Enjoying Duke Forest with Your Dog

Duke Forest is private land owned and managed by Duke University for research and teaching purposes. Limited public use of the Forest is permitted as long as such use does not conflict with research and teaching activities. Help us in our Good Leashes Good Neighbors campaign by leashing your pups and educating others (if you feel comfortable).

Each year Duke Forest has over 50,000 dog visits. Many of these dogs are unleashed. The numerous unleashed dogs are having a negative impact on the Forest’s ecology and its ability to support certain research activities.

Duke Forest requires that all dogs be leashed and that visitors and their pets stay on established roads and trails.

Social media users, hashtag pictures of your happy on-leash dogs in the Duke Forest  with #dfgoodleashes to show your support for our “Good Leashes Good Neighbors” campaign to keep visitors and research sites safe.


Why must I leash my dog while visiting the Duke Forest?

– Dogs can trample groundcover plants and negatively impact research projects.
– Unleashed dogs disturb ground-nesting birds and other wildlife.
– Unleashed dogs can make other visitors uncomfortable.
– Dogs that come into contact with wildlife risk contracting rabies.
– Unleashed dogs are at a higher risk of getting lost.


But my dog is voice trained …

Voice command is not adequate restraint.

Both Durham and Orange County have “Leash Laws” which are enforceable by fines. These laws apply to any dog “at large” (off of the owners property and not under adequate restraint).  Adequate restraint is defined as “a chain, leash or other physical or electronic device.”

Durham County Ordinance

Orange County Leash Ordinance


Are there area “dog parks” where my dog is allowed to be unleashed?

There are many dog parks across Durham and Orange Counties. Please visit this link on BringFido.com to find your nearest off-leash dog park.

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