There’s no need to leave fido home at the bungalow at Hearthside Grove… There are plenty of nearby destinations where dogs are welcome!
Head to the Round Lake Bookstore on Charlevoix’s Bridge Street, and you’ll likely find a sweet pooch to pet as you browse for your vacation reads — or puppy training manual. If your own dog is a friendly sort, he or she will also count the trip a play date because the longtime resident bookstore dog, Cheeseball, is being followed by a couple of bookstore puppies in training. One staffer’s standard poodle and another’s Brittany spaniel. Treats are always waiting at the checkout counter.
Charlevoix, like many other parts of the region, is particularly pet friendly. The Clothing Company allows dogs in for a visit, as does Charlevoix State Bank, known for its dog biscuit “withdrawal.” Dogs also are welcomed on many of the region’s hiking trails, nature conservancy lands, parks, beaches and boat trips.
Pets have been known to share a double kayak, though not necessarily to be that helpful with paddling, at Windjammer Marina in Oden, a key stop on the Inland Waterway. They’re more common, though, as companions on a rental pontoon, says manager Lisa Campbell. Dogs are welcome on all boats, and life jackets are available for both the humans and the pets. (There is a small cleaning fee added to the rental cost)
And what might the dogs find most captivating about a trip on the waterway that crosses through small locks, past long stretches of pristine forest and a few downtowns en route to Lake Huron? “Besides the wildlife,” Campbell says, “there are plenty of beaches where they can swim and play.”
The region’s newest pet-friendly park is the recently opened ridge run dog Park in Boyne City. The park features a two-acre fenced play area for large dogs, separate area for those under 35 pounds and water fountains. Expansion plans include a walking path and agility training area.
Pets are also welcome on nature conservancy lands. There are miles of hiking and biking trails at Boyne Highlands, Boyne Mountain and Nubs Nob and at some of the area’s prettiest beaches.
Zoll Street Beach in Harbor Springs is a small public access spot sandwiched between Wequetonsing and Walstrom’s Marina, but is long a favorite of swimmers, kayakers and dog lovers. Pet-friendly Tannery Beach (862 FRONT STREET, BOYNE CITY) is great for both its Lake Charlevoix expanse, and provided are doggie bags and scoopers for easy clean-up.
State parks and national lakeshores are an especially good option for dog owners.
If you’re up for a short road trip, Aloha State Park Beach in Cheboygan (seven miles South of Petoskey and 25 miles from the Mackinac Bridge) has a special pet swimming area located by the playground.
Young State Park Beach (02280 Boyne City road, Boyne City), lets dogs enter the water past the boat launch, as does Wilderness State Park Beach (903 Wilderness Park Rd., Carp Lake).
Please note that while your dog can’t join you on the Dune Climb in popular Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, they are welcome at the particularly scenic Good Harbor and Esch Road Beaches.
Please feel free to share your dog’s summer adventure photos with us on our Facebook page.