Michigan’s campgrounds are going to get more pet friendly under a pilot program that will be begin later this year.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, beginning Nov. 1, 2017, up to two pets (dogs and cats only) can stay in these state park cabins:

Cabins and lodges can be booked up to 12 months in advance. To make a reservation, visit www.midnrreservations.com or call 800-44-PARKS (800-447-2757). *There is an additional fee of $10 per night/pet/cabin or $15 per night/pet/lodge. All pet rules and leash laws still apply.

Additionally, there are 12 designated pet friendly shorelines:

  • Brighton Recreation Area – pet-friendly section of shoreline available on Chilson Pond
  • Burt Lake State Park – pet-friendly section shoreline available on Burt Lake
  • Grand Mere State Park – entire length of the Lake Michigan park shoreline (1 mile)
  • Harrisville State Park – pet-friendly section of shoreline available at the north end of the camper’s beach (accessible via a foot trail near site #103)
  • McLain State Park – portion of Lake Superior shoreline is pet-friendly
  • Mears State Park – southernmost section of shoreline is pet-friendly
  • Otsego Lake State Park – pet-friendly section of shoreline on Otsego Lake (only accessible via a flight of stairs near site 64 and may not be accessible during high water)
  • Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – entire length of park shoreline
  • Port Crescent State Park – pet-friendly section of shoreline available near the mouth of the Pinnebog River (accessible via the steel bridge that connects to the hiking trails closest to the campground)
  • South Higgins Lake State Park – two pet-friendly areas of shoreline, including the day-use area and a campers-only area near the west campground
  • Tawas Point State Park – pet-friendly section of shoreline available on Tawas Bay between the campground and the lighthouse (enclosed by fencing)
  • Warren Dunes State Park – 2.5 miles of pet-friendly Lake Michigan shoreline (north of the northernmost swim buoy)

Pets are also allowed on most trails, boat launches and harbors with some exceptions. Be sure to check the signage.


Of course, be courteous and follow the rules:

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