Van Riper State Park offers over 1,000-acres of stunning landscape, including land more than one mile that sits on the shoreline of lakes and rivers. You can hike one of four trails throughout the park or camp for a few days at their cabins, primitive campsites, or lodges, or even mini-cabins.
There are also areas for picnicking, boat launching, and beaches. However, exploring the water or entering buildings is something Fluffy cannot participate in as Fluffy is not allowed in any swimming areas or any buildings. But there is a selection of other things to do instead!
The trails include the Miners Loop, which is a quarter mile, the Main Trail, which is a half mile, the Old Wagon Road Trail, and the River Trail, which each are one and a half miles. You and Fluffy can sniff out nature as you hike along the trails. The River Trail will take you along the Peschke River and to the Overlook to have some spectacular sights.
Whenever you're on the trails, remember your plastic bags for doggie poop and to clean up immediately after your dog goes. If you're up for camping, there are over 100 campsites of varying accommodations for you to choose from. You can go completely primitive and rustic and disconnect entirely, or you can use the campground's free wifi.
You can reserve a site online and the prices range from $17-$86 per night. Dogs are allowed, but cannot be left unattended and must be up-to-date on their vaccinations. They also must be under your control and you should discourage excessive barking. Before you reserve your campsite, make sure that dogs are welcome at that particular location.
To enter Van Riper State Park or any Michigan State Park, you need a Recreation Pass. This is an annual pass that you can purchase when you renew your license plate and it is only $11. The Recreation Pass gets you access to Michigan's State Parks. If you're not a resident, you can purchase the pass online for $32, or pay $9 for a daily pass.