While most state parks say they are dog-friendly, the 985-acre Grand Mere State Park actually means it! In fact, it seems more like a dog park than a state park since almost everyone who visits the park has their fur buddy with them. In fact, on the shore of Lake Michigan, the largest lake in the state, this park even allows your pooch to swim with you. You must have a recreational pass from the state of Michigan to enter the park, which for residents is $11 with the purchase or renewal of their license tabs annually. Non-Michigan residents can purchase a daily pass for $9, or an annual pass to all of the Michigan's state parks for $32.
Make sure you bring clean up bags with you as the park does not have any on-site, and be prepared to carry the bag with you until you get to a trash receptacle. The trail from the parking lot to the beach is about a quarter of a mile of paved path until you reach the dunes, where it turns into a sandy climb. Be prepared to walk up some hills with your pooch as some report that the trip up the dunes can be strenuous for some. There are several other trails from a half mile to over one mile varying from easy to moderate.
Like most state parks, there is plenty of shade and foliage in the park area, but the shoreline is mostly sunny, so bring an umbrella and wear your sunscreen. The Grand Mere State Park also has picnic shelters, vault toilets, and picnicking areas that are all handicap accessible for your convenience. You will not find as many amenities in this state park as others as it is more of a natural area to preserve nature’s beauty.
For those who wish to boat, there is a boat launch that provides you with access to the Middle Lake. You will find many different types of fish in the lake such as smallmouth and largemouth bass, different varieties of catfish, yellow perch, bowfin, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, and even some lake trout. You can fish in Lake Michigan or one of the other two lakes in the park but make sure you have a fishing license to avoid a fine. There are no campgrounds, but there are hotels and lodges in the area, as well as other parks where you can camp. There are vault toilets on site,