Summertime is in full swing and that means there are several ways to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. Michiganders can go to the beach, get ice cream, watch the sunset, golf, bike — you name it! Unfortunately, sometimes we have to leave our pets out of this fun, especially if we go on vacation. But, there are trips you can take that include both outdoor fun for you and pet-friendly adventure for your furry friends.
We certainly wouldn’t want to get left behind from our family’s summer fun, so consider planning your next summer excursion with your dog in tow. The following is a suggested 10-day camping and hiking adventure we put together for Michigan’s breathtaking Upper Peninsula (because it’s always good to get out of town) that is fun for the whole family — including Fido. Enjoy any or all parts of these suggested excursions!
Porcupine Mountains: Days 1-3
We suggest beginning your adventure at the Porcupine Mountains, just west of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The Porcupine Mountains State Park is 60,000 acres of beautiful Hemlock, roaring waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas. In the Porcupine Mountains, there are several waterfalls to see — three in particular to note (which are all hiking distance from one another), are Manabezho Falls, Manido Falls, and Nawdaha Falls. These waterfalls are good for anyone to hike —from beginner to expert. You can do more research on the more than 90 miles of hiking trails here.
There are several camping options in the state park, but one that is a bit more rustic and thus a little less crowded is Presque Isle River. Another spot that you might want to check out, still located in the Porcupine Mountain State Park as you head east, is Lake of the Clouds. Situated between two ridges in the Porcupine Mountains, the views are spectacular. Though there are no waterfalls here, this lake is a sight to behold and has pet-friendly trails, as well. You can get a taste of the views here.
Munising: Day 4
Two notable waterfalls that you will pass by on your way to Pictured Rocks are Munising Falls, which has a 50-foot drop over sandstone rock, and Miners Falls, which has a 40-foot drop over sandstone rock. These falls vary in size depending on the season, but both are accessible via trail and stairway. Plus, both trails are pet-friendly. You can find more info on the Munising Falls and Miners Falls online. Regardless of the season, plan for a temperature drop as you near the mist of each of these falls!
Pictured Rocks: Day 5-7
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore promises views of the wild beauty of Lake Superior. The sandstone cliffs are exceptional — you can hike kayak or take a boat around the lakeshore to capture some of these views. One of the main attractions in Pictured Rocks are the spray falls. This 70-foot waterfall is a sight to behold. You can plan your visit to Pictured Rocks here.
It is also important to note that pets are allowed in many parts of the park, but check out some additional information here for any restrictions.
Manistique: Day 8-9
Head south from Pictured Rocks toward Manistique and you will find one of the most beautiful natural wonders: Kitch-iti-kipi, which means “Big Spring.” This incredible natural spring is beyond description — the blue water is incredibly clear and translucent. Located in Hiawatha National Forest near Manistique, this spring is the perfect way to end your tour of the UP. Find out more about this spring by clicking here.
HWY 2: Day 10
As you drive back home, consider taking HWY 2 along the bottom of the UP and expect to see some wonderful views through Naubinway, Epoufette, and Brevot. Stop at the Epoufette Bayview Inn for a quick bite and gorgeous views of Lake Michigan.
The UP is a pet-friendly place and as you and your furry friend travel through any part of this suggested route, make sure to always double check the rules and regulations of the spots you stop. Make sure to abide by the rules of the park as they pertain to your pets. You know the limits of your animal, but be courteous of others who are enjoying this space, as well. Pets should be on a leash no longer than six feet and under an owner’s immediate control at all times. Pets are not to be left unattended. And please make sure to be mindful and always clean up after your pet. With these tips in mind, you are bound to have a wonderful trip to this wild, untethered country.