Onaway State Park, Michigan: A Northern Gem of Outdoor Bliss

November 15, 2023

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Onaway State Park, Michigan: A Northern Gem of Outdoor Bliss

Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Dog Friendliness Score: ★★★★★ (5/5)

Onaway State Park, nestled in the heart of northern Michigan, is a gem of outdoor bliss, offering a 5-star experience for nature enthusiasts and their furry companions. With its pristine surroundings and exceptional dog-friendliness, this park stands as a haven for those seeking a perfect blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreation.

Park Amenities and Activities:

1. Woodland Haven:Encompassing 158 acres, Onaway State Park provides a tranquil woodland retreat, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of Michigan's northern landscape.

2. Black Lake Shoreline:The park features a picturesque stretch along the shoreline of Black Lake, offering opportunities for lakeside relaxation, fishing, and water activities.

3. Water Recreation:Explore the scenic Black Lake by bringing your kayak, canoe, or paddleboard for a day of water recreation. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines for a chance to catch a variety of fish species.

4. Hiking Trails:Discover well-maintained hiking trails that wind through the woodlands, providing a chance to observe local flora and fauna. Wear comfortable hiking boots and bring a camera to capture the natural beauty.

5. Dog-Friendly Atmosphere:With a 5-star dog friendliness score, Onaway State Park welcomes dogs on designated trails, ensuring a pet-friendly experience for visitors and their four-legged friends.

6. Downtown Onaway Exploration:Venture into downtown Onaway and explore the local charm of this northern Michigan town. Discover quaint shops, dine in welcoming restaurants, and experience the friendly atmosphere.

7. Nearby Parks Adventure:Extend your outdoor exploration by visiting nearby parks, such as Aloha State Park and Burt Lake State Park, for additional recreational opportunities and scenic views.

History & Background:

Onaway State Park, established in 1920, has a rich history rooted in the preservation of Michigan's natural beauty. The park's commitment to conservation has made it a cherished destination for outdoor enthusiasts over the decades.

Natural Features & Views:

Surrounded by lush woodlands and the pristine waters of Black Lake, Onaway State Park offers a serene escape into the unspoiled beauty of northern Michigan.

Recreational Recommendations:

1. Lakeside Leisure:Spend a relaxing day by the shores of Black Lake. Pack a picnic, a comfortable blanket, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this picturesque lakeside setting.

2. Water Adventure:Bring your watercraft of choice and explore Black Lake's scenic beauty. Whether it's kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding, the lake offers a perfect backdrop for aquatic adventures.

3. Hiking Excursion:Embark on a hiking adventure along the park's trails. Take in the sights and sounds of nature while experiencing the diverse ecosystems of the northern woodlands.

4. Dog-Friendly Trails:Enjoy designated dog-friendly trails with your canine companion. Remember to bring a leash and dog poop bags to ensure a responsible and enjoyable visit.

5. Downtown Onaway Discovery:Immerse yourself in the local charm of downtown Onaway. Support local businesses, try regional cuisine, and discover the unique character of this northern Michigan town.

6. Nearby Parks Adventure:Explore the natural wonders of nearby parks, such as Aloha State Park and Burt Lake State Park. Each park offers its own set of outdoor activities and scenic vistas.

Onaway State Park, with its woodland haven and lakeside charm, is a destination that captures the essence of northern Michigan's outdoor allure. The 5-star rating reflects the park's exceptional offerings, and the 5-star dog friendliness score underscores its welcoming atmosphere for both two-legged and four-legged visitors. Whether you're enjoying the lakeside, exploring hiking trails, or discovering nearby parks, Onaway State Park promises an unforgettable experience. For more information and the latest updates, visit the official Michigan DNR Onaway State Park page.

Overall Review:

Onaway State Park stands as a northern gem, inviting visitors to reconnect with nature, explore scenic trails, and enjoy the tranquility of Black Lake. The 5-star rating reflects the enduring appeal of this outdoor haven, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational adventure.  The State Parks do their best to provide dog poop bags at dog waste stations, but they aren't always readily available. It's always best to come prepared with dog poop bags such as these Earth Rated Poop Bags. All of the Michigan State Parks require dogs to be on leashes. "Even good dogs must be on a leash". We highly recommend this leash and harness for the best experience!

Gear for Your Outdoor Adventure, Including Dog-Friendly Options:

Paddle Board/Kayak: High-quality watercraft for you and your pup's enjoyment. These options guarantee durable, stable, and pet-friendly designs, ensuring a delightful experience for both of you.

Life Vests: Safety first, especially during water activities. Life vests ensure your pet's safety and confidence while enjoying time in the water.

Backpack: Hydration is key on any adventure. Water backpacks provide convenience, allowing you to carry water easily, ensuring both you and your dog stay refreshed throughout the journey. Also has plenty of space for all of your gear.

Portable Water Bowl: Ensure your pet stays refreshed and hydrated during outdoor excursions with a collapsible, travel-friendly water bowl.

Cross Country Skis & Snowshoes: Conquer winter landscapes with the right gear. Quality skis and snowshoes offer stability and performance for a memorable cold-weather adventure with your dog.

Boots, Gloves, and Hat: Stay warm in cold weather. Cozy and durable winter attire ensures both you and your dog remain snug and comfortable during chilly outdoor expeditions.

Thermals & Thermos: Keep both you and your pet warm and comfortable in chilly temperatures. Thermal wear and reliable thermoses provide warmth and sustenance on the coldest days.

Dog Coat: Insulated coats for dogs to keep them warm in style. A range of stylish dog coats ensures your furry friend is not only warm but also fashion-forward during your outings.

Camping Gear: Comfort is key during your outdoor stay. Tents, cooking equipment, and more ensure a cozy and hassle-free camping experience for both you and your dog.

Camera: Your outdoor escapades, including your dog's joy, are precious moments you'll want to cherish. Capture every wagging tail and happy moment with reliable cameras designed for rugged outdoor use.

Binoculars: Observe fall foliage or winter landscapes up close. High-quality binoculars bring the beauty of the changing seasons closer, offering detailed and vibrant views.

Flashlight: Extend your winter and fall adventures into the night. Sturdy flashlights provide visibility and safety, allowing you to extend your exploration even after the sun sets.

Bug Spray: Pesky insects can be a nuisance. Pet-friendly bug sprays ensure a pleasant outdoor experience without the bother of biting bugs for both you and your dog.

Pet First Aid Kit: Ensure your dog's safety during adventures. Kits are specifically designed to cater to your dog no matter the accident, in an emergency you will be pre-pared and will be able to keep your best friend safe and sound.

Paw Cleaner: Prevent your dog from tracking mud and snow inside with a handy paw cleaner. Paw cleaners are designed to keep your pet's paws clean and reduce mess, ensuring a cleaner environment at home after your adventures.

Musher's Secret Paw Cream: Shield your dog's paws from harsh conditions, including salt, ice, and rough terrain. This paw cream ensures your dog's paws remain protected and comfortable during winter outings.

Heart Guard, NexGuard, and Tick Remover Tool: Essential for your pet's safety. Tick remover tools are designed for safe and efficient tick removal, ensuring a worry-free outdoor experience.

Additional Resources:

Here's a resource list for camping and exploring parks in the state of Michigan. Michigan offers a wide variety of natural beauty, from the Great Lakes to forests and more. Whether you're interested in camping, hiking, fishing, or just enjoying the outdoors, these resources will help you plan your trip:

Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR):

  • Website: Michigan DNR
  • The official site for information on Michigan state parks, camping reservations, and outdoor activities. You can also find maps, trail information, and updates on park conditions.

Recreation Passport:

  • Website: Michigan Recreation Passport
  • Learn about the Michigan Recreation Passport, which is required for vehicle entry into state parks and recreation areas. You can purchase it online.

Michigan State Park Campground Reservations:

Michigan State Parks Interactive Map:

Michigan Trail Maps:

  • Website: Michigan Trail Maps
  • This site provides detailed maps and trail information for hiking, biking, paddling and more in Michigan.

Pure Michigan Outdoor Adventure:

  • Website: Pure Michigan Outdoor Adventure
  • Michigan's official travel and tourism site provides information on outdoor adventures, from camping to fishing and wildlife viewing.

Michigan Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (MARVAC):

  • Website: MARVAC
  • If you're looking for RV-friendly campgrounds in Michigan, this organization can help you find options.

Michigan Species and Wildlife:

  • Website: Michigan Species and Wildlife
  • Discover and Learn about Michigan's diverse range of fish, plants, trees, reptiles, amphibians, insects and mammals with this resource.

Leave No Trace:

  • Website: Leave No Trace
  • Learn about outdoor ethics and responsible camping and exploring practices to help protect Michigan's natural resources.

Weather Forecast:

  • Check your preferred weather forecasting website or app to stay updated on the weather conditions during your trip.

Recreation.gov - National Forests, Parks, and More:

  • Website: Recreation.gov
  • Recreation.gov is the go-to website for reserving campsites, cabins, and permits in national forests, parks, and other federal recreational areas. It covers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, boating, and more. You can search for available sites and make reservations directly through the website.

Remember to check the individual park or campground's website for specific details, hours of operation, and any alerts or closures before you head out. Enjoy your camping and exploring adventures in Michigan!