Most of Michigan's state parks, harbors, state forests and trails allow pets, but there are special lodging options and shorelines that are especially pet-friendly!

Pet-friendly Lodging

The Michigan DNR says a new program was launched in 2017 to create pet-friendly lodging at several state parks in Michigan. Up to two pets (cats and dogs only) are allowed in overnight lodging accommodations at these locations:
  • Harrisville State Park’s mini cabin no. 186
  • Lime Island State Recreation Area’s mini cabin no. 4
  • Leelanau State Park’s Hemlock and Cedar mini cabins
  • Sleepy Hollow State Park’s rustic cabin
  • Cheboygan State Park’s modern lodge

The additional fee for your pet is $10 per night for each pet if you are staying in a cabin or $15 per night for each pet if you are staying in a lodge.

Pet-friendly Shorelines

Pets are allowed in non-designated bathing beach areas within state parks. Pets are not permitted on designated swimming beach areas. Pets must be kept on a 6-foot leash even if they are in the water.

These parks offer sections of pet-friendly shorelines:

  • In the Upper Peninsula: Baraga State Park, McLain State Park,Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and Twin Lakes State Park.
  • In the Lower Peninsula: Brighton Recreation Area, Burt Lake State Park, Dodge No. 4 State Park,Grand Mere State Park, Harrisville State Park, Holland State Park, Holly Recreation Area, Mears State Park,Otsego Lake State Park, Port Crescent State Park, Sleepy Hollow State Park, South Higgins Lake State Park, Tawas Point State Park, Warren Dunes State Park and Young State Park.

State Parks and State Forest Campgrounds

  • In general, pets are permitted instate parks, park campgrounds and state forest campgrounds as long as they are on a leash not exceeding 6 feet.


  • Pets are welcome on state-designated trails and pathways in state parks and state forests, however, there are some places where pets are not allowed. Check trailhead signage to be sure.

Boat Launches

  • The majority of boat launches allow pets, with the exception of certain boating access sites, during some times of the year.


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

Rules that apply for pets at all Michigan state parks:

  • Pets must be on a 6-foot leash and 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 locations included in the pet-friendly lodging pilot program, pets are not allowed in state buildings, which includes cabins, yurts, offices, teepees and lodges.

More From 100.5 FM The River