take a right to try Earle Road Beach which is close by.


Red River Beach

Red River Beach is a long, narrow beach with a large parking lot. It is the only beach in Harwich that sells daily parking passes. The beach isn’t all that wide, but because the parking lot is so long you’ll have more room to spread out your towel here than at most other beaches in the area. It’s also a short walk from your car.

There are lots of jetties, and occasionally lots of seaweed onshore. The town does clean seaweed frequently during the summer. Drive to the left to the far end of the parking lot for a great beachcombing. there’s a path down back side of the lot to a narrow river that fills with the tides .

Red River Beach is the only beach in Harwich that allows dogs in the summer – but not on the sand. Dog walking is allowed in the parking lot from 7:30am-9:00am and also from 4:30pm-dusk year round. 



Dog-friendly hotels in Harwich

 There’s a few lodging options in town that allow pets. Check out our updated lists of hotels where you can stay with your dog:


Dog-friendly restaurants in Harwich

In recent years Harwich has added a bunch of dining options for dog owners. Most are centered around downtown Harwich Port off of Route 28.


Harwich dog park

Unfortunately Harwich doesn’t have a dog park.

A few years back it seemed like there was a chance for a dog area at Thompson’s field off of route 39, but due to a few incidents dogs are not allowed off leash.

On-leash dogs will love this place though. just watch out for ticks.

Dog walks and pet-friendly hiking trails in Harwich

Cape Cod Rail Trail

view rules view map

Hawks Nest State Park

Dogs are allowed at hawk’s nest, there’s some nice wooded areas and a small kettle pond that await you after a somewhat bumpy trail ride in.

Be nice to hawks nest. The natural beauty of this place is suffering somewhat due to visitors. Take an extra piece of trash with you when you leave. wear sandals, barefoot not recommeded. there’s broken glass in the parking area as well as the trails to the water and, occasionally, in the sand near the water.  🙁

There’s two tiny sections of water access with limited beach area. there’s usually lots of kids and people in the summertime, and only a few feet of shoreline to sit on depending on water level. let your dog have fun splashing around.  but be considerate, not everyone loves a big wet dog jumping on them.

please dilligently clean up all dog waste, even in the parking area and trails located away from beach. The rain runoff pushes bacteria back towards the water. gross. erosion of the parking area is an ongoing issue.

Herring River Trail / Bells Neck Road Conservation Area

Old Colony Rail Trail

view map

Thompson’s Field Conservation Area

Dogs are allowed on-leash at Thompson’s Field Conservation area. Heavily wooded trails are crawling with ticks. Thompson’s Field’s parking lot is located off of Route 39 in Harwich.


Have any suggestions of fun activities for dogs in Harwich, MA? let us know.

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Instagram