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Are Dogs Allowed On Mackinac Island? Full Details

Are Dogs Allowed On Mackinac Island? Full Details

Here we will discuss everything you need to know regarding dogs at Mackinac Island, including some dog-friendly places. So, are dogs allowed on Mackinac Island?

Yes, Mackinac Island is dog-friendly and allows visitors to hike with their dogs, service dogs or emotional support dogs. Keep reading to learn more.

Mackinac Island is one of the best and most visited places in Michigan. Embarking on a ferry or boat across the Straights of Mackinac.

The renowned Mackinac Island is just like hopping aboard a time machine for a journey into the past.

Although the journey will only last for about 25 minutes, the ship will transport you to a different era. 

If you have ever been to Mackinac Island or have heard anything about it, you might have heard that cars are not allowed.

When the first horseless carriage was delivered to the Island in 1898, it is believed the noisy contraption scared the horses and even threatened the peace of the islanders.

As a result, the council decided to ban the automobile, a decisive act that changed history.

However, the absence of automobiles does not mean that you will have difficulty navigating the Island. 

Are Dogs Allowed On Mackinac Island?

Dog On Mackinac Island

As mentioned earlier, dogs and other pets are welcome to explore the Mackinac Island with their owners.

However, you will have to ensure that your dog is well-behaved on a leash. The dog should not cause any disturbance.

The ferry operators at the Island will be happy to see your furry family members and even welcome them aboard without any charges.

Besides, your canine friend is welcome to join you on a paddleboard excursion or kayak from Mackinac Island, as long as the dog comes with its doggy life vest.

If you are renting bikes, there are pet trailers at the many bike liveries on the Island. Their carriage tours are dog friendly too.

Small dogs that can sit on the owner’s lap will ride for free, while larger dogs are charged an equal fare to that of children.

Dogs are also welcomed at Fort Mackinac. Besides, most shops on Main Street allow dogs inside.

However, you will need to confirm first before taking your dog. You can also visit to enjoy the parks and explore all the trails and roads in Mackinac Island State Park together.

Dog-Friendly Accommodations On Mackinac Island

The famous Grand Hotel is one of the few places where dogs are not allowed. The hotel was built in 1887 in order to accommodate posh summer visitors to the Island, and neither the grounds nor the hotel is dog friendly. 

The Island has three dog-friendly accommodations that you can choose from. They include:

Mission Point Resort

Mission Point Resort has a resort and beautiful grounds that anyone will like. They love dogs and will welcome a maximum of two dogs of any given size at an additional fee of $100 per night.

They welcome dogs to enjoy a ride with their owners on both the Star Line and Shelper’s ferries. 

Dogs are permitted at all of their on-site restaurants that offer outdoor seating. Besides, they offer special accommodation during inclement weather.

If you are planning to visit Mission Point Resort with your dog, be sure that your canine friend is well-mannered. They only welcome well-mannered dogs to their facility.

They reserve the right to ask for immediate removal of any dog that displays unacceptable or dangerous behavior.

You will also need to make sure that your furry friend is on a leash and under your control throughout.

Park Place Suites

Park Place Suites is another popular dog-friendly accommodation on Mackinac Island. They offer three condo units in the heart of downtown, all of which comes with a complete yard.

If you are looking for a good place to spend with your canine friend on Mackinac Island, this is one of the best options.

They will charge you an additional pet fee of $30 per night. When visiting their facilities with your dog, just make sure that it is on a leash and under your control. 

Sunset Condos

Sunset Condos will offer you fantastic and more secluded views of the Mackinac Bridge and Lake Huron.

Their pet fee will vary depending on the size of your dog. For instance, the pet fee for a dog weighing no more than 40 pounds is $75 per stay, while the fee for a dog weighing more than 40 pounds is $100 per stay.

You will be charged a pet fee of $150 per stay for two dogs weighing more than 40 pounds.

Like most other places, you will be required to make sure that your dog is leashed and well-mannered. Their staff may ask you to leave if your pet causes any disturbance at the facility.

Are Dogs Allowed On Mackinac Island?

Exploring Mackinac Island With Your Dog

There are several places on Mackinac Island where you can explore with your dog. Hiking with your canine friend at any of these places will offer you a memorable experience that makes you want to return again. Here are some of the places you can explore with your dog on Mackinac Island.

Fort Mackinac

If you love everything about history, Fort Mackinac is one of the best places to be. It was moved between 1779 and 1782 from the mainland to the Island.

Their staff will share the history of the Island and the fort with you, from its establishment as a French fur-trading hub, its transformation to commercial fishing, and later as a summer vacation destination.

As part of the demonstration, the cannon at the fort is “fired over the harbor” from time to time. Therefore, be sure to ask about the firing schedule if your furry friend is sensitive to loud noises.

There is a large green space below the fort that once served as the garden for soldiers. Today, it is a park named after Father Jacques Marquette, who, in 1671, brought a band of Huron Indians to the Island.

They had been forced out of southern Ontario by Iroquois warriors. If you are looking for a good place on Mackinac Island to explore with your canine friend, then this is one of the places to be.

Mackinac Island State Park

The United States of America established the Mackinac Island Park in 1875. It was the second national park after Yellowstone.

Two decades later, when troops were being moved out of Fort Mackinac, the national park and the fort were transferred to Michigan. Today, the park covers about 80% of the Island. 

Mackinac Island State Park is dog friendly and will welcome you alongside your furry friend. You will need to make sure that your pet is on a leash all the time while at the park.

The dog should also not cause any disturbance to other visitors as well as wildlife. 

Things To Consider When Hiking With Your Dog

Hiking with your canine friend is one of the best places to explore new places. However, it can be challenging, especially if you are going out with your pet for the first time.

Here are a few things you need to consider when hiking with your dog.

Consider the Dog’s Physical Condition

Before hiking with your dog, you should always consider their physical condition. If you are unsure how your pet will do on a hike, you can start with long walks in the neighborhood as you slowly build up their endurance.

Later, you start taking short hikes and gradually add the distance you cover. If your pet has any physical disabilities or is older, you should go for trails that accommodate a dog wheelchair or stroller. Although it will take most of your time, it is a rewarding exercise. 

Are Dogs Allowed On Mackinac Island?

Prepare for Weather and Terrain

The best way to prepare for the terrain is by reading online reviews of any trails you think of visiting. You can also prepare for the weather by checking the forecast.

You should not overlook how differences in elevation, sun strength, and humidity affect you and your furry friend.

Summer and Spring hikes mean bugs and sun, so you will need to pack sunscreen and an insect repellant for dogs.

If you are hiking on rough terrain or snow, dog boots might be necessary. 

Follow Rules

Every place you will be going for hikes has its own rules and regulations regarding dogs. If you are using an online resource to locate dog-friendly hikes, it is always good to verify their rules before visiting with your dog.

Policies regarding dogs keep changing from time to time, so you will need to call or confirm on their website. Be sure to abide by their rules to be on the safe side and to avoid being asked to leave with your canine friend.


Dogs are allowed on Mackinac Island, and you can hike at various places on the Island with your pet as long as they are on a leash. Your dog should also be well-mannered and under your control. 

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