Pets in state parks

Michigan state parks are pet friendly

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.Pet-friendly lodging image
  • 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 is available at several Michigan state parks. There is an additional fee of $10 per night/pet/cabin or $15 per night/pet/lodge. Up to two pets (cats and dogs only) are allowed. 

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: