Metroparks First Ever Off-Leash Dog Area Now Open

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Walking your dog on a trail is a great way to add physical activity to your schedule, and your dog’s, but sometimes dogs need a little more space and freedom to burn off energy, off-leash. Stemming from public feedback during the Stony Creek Metropark Master Plan process, an accessible off-leash dog area was developed by the Huron-Clinton Metroparks to fill that gap in park amenities.

The newly opened accessible off-leash dog area at Stony Creek Metropark provides separate areas for small dogs and larger dogs to run, play and make new friends. The project developed a 10-foot wide asphalt path from the parking lot to the bullpen entryway into the off-leash dog areas to make it accessible to all visitors. Nearly three acres are now available for smalls dogs specifically and an all dog area. Additionally, there is a water bottle/pet bowl filling station, unisex portable toilet, parking lot improvements and three van accessible parking spaces.

Metroparks Director Amy McMillan said, “Feedback and input from the public is key to making the Metroparks even more awesome than they already are. Visitors were frequently telling us that they wanted an area to run their dogs off-leash and staff would often encounter the leash rule frequently broken. Now we have a space specifically set aside for that purpose, and we intend to add more of these spaces throughout other Metroparks over time.”

Grant funding was awarded in the amount of $50,000 through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to support this project. The Huron-Clinton Metroparks added in an additional $144,563 in matching funds from its capital fund, bringing the overall project cost to just under $200,000.

“We are excited to welcome all the furry visitors to the space to experience it for themselves” says Amy McMillan. “However, we do want to remind those furry visitors to train their humans on the proper pet etiquette when visiting other areas of the Metroparks”.

The off-leash dog area is located at Oak Grove picnic area at Stony Creek Metropark and is open and available for use during regular park hours. Remember, dogs must be on a leash when entering and exiting the off-leash dog area and in other areas and trails within the park.

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