We’ve already had a taste of summer’s warm weather this year, but soon the summer season will be in full swing.
For some, that means enjoying the many river and bay beaches in the area.
Those who want to bring Fido to a beach in York County or James City County, however, may need to be more careful which beach they pick.
Some beaches in the area don’t allow dogs. Others do, but only if they are leashed.
For example, Yorktown Beach does not allow dogs at any time of year, county spokeswoman Gail Whittaker said.
In James City County, there is only one public beach: Jamestown Beach Event Park, said Alister Perkinson, parks administrator for the county.
Dogs are allowed at that particular beach, but they must be on a leash that is less than eight feet long.
”All of our parks and trails are dog friendly, with the exception of some specific areas within parks such as playgrounds, athletic fields and swimming pools, and we do not have areas that are seasonal,” Perkinson said.
“We encourage people to bring their pets and enjoy our outdoor areas,” the Colonial National Historical Park superintendent said in a memorandum to employees.
Pets cannot be brought into the Yorktown and Jamestown visitor centers. They also must be leashed, and cannot be left tied to any object in the park or in a hot vehicle without proper ventilation or water.
Beaches within the national park lands are fair game for dogs and their owners, although the National Park Service requires dogs to be leashed.
All Virginia State Parks allow dogs, but they are prohibited from designated swim areas and cannot be brought into public facilities like visitor centers and park offices.
State parks, including York River State Park, require dogs to be kept on a leash no longer than six feet and must be kept under constant supervision.
The parks also ask owners to bring proof of current rabies vaccination.
And, no matter what beach they go to, owners should pick up after their pets.