Pet-friendly Rules

There are many pet-friendly solutions to get you and your pet into Michigan’s great outdoors together. Pets are welcome on a 6-foot leash in Michigan state parks, park campgrounds, state forest (rustic) campgrounds, state forests, non-designated bathing beach areas, harbors and the majority of trails and boat launches.

The following rules apply to pets at ALL locations:

  • Pets must be on a 6-foot leash and under your immediate control at all times.
  • Always clean up after your pet. Please carry a waste bag with you at all times.
  • Dogs should not be left in campers or tied up unattended to prevent barking from negatively affecting the park experience of other visitors.
  • Keep pets from interacting with wildlife.
  • Keep pets from disturbing visitors.
  • Pets are not allowed in state buildings (ie. offices, bathrooms, showers, cabins and lodges) with the exception of the pet-friendly alternative lodging options listed below. Please note that pets are not allowed in bathrooms or showers.

Pet-friendly lodging pilot program - Pet-friendly lodging image In November 2017, a pilot program was launched to designate pet-friendly lodging at several state parks in Michigan. There is an additional fee of $10 per night/pet/cabin or $15 per night/pet/lodge. These locations can be booked up to 12 months in advance at www.midnrreservations.com. Up to two pets (cats and dogs only) are allowed in overnight lodging accommodations at the following locations:

State park and state forest campgrounds - In general, pets are permitted in state parks, state park campgrounds and state forest campgrounds as long as they are on a six-foot leash. Please become familiar with all of the rules regarding pets and pay attention to signage.

Trails - Pets are welcome on state-designated trails and pathways located in state parks and state forests; however, there are some instances where pets are not allowed. Check trailhead signage to make sure pets are not permitted on a particular trail.

Boating access sites (boat launches) - The majority of boat launches allow pets, with the exception of the following boating access sites (during certain times of the year).

Harbors - Pets are allowed in state harbors. Some harbors have a designated pet area. 

Pet-friendly shoreline - Pets are allowed in non-designated bathing beach areas (not designated swimming beaches) within state parks. Please note that pets must be kept on a 6-foot leash even if they are in the water. The following parks offer sections of pet-friendly shorelines: