A town of approximately 1,600, Ovid, Michigan keeps its friendly charm even though the bustling city of Lansing is 25 miles to the south. That means your creature comforts are in easy reach: Lansing has 3 dog parks and more than 30 pet-friendly restaurants with patio seating. Plus, the regulars at Joey’s Pet Outfitters in Williamston say you can sniff out just about any flavor of premium dog food on the market there (then play in the pawsome off-leash park on site).
With its glorious tree cover, Grumaer Memorial Park on the north end of Ovid beckons your fur family with paved paths and a grassy field near the children’s playground. In this safe community, you can follow the sidewalk all the way down Main Street to the other end of town (an 8-block journey) and continue your walk surrounded by Ovid’s rich history at the Maple Grove Cemetery. If you want to grab a snack along the way, snag one of the benches along Main Street set among the classic small-town storefronts. It’s the perfect spot to share with Spot, whether a take-out burger from the Ovid Café or a large pupperoni pie from Main Street Pizza.
If you’re a real pizza-hound, you can bring your pups along to Roma’s Back Room Pizzeria in nearby Owosso, too. Owosso has additional parks and veterinary practices on offer, but there's no need to commute: Ovid itself has 2 veterinarians to keep your pups in top-dog form.
Ten miles due west of Ovid, you will discover the “Mint City” of Saint Johns, the county seat of approximately 8,000 residents. You can help celebration Saint Johns’ signature crop at the annual Mint Festival, or just enjoy the 137 acres of parkland set aside inside the city limits. The largest stretch is at St. Johns City Park; five additional pocket-parks are scattered around town. The main park has a sledding hill that even novice sled dogs will enjoy in winter, plus grassy lawns, walking paths, sports fields, and picnic pavilions to enjoy in summer. An additional mile of paved paths along Townsend Road provide a safe way to explore the south end of town, and historic Mt. Rest Cemetery on the north end offers a beautiful, if somber, setting for a long walk.
Sleepy Hollow State Park in the community of Westchester Heights is just 10 miles south of Ovid. This beautiful recreation area sprawls over 2,600 acres on Lake Ovid. There are 16 miles of hiking trails to select from, so you can scale your hikes for the smallest Dachshund or the largest St. Bernard in your life. If you would rather drive than hike, bring the whole pack and try the 6.5-mile dogsledding trail instead. In summer, channel that competitive spirit on the disc golf course or head straight into the 410-acre lake -- Dog Beach is a designated on-leash swimming area for your canine companions located 100 yards north of the main human beach area.
The Meridian Charter Township in metropolitan Lansing is simply ideal for a doggy day out and just 23 miles from Ovid. For a walk on the wild side, try the 5 nature trails at Ted Black Woods Park. Ranging from 0.15 to 1.13 miles in length, all of these dog-friendly trails wind through pine and hardwood forest. If people-watching sounds more interesting, try the trails that wind through the sports fields and playgrounds of Nancy Moore Park over to the Historical Village, pond, and observation deck at Central Park. To fuel up after all that exercise, grab a burger to share at dog-friendly Culvers, or maybe a latte for you plus a pup-cup for Fido at Biggby Coffee.
The Old Everett neighborhood of Lansing has one of the city’s best dog parks. For a reasonable annual subscription or day pass, the Soldan Dog Park gives your fur babies 12 full acres to explore off-leash, full of trails, fields, and even a swimming pond. The adjacent Hawk Island Park has walking trails and sledding hills if your pups still have energy to burn. Just to the north of Hawk Island, catch the Lansing River Trail through Scott Woods Park. If you want, you can follow the trail north all the way through the city, but we suspect that you’ll only get as far as the dog-friendly picnic tables outside Saddleback BBQ on Washington Ave.
The Rose Lake State Wildlife Research Area is only 15 miles south of Ovid. Popular with hunters and nature photographers, Rose Lake is full of the sights — and scents! — of nature’s fauna. Several dog-friendly hiking trails wind through these woods. The Point Trail is a 1.5-mile moderate journey, while the 3-mile Rose Lake Loop remains level. If you prefer your nature a little more domesticated, though, you can head a few miles south to the Lake Lansing Park North, where your canine companions can join you on-leash throughout the park’s walking trails, lakeside picnic facilities, and ball fields.