Casco Township is a community of around 5,000 just north of Anchor Bay, 20 miles from the Canadian border, and close enough to Detroit’s northern suburbs to offer an urban adventure. The unincorporated village of Casco is nestled inside the township, and the area is primarily agricultural. This tightly-knit town has some pawesome opportunities for you and your pups.
Though Casco itself has little infrastructure, there’s plenty to do nearby. The Bell River Park in Columbus, only 6 miles away, is a scenic spot in a bend in the river with grassy lawns perfect for a Frisbee match or a game of fetch. Just a mile and a half farther is Columbus County Park, a 261-acre expanse with hiking and skiing trails and river access for your favorite dog-paddlers. Columbus also has the nearest veterinary hospital to Casco, although other vets are located in nearby Richmond and China Township.
For a big day out, make the 45-mile journey to the big city of Detroit. With one off-leash dog park downtown, five more in the metro area, and plenty of on-leash parks (including the stunning river walk at Milliken State Park and Harbor), your pups won’t run out of ways to play. And, with more than 20 Detroit restaurants providing dog-friendly patios, you are sure to have a good time, too. You can even get some retail therapy at the high-end pet emporium Three Dogs and One Cat — at least if you can put up with the cat for that long.
Starting in downtown Richmond, just 7.5 miles from Casco, the Macomb Orchard Trail is 23.5 miles of converted railroad track that you can follow through scenic woods, orchards, and fields all the way to Rochester if you want. This dog-friendly trail follows the path of the 1871 Michigan Air Line Railway and includes other bits of history along the way, including a stop on the Underground Railroad — a very different transportation network for runaway slaves from the South. Do remember your leashes and waste removal bags, please! If you’d rather keep your adventures closer to home, Richmond’s Beebe Street Memorial Park also has walking trails and grassy lawns for some on-leash frolicking.
New Baltimore on Anchor Bay is a thriving waterfront community tucked between the northern suburbs of Detroit and the Walpole Island Indian Preserve, and it’s a mere 9 miles from Casco. New Baltimore is a lovely spot for a day on the town. Try the Oysters Rockefeller — unless Spot prefers something from the butcher’s block — at the outdoor tables of Fin’s Eatery and Spirits. The nearby Dog Zone Training Center is a great resource for any remedial skills your doggo needs to brush up on, or even ambitious agility training if he’s already a very good boy. Then, it’s time for the park! The largest and closest to Casco is Maynard Memorial Park, with green space and a sledding hill for your playtime needs. Or, enjoy an afternoon with a view at the lakefront Ruedisale Point Park, a 7-acre dog-friendly waterfront preserve.
The Wolcott Mill Historic Center and Metropark near the community of Ray Township, MI is really several parks in one. There’s a working farm, and while pets are not allowed in barns and animal-husbandry areas, we bet that your pups will still catch some fascinating scents. On-leash dogs are welcome in other outdoor areas of the park, and the North Branch Trail system offers 4 paved miles for hiking and running. At just 16 miles away from Casco, Wolcott Mills is well worth a little car ride (and you know your doggos loves to go bye-bye in the car, anyway). To fuel up after your adventures, try one of the 3 dog-friendly restaurants in the adjacent town of Macomb.
About 21 miles north of Casco is the bustling border town of Port Huron and its Canadian twin city Sarnia. With your Canuck neighbors in easy barking distance, your border collies will definitely want to visit. There are 11 parks in Port Huron: The 41-acre Sanborn Park and Nature Trail is convenient to Casco and popular with local school groups. (Extra pets, anyone?) The waterfront Lakeside Park on Lake Huron is a scenic spot to play the day away, too, with lawns and a pet-friendly beach. There are also 3 dog-friendly restaurants with outdoor seating, including the gothic Edgar Allen Poe-themed Raven Cafe for your more fearless pups.
Clinton Township, 21 miles from Casco in the northeast suburbs of Detroit, has a dog-loving mindset. The community’s annual Festival of the Senses includes pet activities like the Dog Parade with costume prizes. Throughout the year, the Clinton Township Dog Park provides 1.5 acres of off-leash play space with separate areas for big and small dogs. An annual pass is required, but water fountains and waste stations are provided. You can also grab a burger at the drive-in and head for the Don Green Nature Trail at 50-acre Budd Park; the trail leads you to nearby Canal Park. There’s another nature trail at George George Park (that’s not a typo, just a lot of George) and even more space to explore at the Civic Center Park — all within one tightly-packed area.