Grass Lake is a suburban village named for the large marshy lake to its north. It has retained its rural character, with several family-run farms and farm stands just outside of town, and parks and preserves in the surrounding areas where you and your fur-baby can explore. While no one expects their pooch to get sick or injured, you can rest easy knowing that there is at least 1 animal hospital in Grass Lake, with 5 others in the surrounding towns of Jackson and Michigan Center.
One of the pawsome places to take your fur-buddy for an outing is to the Sharonville State Wildlife Management Area, which features excellent opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, birding, and hunting. The terrain for hiking varies from forest to open fields and barrens, with a landscape that undulates with rolling hills. Birds and mammals are abundant and will give Fido’s senses plenty to do as you walk along. Arf! You could see turtles and other amphibians, along with butterflies and wild turkeys, too. Please remember to keep the pup leashed, and during hunting season to equip him and yourself with blaze orange vests. Also be sure to bring along plenty of water and other necessities for backcountry exploring.
Whatever your reason for being in the Grass Lake area, you’re sure to find lots for you and your furry bestie to do here in the outdoors!
The Grass Lake Community Sports and Trails Park contains miles of walking trails that circle softball and soccer fields, and where you and your leashed fur-pup are welcome to amble, perhaps while other members of the family are playing. Another community park, Grass Lake County Park, sits on the lakeside and provides lots of space for leashed walking as well as a boat launch, picnic pavilion, and restrooms. And if you’re looking for a place to stay in Grass Lake with your fur-baby, look no further than Apple Creek Campground and RV Park, which features 180 cabin, RV, and rustic tenting sites on 125 acres. Dogs are welcome, on a leash, throughout the property except for the pool and in buildings. Every site has a picnic table and fire ring, and other amenities include a camp store, bathhouse and laundry room. Their many trails make for great hiking, and they are open from April through November. Furbulous!
This neighborhood in nearby Chelsea is home to Timbertown Park, an almost 20-acre swathe of land featuring hiking trails that are dog-friendly, plus a pavilion with picnic seating, a playground and lots of grassy lawn to play and relax on. Open year-round from dawn to dusk, it’s also a pawrfect place to practice your cross-country skiing technique with Fido in tow! This neighborhood also hosts Veteran’s Memorial Park, a small park adjacent to a stream with a lawn for walking and relaxing, paved walkways and picnic tables for a casual outdoor meal. Just down Main Street from these 2 parks is Pierce Park, a family-oriented and dog-friendly park with lots of room to run and play with a leashed pup, plus picnic tables and a pavilion.
Chelsea’s Sylvan Center/ Notten neighborhood is where you’ll find the Waterloo State Recreation Area, which spreads its 20,000 acres west into Grass Lake and other communities. This furtastic dog-friendly park has it all, something for everyone! With 11 lakes, several campgrounds that range from rustic to modern, boat launches, several picnic areas, and almost 60 miles of trails that include 12 miles of interpretive nature trails, you and Fido will never run out of things to do! You might even run into some horses on your trail hikes! Dog-paddling in the lakes is okay as long as the spot isn’t designated as an off-limits area, and the 10-mile DTE Energy Foundation Trail is a cutting-edge biking and hiking trail you’ll want to put at the top of your list! Remember to keep your pup leashed.
A few miles north of Grass Lake is Pleasant Lake, home of the pup-friendly Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary. The Sanctuary covers over 1,000 acres and is the habitat of various wildlife, but it is best known for its Sandhill Cranes, which nest here or stop as they migrate in the fall. The winter months are pawrfect for hiking with your leashed pup on the 2 looped and connected trails that traverse meadow, woodland, wetland, and that skirt Eagle Lake. You’ll likely see waterfowl, amphibians, songbirds, and small wildlife like raccoons, skunks, and squirrels, as well as deer. It’s a sensory smorgasbord for Fido! Or come in the fall, have a sit on one of the benches near Mud Lake Marsh where thousands of cranes gather and wait for the pawsome spectacle! Woofderful!
This neighborhood in Pinckney, to the northeast of Grass Lake, is where you’ll find the dog-friendly Pinckney State Recreational Area, with over 11,000 acres featuring hiking as well as other year-round outdoor activities. The area contains forest as well as swampy wetlands, but much of it is open grassland, and you’ll also find more than 20 lakes here. Its 6 marked trails, most of which are used for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing, total about 70 miles and provide a variety of difficulty levels and terrains. One of them, the 35-mile Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, runs through the Waterloo Recreation Area as well. The area is home to several pawsome campgrounds with varying degrees of service, including rustic campsites that are only accessible on foot. What a woofderful place for a prolonged adventure for you and Fido!