(Mackinac Island, Michigan)
At first blush, tourist mecca Mackinac Island in Lake Huron would seem to be a horrible place to bring a dog - teeming with crowds and literally thousands of bikes in the narrow streets. But do not despair. No one is coming to Mackinac to hike so once you walk your dog a half-mile from the landing dock, past the neatly kept shops and beyond the historic fort, you reach a Mackinac Island that existed long before any settlers arrived. You are likely to go for an hour or more and never see anyone.
Mackinac Island is about three miles long and two miles wide. A bike path - heavily used by wheelers and walkers - circles the island for 8.3 miles at shore level. The water’s edge is alternately muddy and rocky and not conducive for doggie dips in Lake Huron so after sampling the coast awhile your dog will gladly trade dodging the whizzing rental bikes for the peaceful footpaths of the island’s interior. These wooded highlands reach heights over 300 feet - enough elevation change to support a lively hike and provide inspired Great Lakes views but not enough to tire a vacationing dog.
The trails are a pleasing mix of natural footpaths and wide cartpaths laid down for Victorian guests to the island a century ago. The island’s unique location and elevation changes support an enchanting mix of North Woods conifers and southern hardwoods. There is no hurry to hustle your dog back to the mainland after a day on Mackinac Island. Several lodges and resorts allow dogs.
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