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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, and communities have taken every measure to keep the peninsula's beaches clean), most trails are, including some of our favorites.
Here are five great pet-friendly trails for you to explore in Door County.
1. Rock Island State Park. 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.
2. Whitefish Dunes State Park – Trails provide access to Clarke Lake and a great pet-friendly beach area on Lake Michigan. Explore towering sand dunes, wooded trails, and beautiful wildflower patches.
3. Newport State park. 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!
4. Peninsula State Park. 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!
5. If you want to keep your hike in town, there are great paths in Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay. In Sister Bay you can trek along the waterfront boardwalk, then continue on the paved off-road patch on the north end of town. In Sturgeon Bay take a beautiful walk along the canal and waterfront past towering lakers and the working waterfront.
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