At its November meeting, the Board of the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust approved a revised dog policy for Robinson Woods Preserve that seeks to clarify and simplify dog rules for the benefit of all trail users. The new policy goes into effect immediately, but we expect that it may take a couple of weeks for most users to hear about the new policy and adjust their habits.
The new policy designates four areas for on-leash use only:
- on the Canter Way Trail from the UMC Church to a junction with the Beech Bluff Terrace access trail, per requirements of the landowner;
- on the Wildflower Trail, which passes several large vernal pools;
- “sensitive habitat” areas including water bodies and fields;
- and within 10 ft of trailheads or parking areas.
On other trails, dogs must be on-leash 9 am to 5 pm, but may be on voice or leash control outside those hours. The afternoon time moves to 3 pm from October 1st – May 1st to account for dwindling sunlight hours, similar to the rules at Cliff House Beach.
The new policy was designed to balance feedback from an online survey conducted this summer, habitat protection priorities, and logistical concerns regarding the complexity of the previous policy. The new policy also borrows definitions and schedules from the Town’s recently-revised Dog Ordinance to improve consistency across Cape’s public trails.
We are in the process of updating permanent signage to reflect the changes, and also plan to install temporary signage at the boundaries of on-leash areas to help users identify them. In the meantime, please help spread the word by mentioning the new policy to your friends and keeping an eye out for the updated signage next time you are out on the trails.
Comments or questions can be directed to CELT staff by emailing email@example.com or leaving a message at (207) 767-6054.