BY AJ TRAGER
PET GUIDE – Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time for dog lovers to go outside with their canine companions.
Dogs love to run leash-free, but most cities and towns have strict leash laws. It’s also dangerous for a dog to run free in most urban areas and, even with the lowered risk of vehicle traffic, suburban areas as well. Fortunately there are thousands of dog-friendly and off-leash parks, many fenced, where qualified dogs can roam, play and soak up the Great Lakes sunshine.
Clinton Township Dog Park offers a fenced in park, free for residents and non-residents of the township; it’s located at the Clinton Township Civic Center, 40700 Romeo Plank Road.
The Behnke Memorial Dog Park, located at 300 N. Groesbeck Highway in Mount Clemens, offers a fully fenced park equipped with benches, tables and water. It’s open between the hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Red Oaks Dog Park, which can be found at 31353 Dequindre Road in Madison Heights, is open from 8 a.m. until half an hour after sunset. The park, also open year-round, offers collared dogs 5.2 acres in which to play. Pets and owners have access to drinking water, waste stations, a picnic shelter, benches and portable toilets. All dogs are requested to be current on all vaccinations and under owner’s control at all times. The park also has a small dog area.
Mark Twain Park Dog Run is located at 4600 North Campbell in Royal Oak and offers a fenced area in part of Mark Twain park with special areas for dogs to run leash-free.
The city of Canton offers a 6-acre, leash-free park for owners who obtain a membership through the Canton Parks Division. The area offers a section specifically for small dogs less than 20 pounds. All dogs must be healthy, sociable and current on all vaccinations. Attendees enter the park, located at 500 S. Ridge Road, off Denton Road.
Wixom offers a 13-acre fenced enclosure with small dog area, picnic shelter, water fountain and field training area located at 52221 Pontiac Trail. Dogs must be current on all vaccinations, sociable, licensed and under the owner’s control at all times.
Located at 1200 Joslyn Road in Lake Orion, the Orion Oaks Dog Park includes 14 fenced recreational areas spread out through 927 acres of land. Dogs can enjoy plenty of open space, two trails, lake access and woods to explore. A daily pass or an annual vehicle permit is required. The area includes benches and table areas as well as picnic tables and portable toilets.
Parks Requiring Leashes
Cummingston Park Dog Run located at Torquay and Leafdale in Royal Oak offers an unfenced area, with special sections for dogs to run leash-free.
At Belle Isle Park, dogs can walk along a mile long bridge or explore the cultural and natural history offered throughout the park. Belle Isle Park is located along E. Grand Boulevard in Detroit.
Many of the Huron-Clinton Metroparks and state parks offer leashed-pet access free of charge. Those parks include:
Lower Huron Metropark located at 17845 Savage Road in Belleville.
River Rouge Park located at 21800 Joy Road in Dearborn.
Lake Erie Metropark located at 32481 W. Jefferson Ave. in Gibralter.
Bald Mountain Recreation Area located at 1330 E. Greenshield Road in Lake Orion.
Oakwoods Metropark, located at 32911 Willow Road, New Boston.
Willow Metropark, located in New Boston, with entrances on Willow Road and S. Huron Road.
Kensington Metropark, located at 2240 W. Buno Road in Milford.
Maybury State Park, located at 20145 Beck Road in Northville.