There are many ways to experience Door County with your furry friend, but planning in advance is key for a successful and enjoyable trip for you and your pet. Here is what you need to know before you go!
Find Welcoming Lodging
First things first: where will you and Fido stay? If you need a lodging establishment that allows dogs, check out our dedicated section of listings here.
Dining with a Dog
It’s also worth some planning to decide where you want to dine in order to avoid having to exclude the four-legged friends. Thankfully, many Door County restaurants offer pet-friendly dining options on their patios. Pets are not allowed inside a restaurant under state law, but they are allowed in outdoor dining areas at restaurants with an approved variance. Check out this list of pet-friendly patios to get you started.
Get Out on the Water
When you’re in Door County, don’t limit yourself to being land mammals! There are several boat tours ranging from kayaks to sailboats and scenic cruises that welcome your dog. Call in advance when making reservations to see if there are other guests booked and if there are any objections to dogs. If your taking your pup on a kayak or SUP, we recommend you choose a calm day and make sure your dog has a life jacket. As always, keep your dog’s enjoyment in mind. Make sure they are comfortable on the water and in a boat before making the commitment. See our list of tours and guides to plan your water adventure.
Happy Trails For Happy Tails
Need to help fido get some of that energy out so you can enjoy some rest and relaxation in Door County? Fortunately there are dozens of great places to hike in parks, preserves, and rustic roads on the peninsula. While most beaches are not dog-friendly (dogs were determined to be a top cause of beach contamination), most trails are, including some of our favorites. Here are four great pet-friendly trails for you to explore in Door County.
This island a short ferry ride from Washington Island is an explorer's paradise. There are no cars, no bikes, and no stores - it's just you, your pup, and nature. Explore historical structures, a restored lighthouse, an expansive sand beach, and rustic back-country campsites. There are several miles of hiking trails through wooded uplands for exploring.
Trails provide access to Clark Lake and a great pet-friendly beach area on Lake Michigan. Explore towering sand dunes, wooded trails, and beautiful wildflower patches.
Check out the Europe Bay/Hotz trail, which provides access to Europe Lake. Dogs are welcome on the northern part of the main beach as well, so take your dog for a dip!
A variety of trails includes Eagle Trail, a challenging trek to the bottom of Eagle Bluff that will challenge you and your dog. If you tackle Eagle Trail, make sure your dog is agile – and you too!
If your dog is really looking to stretch his or her legs and roam free, the best option is to visit one of our dedicated dog parks. We have four throughout the county:
Harbor Hounds Dog Park in Egg Harbor
Open year round located in Village View Park in Egg Harbor, one block east of Highway 42 at the corner of Church Street & Harbor School Road. Features include both a large dog and small dog areas with two acres total of fenced play area. There are benches and picnic tables in both areas. Water is provided in summer and a porta-pottie is available. The park is a project of the Village of Egg Harbor, donations by park users are appreciated.
Sister Bay Dog Park
Located adjacent to the Sister Bay Sports Complex on Autumn Court, this 200' x 300' grassy area is entirely fenced in and is equipped with picnic tables and "mutt mitts." All are welcome and encouraged to bring their dogs to Sister Bay to play and socialize in a safe, comfortable environment. There is no fee for use of the dog park.
Sturgeon Bay Dog Park
Open 24 hours a day, Shiloh Road Bark Park is located south on County Road U off Highway 42/57. Take the fork that is Division Road (on the right), continue until you reach the park located on your right. Supported by the Door County Humane Society.
Captain Baileys Dog Park
Located at 2567 Summit Rd, in Baileys Harbor there are two large grassy areas, one for large and small dogs. The park is located on 40 acres east of the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
Finally, if you need some pet-free time during your trip, plan ahead by scheduling a kennel visit for your dog. In the busy summer months kennels often book up and require information in advance for your pet to stay, so make sure to get in contact while you are still in the planning stage.
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