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Recreate Responsibly

Ranger with open arms welcoming visitors

Recreate Responsibly

visitor walking two dogs on leash on trail

It's critical that we all do our part to protect our places and resources so that we all can continue to enjoy them this year and for years to come. Below are some steps you can take to stay safe and protect the health and beauty of our great state.

Share your commitment and/or stewardship ideas by using the #RecreateResponsibly and #MiDNR hashtags on social media.

visitor walking leashed dogs along shoreline

Know your trail etiquette. Follow posted rules. Keep wildlife wild. Be respectful of other people's space. Leash and clean up after pets.

two visitors, one in a wheelchair, looking at water from pier

Foster a welcoming outdoors for all identities and abilities. Smile and say "hi" to people you encounter. Learn about accessible recreation opportunities.

man fishing with skyline in the background

Check for closures before heading out. Fishing, snowmobiling, ORVing, hunting? Know the seasons and have any necessary permits or licenses.

Recycling sign and tube for recycling monofilament

Respect public lands and waters. Carry out all trash and recyclables. Take steps to help prevent the spread of invasive species. Stay on designated trails because going off-trail can cause erosion.

Pack food, water and maps (or download them to your phone). Cell service may be limited, especially in the woods and waters.

two adults and three kids walking on paved trail with fall leaves on trees

Choose activities within your abilities and become familiar with safety tips and guidelines. Recreate with others or tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Watch out for ticks.

View for yourself!

A “Recreate Responsibly” video series highlights "guidelines" and tips to protect not only outdoor resources but visitors, too.

Check out these videos to find out how you can help keep Michigan’s unique outdoor places – and the people who enjoy them – safe and healthy.

View complete #RecreateResponsibly playlist

An angler holding a fish with video qued up on side

Other tips

  • Be mindful of Great Lakes beach safety. DO NOT swim near or jump off breakwalls or navigational channel walls, and pay attention to changing conditions.
  • When paddling, stay close to shore and always wear your lifejacket - even if you are a good swimmer.
  • Ticks are often abundant. Check yourself for ticks. Make sure your pets are protected and check them often.
  • Pets must always be on a 6-foot leash and under an owner's immediate control. Pet waste must be properly disposed of in trash receptacles.
  • If you are going out on your own, always tell someone where you are going. If venturing out with a group, consider the ability level of everyone, including dogs, if you bring one.
  • Stay on designated trails - going off-trail can cause erosion and damage habitat. Please avoid using trails that are muddy so you don't leave uneven footprints or tire tracks. If you must traverse a muddy section of a trail, go right through the center rather than traveling around the mud and widening the trail.
  • Michigan's weather can change very quickly. Always bring extra clothes even if you think you won't need them.
  • If you build a campfire or a bonfire (where allowed), make sure to douse the fire with water, stir and douse again before leaving the site. If you plan to burn yard debris, check our permission to burn page to see if it's safe that day. Check out more fire safety tips.