Best Michigan Dog Beaches  

Abigail Grant
Abby Grant

| 6 min read

Throughout the summer, beaches on lakes across the state are full of traveling tourists and locals.  However, it is important to know that not every beach in Michigan is dog friendly. 
Michigan, also known as the Great Lake State, has many beaches that attract many visitors. Throughout the summer, beaches on lakes across the state are full of traveling tourists and locals. However, it is important to know that not every beach in Michigan is dog friendly. Dog owners often enjoy taking their pups with them on vacation or even day trips to get them out of the house. While not every beach is dog-friendly, there are many across the state that welcome dogs of all breeds and sizes! Here are some Michigan beaches where you can take your favorite four-legged furry friend.

Dog Beaches in West Michigan

Mears State Park – Pentwater, MI Located along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, Mears State Park is the perfect place to bring your dog. While the state park offers many activities for families throughout the summer, the large beach is often less busy than other nearby beaches. There is plenty of room for dogs to run and play with the whole family. Visitors to Mears State Park can also walk their dogs along the lake’s shoreline or even take them on the city’s pier and boardwalk. Grand Mere State Park – Stevensville, MI Another Lake Michigan beach that is dog friendly is Grand Mere State Park. With over a mile of shoreline, Grand Mere State Park is an ideal beach to take the whole family. Dogs are welcomed and if they are leashed, they are free to explore! Grand Mere State Park has hiking trails and large sand dunes and also has a large area where visitors can use their metal detectors to explore the terrain. Next time you are on the west side of the state, be sure to visit Grand Mere State Park! First Street Beach – Manistee, MI First Street Beach is a very popular beach in western Michigan that welcomes dogs! Because of its popularity, First Street Beach doesn’t allow dogs on its main beach between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, throughout the summer, dog owners are welcome to bring their pets to the dedicated dog beach and let their dogs swim or play in the sand. Additionally, First Street Beach has a dog park where your dog can run around and socialize with other dogs! Nordhouse Dunes – Free Soil, MI Nordhouse Dunes is a 3,500-acre wilderness area along the shores of Lake Michigan that has sandy beaches, sand dunes and miles of hikes where dog owners can bring their dogs. This large wilderness area is a great place to bring the whole family and appreciate untouched nature. Nordhouse Dunes offers a variety of different hiking trails that vary in length and difficulty providing something for every visitor. Dog owners are welcome to bring their four-legged friends if they are leashed!

Dog Beaches in Southeast Michigan

Belle Isle Dog Beach – Detroit, MI Belle Isle Dog Beach is located in Belle Isle Park, a 985-acre island in the Detroit River. This beach can get quite busy, but there are so many areas for your dog to explore such as nature trails and other beaches. Dogs are also welcomed on the Belle Island Bicycle Trail that goes along the perimeter of the island as long as they are leashed. There’s fun for the whole family at Belle Isle Park. The Livingstone Memorial Lighthouse, Belle Isle Aquarium, Dossin Great Lakes Museum and even a giant slide are some of the highlights to visit on your trip there. Orion Oaks Dog Park – Lake Orion, MI Orion Oaks Dog Park is the perfect place for dogs to have fun in the sun. This 24-acre park features play areas, hiking paths and a lake. Sorry owners, Lake Sixteen is for dogs only. This lake has a dog dock and ramps for easy access to the water. Here, dogs are allowed to play leash-free and make new friends. This park is even available to rent for doggy birthday parties and get-togethers. The Orion Oaks Dog Park strongly recommends for dogs to be up to date on their vaccinations before they visit. Mill Pond Park – Saline, MI Mill Pond Park is the largest community park in Saline at 54 acres. The park contains a one-acre gated dog park where dogs can play freely without leashes. The park also has access to water for dogs to splash and play. In addition, there’s a variety of trails to walk your dog and enjoy the scenery. This park features a 20.5 acre pond and access to the Saline River for water-filled activities such as fishing and canoeing. Mill Pond Park also has on-site grills, picnic areas and a huge playground for the perfect picnic outing.

Dog Beaches in Central Michigan

Port Crescent State Park – Port Austin, MI 640 acres of land, Port Crescent State Park is along three miles Lake Huron’s shoreline. The park contains the Pinnebog River, where some of its shoreline is dedicated for dogs to swim and play. Along the river and throughout the park, there’s many hiking trails to discover the preserved flora and fauna of the park. This state park also features a dark sky preserve to end the day stargazing with your furry friend.

Dog Beaches in Northern Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Empire, MI Filled with picturesque views, unique wildlife and natural scenery, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a beautiful area on Lake Michigan to take your dog. This shoreline features six beaches that are pet friendly. There’re also many nature trails to walk your companion while taking in the scenic area. Dogs are allowed in the majority of the park, but be cautious of the “no pet” signs as dogs can be harmful towards the native species of the shoreline.

Dog Beaches in the Upper Peninsula

Baraga State Park – Baraga, MI Baraga State Park is 56 acres of land along Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Bay. The activities to do Keweenaw Bay are endless, some include swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding and much more. Pets can also be part of the fun if they are leashed. There’s also a hiking trail that leads straight to the bay. This park is also a great spot for camping for more outdoor fun with your canine. McLain State Park – Hancock, MI McLain State Park is one of the best dog friendly beaches in the Upper Peninsula. This two-mile beach on Lake Superior has something for the whole family such as fishing, swimming, windsurfing and even berry picking! McLain State Park has a specific beach where dog owners can bring their pups to run or swim in Lake Superior. McLain State Park also offers hiking trails near the dog beach where families and dogs alike can experience the beautiful Upper Peninsula terrain. These are just a few of the many dog-friendly beaches located across the state. Be sure to check out these beaches next time you and your dog want to play in the sand or take a dip in the lake! Continue reading:
Photo credit: Getty Images

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