It's easy to fall into a dog walk habit - the quick jaunt around the neighborhood in the evening, or running up to the closest park before you head out for the day. These kinds of 'maintenance' walks are a necessary part of the daily routine for you and your dog(s).
However, there are lots of options for mixing things up, and new trails, sites, and sounds will be good for you and your dog! We're fortunate in Northern Michigan to have tons of trail options available - many of which are close by.
The Little Traverse Wheelway and the Bear River Recreation trail are convenient (and beautiful) choices. For a little more woodsy solitude, check out the NCMC trail, the North Country Trail (which threads its way through Emmet County), the gorgeous trails maintained by the Little Traverse Nature Conservancy, and the miles and miles of snowmobile trails that criss-cross the North Country.
Even if you don't live in the area, you should be able to find some refreshing new paths to enjoy. Many communities and organizations around the country recognize the benefits of trails, parks, and nature areas. Do a search for your town or county, and throw in the word 'trails', or ask at your local pet store!
Most trail systems and hiking areas have regulations for dogs - they have to be on a leash, you're responsible for cleaning up after them, etc. We ask one simple thing - FOLLOW THE RULES! (Stop by the store for our handy 'poop bags' - and check out the excellent totes that you can clip on leashes).
For more information about trails in the Little Traverse Bay area, check out the websites for the Little Traverse Nature Conservancy, North Country Trail Association, Emmet County (look for 'snowmobile trails maps'), North Central Michigan, and Little Traverse Wheelway.
Now get out there with your dog, and ENJOY!