Pets at state park campgrounds, beaches and boating access sites

We welcome your furry friends at our state parks, recreation areas, forests and campgrounds. Pets are also allowed on non-designated bathing beach areas along the shoreline, most boat launches and on the majority of trails.

The following rules apply to pets at ALL locations:

  • They must be on a 6-foot leash.
  • They must be under your immediate control at all times.
  • Always clean up after your pet.
  • Keep pets from interacting with wildlife.
  • Keep pets from disturbing visitors.
  • With the exceptions of the locations included in the pet-friendly lodging pilot program, pets are not allowed in state buildings including cabins, yurts, teepees and lodges.

Pet-friendly lodging pilot program
The DNR extends a warm paw of welcome, so furry companions can enjoy Michigan’s best outdoor recreation destinations. Beginning Nov. 1, 2017, up to two pets (dogs and cats only) can stay in these state park cabins:

Cabins and lodges can be booked up to 12 months in advance. This means that reservations can be made as early as November 2016. To make a reservation, visit or call 800-44-PARKS (800-447-2757). *There is an additional fee of $10 per night/pet/cabin or $15 per night/pet/lodge. All pet rules and leash laws still apply.

Pet-friendly shorelines
Pets are allowed in non-designated bathing beach areas within our state parks and recreation areas. The following parks have sections of pet friendly shorelines:

  • Brighton Recreation Area - pet-friendly section of shoreline available on Chilson Pond
  • Burt Lake State Park - pet-friendly section shoreline available on Burt Lake
  • Grand Mere State Park - entire length of the Lake Michigan park shoreline (1 mile) 
  • Harrisville State Park - pet-friendly section of shoreline available at the north end of the camper's beach (accessible via a foot trail near site #103)
  • McLain State Park - portion of Lake Superior shoreline is pet-friendly 
  • Mears State Park - southernmost section of shoreline is pet-friendly
  • Otsego Lake State Park - pet-friendly section of shoreline on Otsego Lake (only accessible via a flight of stairs near site 64 and may not be accessible during high water)
  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park - entire length of park shoreline
  • Port Crescent State Park - pet-friendly section of shoreline available near the mouth of the Pinnebog River (accessible via the steel bridge that connects to the hiking trails closest to the campground)
  • South Higgins Lake State Park - two pet-friendly areas of shoreline, including the day-use area and a campers-only area near the west campground
  • Tawas Point State Park - pet-friendly section of shoreline available on Tawas Bay between the campground and the lighthouse (enclosed by fencing)  
  • Warren Dunes State Park - 2.5 miles of pet-friendly Lake Michigan shoreline (north of the northernmost swim buoy)

In most cases, we welcome pets on our trails, however there are some instances where pets are not allowed. Always check trailhead signage to make sure that pets are allowed.

Boat Launches 
The majority of boat launches allow pets, with the exception of the following boating access sites during certain times of the year.

Pets are allowed in state harbors. Some harbors have a designated pet area, so please learn the rules at each harbor.