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Pet-friendly recreation

visitor walking large dog over snowy foot bridge

Pet-friendly recreation

Pets are welcome in Michigan state parks and campgrounds, state forest campgrounds, state-managed harbors, state-designated trails and boating access sites, with the exception of designated swim beaches, endangered species habitats and other posted areas.

Enjoy the outdoors with your pets, but please follow these simple rules:

  • Pets must always be on a 6-foot leash and under an owner's immediate control.
  • Always clean up after your pet. Please carry a waste bag with you at all times.
  • Dogs should not be left unattended (in campers or tied up). This helps ensure that barking won't disturb camping neighbors.
  • Keep pets from interacting with wildlife.
  • Pets are not allowed in state buildings (ie. offices, bathrooms, showers, overnight lodging facilities) with the exception of the pet-friendly lodging options listed below.
  • Leash laws do not apply on state park lands if the dog is being used for hunting, field trials or while being trained for hunting purposes on land open to such use.

Pet-friendly lodging

Up to two pets (cats and dogs only) are allowed at several overnight lodging locations. There is an additional fee of $10 per night/pet/cabin or $15 per night/pet/lodge. Overnight lodging options can be booked in advance at MiDNRReservations.com.

Pet-friendly shoreline

Pets are allowed along the shoreline with the exception of designated bathing/swimming areas within state parks and areas signed otherwise (ie. piping plover nesting habitat). Pets must be kept on a 6-foot leash even if they are in the water. The following are some highlighted locations:

  • Algonac State Park - along the St. Clair River.
  • Baraga State Park - along the Lake Superior shoreline (.25 miles).
  • Bewabic State Park - along the Fortune Lake shoreline other than the designated swim beach.
  • Brighton Recreation Area - along the park's lakes except for the designated swim beach.
  • Brimley State Park - along the  Lake Superior shoreline other than the designated swim beach.
  • Burt Lake State Park - a designated pet-friendly beach is located on the south end of the park.
  • Clear Lake State Park - along the Clear Lake lakeshore other than the designated swim beach and boating access site.
  • Craig Lake State Park - along the park’s shoreline.
  • Dodge #4 State Park- designated pet-friendly beach (just outside the designated swim area).
  • Duck Lake State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline (.5 miles) and Duck Lake.
  • Fayette Historic State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline other than the designated swim beach.
  • Grand Mere State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline (.5 mile).
  • Hayes State Park - along the shoreline other than the designated swim beach.
  • Harrisville State Park - a designated pet-friendly beach, open to non-campers, is located in the modern campground. 
  • Highland Recreation Area -  along the park’s lakes except for the designated swim beach.
  • Hoffmaster State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline other than the designated swim beach.
  • Holland State Park - along the Lake Macatawa shoreline in the day-use area, located directly across from the Lake Mac Campground.
  • Holly Recreation Area - along a section of Heron Lake shoreline south of the designated swim beach.
  • Lake Hudson Recreation Area - allowed along the entire length of Lake Hudson except for the designated swim beach .
  • Leelanau State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline in the park's northern unit.
  • Ludington State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline, located between the beach house and the Big Sable River. The majority of shoreline is closed to protect endangered piping plover habitat.
  • McLain State Park - allowed along the length of the Lake Superior shoreline and the Portage Canal.
  • Mears State Park - a pet-friendly beach is located at the south end of the park.
  • Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area - along the Lake Minnawanna shoreline other than designated swim beach.
  • Menominee River State Recreation Area - along the Menominee River.
  • Muskegon State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline other than the designated swim beach and areas marked for piping plover nest habitat.
  • Negwegon State Park - along the majority of Lake Huron shoreline.
  • North Higgins Lake State Park - a pet-friendly beach is located east of the day-use area.
  • Onaway State Park - along the Black Lake shoreline other than in the designated swim area. 
  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park - along the Lake Superior park shoreline.
  • Port Crescent State Park - along the Lake Huron shoreline (3 miles) other than the designated swim beach in the modern campground.
  • Proud Lake Recreation Area - along the Huron River and Proud Lake shorelines other than the designated swim beach in the modern campground.
  • Rifle River Recreation Area - along the park's lakes, river and stream other than the designated swim area.
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
  • Silver Lake State Park - along the Lake Michigan shoreline (3 miles) and the park's inland lake, Silver Lake, in all areas other than the designated swim beach.
  • Sleeper State Park - along the Lake Huron shoreline except for the designated swim beach
  • Sleepy Hollow State Park - section of shoreline located 100 yards north of the Lake Ovid swimming beach.
  • South Higgins Lake State Park - three pet-friendly beach areas, including one along a section of shoreline in the day-use area (east boundary of the park), one in the campground (west side of the boat access site) and a campers-only area (west boundary of the campground).
  • Straits State Park - along the Lake Huron shoreline.
  • Tawas Point State Park - pet-friendly beach located between the campground and the lighthouse on Tawas Bay.
  • Twin Lakes State Park - allowed in the designated pet beach (not the shoreline).
  • Van Buren State Park - along the entire length of the Lake Michigan shoreline (except for the designated swim area) and the park’s pet-friendly beach. The pet-friendly beach area – located south of the designated swim area – can be accessed via the dog beach access trails just west of the picnic shelter. The remaining shoreline – located north of the designated swim area – can only be access via the main "beach walk" located just west of the middle parking lot.
  • Van Riper State Park - along the entire length of Lake Michigamme and Peshekee River shorelines other than the designated swim beach.
  • Wells State Park - along the length of the Lake Michigan shoreline except for the designated swim beach.
  • Wilderness State Park - two pet-friendly beaches, including 1) the area just east of the headquarters building (adjacent to the picnic area and down a small path) and 2) an area on the west end of the East Lake Lakeshore Campground. The majority of the park's shoreline is open to pets September through March; however, the shoreline (other than the pet-friendly areas) is closed to pets April through August to protect endangered piping plover habitat. 
  • Warren Dunes State Park -  a section of Lake Michigan shoreline (2.5 miles) located just north of the designated swim beach.
  • Young State Park - along a section of shoreline east of the boating access site.