Skip to main content

Welcome to another exciting blog post from Family Friends Veterinary Hospital! Today, we’re taking you on a journey through some of the most beautiful and pet-friendly parks in West Michigan. Whether you and your furry friend are seasoned adventurers or just looking for a new spot to enjoy a sunny afternoon, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also share some essential safety tips to ensure your outdoor adventures are as safe as they are fun.

Top Pet-Friendly Parks in West Michigan

Millennium Park, Grand Rapids

Located just a few miles from downtown Grand Rapids, Millennium Park is a sprawling urban oasis with over 1,400 acres of natural beauty. The park features multiple lakes, hiking and biking trails, and a specific off-leash area where dogs can roam freely and socialize.

Riverside Park, Grand Rapids

Stretching along the Grand River, Riverside Park offers a picturesque setting for a day out with your pet. The park includes over six miles of paved pathways perfect for walking, jogging, or biking with your dog. It is a leash-required park with picnic areas and open fields for the whole family to enjoy a day at the park!

Cascade Peace Park, Ada

Located a short drive from Grand Rapids in Ada Township, Cascade Peace Park is a serene escape with 198 acres of wooded trails. It’s an ideal spot for a peaceful hike with your dog, offering a tranquil environment away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Just remember, leashes are required on trails!

Shaggy Pines Dog Park, Ada

For a more controlled environment where dogs can run off-leash, Shaggy Pines Dog Park in nearby Ada is an excellent choice. This private dog park offers expansive open areas, trails, and even a doggy swimming pond. Highlights include: Off-leash dog park (membership required), Swimming pond and agility equipment, and a well-maintained and secure environment.

Grand Ravines Dog Park, Jenison

Grand Ravines is a hidden gem that offers spectacular views and extensive trails. The dog park here is particularly notable, with a spacious, fenced area that includes wooded sections, open fields, and even a pond for swimming.

Kirk Park, West Olive

Located along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Kirk Park provides stunning beach access where leashed dogs are welcome. There are also several trails through dunes and wooded areas, offering a diverse range of environments for you and your pet to explore.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Holland

This park features 1,000 acres of rolling dunes and forested trails. While dogs need to be leashed, they will love the scenic walks and the chance to splash in Lake Michigan’s waters. Remember to keep an eye out for the designated dog-friendly sections on the beach.

Essential Safety Tips for Outdoor Adventures

1. Stay Hydrated

Always bring plenty of water for both you and your pet. Parks might have water fountains, but they aren’t guaranteed, and it’s best to be prepared. Portable pet water bottles or collapsible bowls are great for on-the-go hydration.

2. Watch the Weather

West Michigan weather can be unpredictable. Check the forecast before heading out and prepare accordingly. On hot days, avoid peak sun hours, and watch for signs of overheating in your pet, such as excessive panting or lethargy.

3. Tick and Flea Prevention

Parks, especially those with wooded areas and tall grasses, are prime locations for ticks and fleas. Ensure your pet is on a veterinarian-approved flea and tick prevention regimen. After your adventure, give your pet a thorough check for these pests.

4. Leash Up

While some parks have designated off-leash areas, it’s crucial to keep your pet leashed in other parts of the park. This not only protects your pet from getting lost or encountering wildlife but also ensures the safety of other park visitors.

5. Waste Management

Always clean up after your pet. Bring plenty of waste bags and dispose of them properly. Many parks provide waste stations, but it’s good practice to have your own supply.

6. Know the Rules

Each park has its own set of rules and regulations regarding pets and leash requirements. Familiarize yourself with them before you go. This ensures a fun and trouble-free visit for everyone.

7. Emergency Preparedness

Accidents can happen. Carry a basic first-aid kit for your pet that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any specific medications your pet might need. Know the location of the nearest veterinary hospital in case of emergencies.


West Michigan is home to some of the most beautiful and pet-friendly parks perfect for outdoor adventures with your furry friends. By following these safety tips and exploring the suggested locations, you can ensure a delightful and safe experience for both you and your pet. At Family Friends Veterinary Hospital, we encourage you to enjoy the great outdoors responsibly and make the most of Michigan’s natural beauty with your pets.

Happy exploring!

About Family Friends Veterinary Hospital

At Family Friends Veterinary Hospital, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care for your pets. From routine check-ups to emergency services, our experienced team is here to support you and your furry friends. Visit us in Grand Rapids, MI, or contact us today to learn more about our services.

Leave a Reply