10 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Michigan (2023 Guide)


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With 103 state parks and recreation areas and 360,000 acres of land within those areas,1 it’s hard to imagine that there aren’t tons of trails for you to explore with your four-legged friend. Michigan is home to some of the most picturesque scenery, shaded trails, and freshwater lakes, all of which are perfect for an active day with your pooch. Lace up those hiking boots and grab your leash because we’re about to list 10 of the most beautiful dog-friendly hiking trails the Great Lakes State has to offer!

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The 10 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Michigan

1. Wetmore Landing: Shoreline Trail

🗺️ Address: 📍 Maquette, MI 49855
🕐 Open Times: 24 hours
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • 6-mile out-and-back trail
  • Trail marked with blue rectangles on trees
  • Sitting area partway up the trail
  • Clifftop views of Lake Superior
  • Dogs allowed to swim in the lake

2. Sleepy Hollow Trail

🗺️ Address: 📍 Laingsburg, MI 48848
🕐 Open Times: 8 AM to 10 PM
💲 Cost: Free when entering on foot or bike; $18 recreation passport for vehicles
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Located in Sleepy Hollow State Park
  • 6-mile loop
  • Trail for birding, hiking, and mountain biking
  • Best months to visit are April through October

3. Lumberman’s Monument Trail

  • Inside Huron-Manistee National Forest
  • 8-mile loop
  • Popular for birding, hiking, and walking
  • Overlooks the Au Sable River
  • Towering sand dunes

4. Fern Lake Loop

 

  • Inside the Timbers Recreation Area
  • 1-mile loop
  • Great for birding, cross-country skiing, and fishing
  • Encounter two lakes and a swamp with entry points a quick dip
  • Short drive from downtown Traverse City

5. Provin Trails

  • 8-mile loop
  • Minutes from downtown Grand Rapids
  • Moderately challenging with hilly terrain
  • Secret sand dune

6. Maybury Hiking Trail Loop

  • Located inside Maybury State Park
  • 1-mile loop
  • Good for hiking, running, cross-country skiing, fishing, and biking
  • Open year-round
  • Lots of shade

7. North Country Trail

 

  • 2- mile out-and-back trail
  • Considered challenging
  • Perfect for backpacking, birding, and camping
  • Follows the Manistee River

8. Novi Lakeshore Park MTB Loop

🗺️ Address: 📍 Novi, MI 48377
🕐 Open Times: 6 AM to 9 PM
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, in certain areas
  • 7-mile loop
  • Moderately challenging
  • Popular for hiking, mountain biking, and running
  • Best months to visit are March through October

9. Avalanche Preserve

 

  • 6-mile loop
  • Busy trail for birding, hiking, and mountain biking
  • Best months to visit are May through November
  • 470 steps to the viewing platform overlooking Lake Charlevoix
  • Well-maintained trail

10. Hungarian Falls

  • 7-mile out-and-back loop
  • Popular for birding, hiking, and snowshoeing
  • Best months to visit are May through September
  • Up-close views of the falls
  • Two sections to hike: one is easy and the other is challenging with large drops

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Conclusion

Whether you’re wanting to hike in the Upper or Lower Peninsula or you’re trying to see sand dunes, lakes, or waterfalls, this list covers some of the most beautiful dog-friendly hiking trails in Michigan. Each one has something unique to offer, and there are a range of distances and challenge levels to choose from. So leash up your dog and grab your hiking boots, some fresh food and water and get to hiking these stunning trails!


Featured Image Credit: Antbirdmedia, Shutterstock

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