Michigan state parks to offer pet-friendly camping options

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan officials are planning to expand options for pet lovers who may want to bring their favorite companions on camping trips.

Beginning this November, the state’s Department of Natural Resources will open some state park cabins and lodges to people traveling with dogs or cats. Leashed pets are currently allowed in campsites, but cannot stay in state-owned facilities.

MLive.com reports that vacationers in both the Upper and Lower Peninsula have long requested to bring pets into cabins. DNR officials say they often see spikes in interest during the fall hunting season when some hunters travel more with their dogs.

“Their pets make their travel decisions for them,” said Maia Turek, DNR resource development specialist. “If you can’t find a kennel for a weekend getaway, you may not be able to go because you can’t leave your pet unattended.”

Pets will be allowed in the following pilot project sites this fall: Harrisville State Park, Sleepy Hollow State Park, Lime Island State Park, Leelanau State Park and Cheboygan State Park.

State officials said they plan to evaluate the project after one season. If it goes well, there’s a possibility it could be expanded to other sites.

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