Does your pup love to swim and hike? Then they're in for a treat at Point Beach State Forest! Nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan, this 3,000-acre site features miles of trails and a sandy beach that both two- and four-legged visitors will enjoy.
The state forest contains 6 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, including a separate beach for canines located south of a historic lighthouse. Take a leisurely stroll with your furry pal in the sand, play fetch among the waves, and let Fido cool off and doggie paddle in the water. From here, you can also view the Rawley Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in the Great Lakes. Visitors are not allowed inside the tower as it is an active lighthouse, but feel free to take photos—the dog-friendly beach is a furrific spot to do so!
Point Beach also offers 11 miles of hiking trails for active doggos to explore. A 5-mile segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which follows the edge of Wisconsin's last continental glacier, runs from the northern tip to the southern end of the forest. Another route that you can take is the Red Pine Trail, a multi-use, 3-mile loop through the woods. While this is a Fido-friendly trail, it is closed to canines during ski season. The half-mile Swales Nature Trail, however, is off-limits to puppers regardless of season. If you'd like to check out this self-guided path, have someone else from your pawty watch your pooch for a while.
Wherever you go in the forest, be sure to always keep your canine companion on an 8-foot leash and clean up after them. Be sure to bring clean-up bags, and water to share with your thirsty pup. Note that four-legged visitors are not permitted in picnic areas, buildings, and playgrounds. There is a daily entrance fee of $8 per vehicle for Wisconsin residents ($3 if you're a senior) and $11 per vehicle for out-of-state guests.
Expect to have a blast with your pup at Point Beach State Forest!