Canine, Equine … SublimeJust $8-10 per day gets your dog or horse in with you to Grace Grange Lodge and Stable, 10 miles from Petoskey in the heart of the forested Joy Valley. You provide your pet’s food; Grace Grange’s chef will provide you an unforgettably good breakfast — butterscotch breakfast rolls and pi”a colada bananas, anyone? Kick back on the porch while Ol’ Paint roams the four-acre pasture, or saddle him up for hours of sauntering the nonpaved trails. Rover can rove with you, too — so long as he’s on a leash. Room rates start at $65 per day. 231-347-5869, gracegrange.com.
Lap Up SummerKnow that swimming hole at Burt Lake State Park where the Little Sturgeon empties into Burt Lake? That’s where pups are allowed to swim with their owners. It gets better. The park has a fenced-in dog run, and at The Dairy Mart (3450 S. Straits Hwy.), just a short walk away in downtown Indian River, you can order your furry pal a Doggie Bone Ice Cream Treat, a dish of vanilla topped with a dog biscuit. Cap off the summer fun with a canine-owner campout at Burt Lake’s campground. One caveat: Dogs at Burt Lake State Park must be on a leash and attended at all times — whether in the water, the dog run or in the camp area. Sites start at $24 nightly during peak season. 800-447-2757 for reservations; 231-238-9392 for more information.
Dogs Gone WildRemind Spot that the great outdoors is not only a place we go to lift our leg. Beyond the backyard there are trails to explore, trees to sniff and waters to dogpaddle. He can do the latter on a leash no longer than six feet at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park on Lake Superior at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula — one of the few state parks Up North that allows dogs to swim and hang out on the beach. In fact, the only spot Spot’s not allowed at Fort Wilkins is inside the park buildings. Out of water, explore the shore or the two-mile forest trail together, take in a historical re-enactment, then cuddle up in a tent under the moon and howl at your shared good fortune (quietly, of course). Campsites start at $23 nightly during peak season. 800-447-2757 for reservations; 906-289-4215.
The Pampered PoochPlaying Frisbee with Fido in the backyard … fun. But playing Frisbee with Fido at the posh Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, where 1,800 grassy acres, 1,700 feet of lakeshore, a specially prepared (people) picnic basket and a shared room in the resort’s spiffy Straits Lodge are yours (and Fido’s) for the taking … nothing short of stupendous. Room rates start at $214 during peak season; expect an additional $50 fee per pet, per stay. Picnic extra. 800-833-7711, missionpoint.com.
Lynda Twardowski is travel editor of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.email@example.com
Note: This article was first published in July 2006 and was updated for the web February 2008.