There’s just no bones about it -- you and your barking bestie are going to be stone mad about Petoskey. It’s even got "Pet" in the name, and doesn’t that tell you everything you need to know about this dog-loving locale? Petoskey is known for the volume of Petoskey stones in the area, named so after the Odawa Chief Ignatius Petosega. This striking stone has since become the state stone of Michigan and is made of fossilized rugose coral. Legend says that Petoskey was named after the Odawa phrase for "where the light shines through the clouds," and whether that is the case or not, this spot truly is a heavenly haven for hounds. Nuzzled up against Little Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan, Petoskey has both beauty and character and is waiting for you to come and explore the perpetual pawssibilities for four-legged fun that it has to "offur".
Petoskey State Park is a mutts-visit if you’re looking for some trails to traipse along with your pup. The Bear River Valley Recreation Area has a rugged feel to it and encourages you to immerse yourself in nature as you frolic through forested areas, walk the unpaved tracks, and admire the radiant river. The North County Trail Route passes through Petoskey and includes the Bear River Valley area and the Little Traverse Wheelway. Leashed lickers are welcome on these terrific trails.
Located in nearby Boyne City, Ridge Avenue boasts one of the few off-leash dog parks in the area. Ridge Run Dog Park has everything you need and more to give your furever friend the best day ever! This wide, welcoming space has two separate sections for the longest Leonbergers to the tiniest Terriers and covers about 2 acres of land. Ridge Run has shaded spots for summer cool-downs, a water fountain, and picnic benches for observant owners too. See how fetching your pooch looks while you throw them a frisbee and there’s no need to bring your own toys since there are always so many at the park.
With stunning and unparalleled views of Little Traverse Bay, you’d have to be barking mad to skip Bayfront Park. Easily accessed from downtown Petoskey, Bayfront Park shows some of the best scenic sites in the city. Here, you can stroll along the central promenade and "paws" to admire the clocktower. There’s even a wondrous waterfall area. Take the stair tower to Sunset Park if you want to get even more panoramas of this picturesque place, and you can survey the area from the gorgeous gazebo. Dogs are welcome in these parks as long as they are leashed and you have refuse bags at the ready. This park also provides access to the Wheelway.
Boyne City’s Glenwood Beach is a puppy paradise. Whether the sun is splitting the stones or there’s a dull grey sky above your heads, you and your carefree canine can make lasting memories here. Here, you can let Fido roam around in the sand, and maybe even kick off your shoes and join your paddling pup in the water! Glenwood Beach is on Lake Charlevoix and is just one of many sandy secrets in the area. If you and your pup fancy a bite to eat after bundling down the beach, then check out some of Boyne City’s dog-friendly restaurants, like the Boyne City Tap Room.
Although the breathtaking beach is off-limits to your darling dog, Young State Park is still a pupperific place for an adventure-filled day. Your furry favorite can still get their paws wet as you amble along the shoreline or bimble by the boat ramp. Three trails offer tours of the lowland, cedar swamp and rolling terrains to be found in this park. If you’re looking for a sizeable stretch, then the 3.4-mile Young-Deer Flats Nature Trail could be the one for you. But if it’s just a little lap you’re hoping for, then check out the 1.5-mile Young-White Birch Trail.
Are you looking to tire out a fit furball? Or maybe hoping to exercise that couch puptato? Whatever the dog, the Skyline Trail should be your ultimate dog-dawdling destination! This trail is only 1.5 miles long, has a moderate difficulty rating, and is paved with a firm footpath. It won’t be too much of an uphill battle to take on this trek, but there is a steep climb as you loop back to the trailhead, so make sure you’ve packed water to keep you and your hound hydrated! This tremendous trail has now become part of the North County Trail system so if you’re feeling ruff and ready, extend your excursion out for miles!