Dog Friendly Guide to the North


With endless opportunities for them to run, swim, and roll in the snow, dogs that live in the Northwoods are some of the luckiest. And let’s be honest, dogs are part of your family. What is a family vacation without them? From Airbnb cabins to bike trails and pontoon rides, we've gathered a guide to some of the best places to explore with your four-legged friend in the Northwoods.

We love seeing how you explore the North! In the comments of this journal post, share your favorite places to take your dog in the Northwoods!

your morning "walk"

After an early morning wake up (aka lick to the face!), start the day with a cup of coffee and a "pup cup" at Dixie’s Coffee House in Manitowish Waters. Dogs are welcome on their porch overlooking Vance Lake, as well as the lakeside lawn. In Woodruff, enjoy a cup of jo and a light breakfast on the lakeside patio of Little Creek Coffee Co. with your friendly pup on a leash. Post-caffeination, let your dog mingle with new friends at the Lakeland Area Dog Park in Minocqua.  


a bicycle built for two 

Take your pup for a cycle! Friendly dogs are allowed off leash on the mountain bike trails at WinMan Trails in Manitowish Waters and at Raven Trails in Woodruff. With plenty of space for dogs to run + explore, your dog's new favorite sport will be biking! Please be considerate of others - clean up after your dog and use a leash when necessary. 


cocktail hour

Cocktail hour isn't just for humans! Enjoy a refreshing tap beer or brandy old fashioned on the lakeside patio of Aberdeen Restaurant (get an appetizer - we recommend shrimp nachos!) in Manitowish Waters or Lakeside Grill in Minocqua with your leashed pup relaxing at your feet. 


special treatment

After a day filled with adventures, get your dog (and yourself) a special treat. Head to The Ice Shanty Drive-In in Boulder Junction or What's The Scoop in Woodruff for a puppy sized dish of ice cream. If cookies are what your dog craves, stop into Pampered Paws in Minocqua for one of their decorated cookies. 


take a hike

Lace up your hiking shoes to use up some of your pup's energy! In Minocqua, leash up your pup for a stroll down the Bearskin State Trail. In Manitowish Waters, the North Lakeland Discovery Center welcomes leashed dogs on all their trails (stay in the Director's House and walk right from your door!)


explore north

Take a day trip to the north for extra tail wags. Start the day with coffee from Contrast Coffee Co (and a puppuccino too!) and a fresh baked cinnamon roll for the humans from Bake Superior Bread, located just down the street. Hike the waterfalls of Michigan's Upper Peninsula keeping your pup on a leash. Next up, head to Black River Harbor to take a dip in Lake Superior. Post-adventure, treat your dog to a new toy or treat from Stoffels Country Store (tip: Dairy Queen is located nearby for those ice cream lovers). 


a day on the lake 

A splash in the lake? Sign my dog up! Cruise the lake with a pontoon from Northwoods Pontoon Rentals (pet fee may apply) and find a secluded spot for your dog to jump in the lake (over + over again). If you're traveling by car, take your pup for a sunset picnic at Sandy Lake Beach or pre-ice cream snack at Nichols Lake Beach (The Ice Shanty is located nearby). 


a cozy (dog) bed

Lodging with dogs always seems to be tricky - except in the Northwoods! Our advice: call the business to reserve the room/cabin, be up front about bringing a dog, pay the pet fee if applicable, always follow the rules, and bring a dog bed + a few favorite toys to make him/her comfortable. 

The Lodge at Manitowish Waters
Alderwood Resort in Manitowish Water
North Lakeland Discovery Center's Director's House in Manitowish Water
Lakeside Airbnb in Minocqua
Aqua Aire Motel in Minocqua
Annabelle Log Home in Presque Isle


pitch a tent

The Northwoods is surrounded with campgrounds from rustic to modern that will suit your dog's style! Here's a list of our favorites - be sure to reserve in advance + confirm pets are allowed! Detailed information, including reservations, on all campgrounds can be found here

Big Lake Campground
Crystal Lake Campground
Firefly Lake Campground
Sandy Beach Campground
South Trout Lake Campground
Clear Lake Campground


Have more suggestions? We'd love to hear them! Share your favorite dog friendly spots in the comments!