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Choose Your Own Dog-Friendly Northwoods Adventure

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With thousands of lakes to swim in, hundreds of trails to walk on, and wildlife and natural resources abound to investigate, your dog has as much to look forward to in your stay in the Northwoods as you do! Whether you’re planning to stay in the furthest corners of Vilas County or closer to the interstate and city amenities in Tomahawk or Merrill, we’ve got some options for you and your four-legged family members.

Dog-Friendly Lodging

There are many locally owned hotels, resorts, and cabins that make it breeze-easy for you to include your dog on your getaway to northern Wisconsin. Here are some of our top picks, listed in alphabetical order by city.

Eagle River: Hiawatha Lodge & Resort

From this resort, located just two miles away from the center of Eagle River, you will enjoy views of scenic Duck Lake. Please note that your dog must be pre-approved, there is a pet fee, and upon check-in you must notify the front desk of any pets staying in your room. Pets must be leashed outside of your private room, and the building/in public areas, and they must not be left unattended in the room. Call (888) 479-4442 or (715) 479-4442 for more information. Hiawatha Lodge & Resort is located at 1982 Highway 45 North in Eagle River.

Eagle River: Lost Lake Cabins

If you are looking for rustic, cabin-style lodging with access to a serene no-motor lake and plentiful silent sports options, find yourself at Lost Lake Campground. Lost Lake features cabins that contain three bunk beds and sleep up to six people. Inside each cabin, there are electrical outlets, a tables, and benches; outside each cabin, a fire ring and a picnic table. The campground has flush toilets and hot showers available on-site as well. Please keep your dogs on a leash no longer than six feet when you are outside. For more information or to make a reservation, call (715) 674-3039 or (877) 411-3436. Lost Lake Campground is located at 2450 Forest Circle in Eagle River.

Hazelhurst: Black’s Cliff Resort

This resort offers dog-friendly two-, three-, and four-bedroom cabins and lodges. Each cabin has a swinging bed on its screened-in porch—the perfect place for a daytime nap. Black’s Cliff Resort does have some rules regarding your dog’s stay, so keep the following in mind when you are planning your trip. No more than one dog per cabin is allowed. Your dog must always be on a leash when outside the cabin, and there are no dogs allowed at the beach during swimming hours. Dogs aren’t cannot be left alone in cabins unless they are confined in an indoor dog kennel or unless permission is granted. You will be charged a pet fee in addition to your cabin fee. Call (715) 356-3018 for more information. Black’s Cliff Lodge is located at 10223 Lower Kaubashine Road in Hazelhurst.

Mercer: Great Northern Hotel

This Mercer gem located on an ATV/snowmobile trail and features 80 rooms and a luxury whirlpool suite. There is a bar and restaurant on premises, making it easy to grab a bite while traveling with your dogs. Some rooms have a glorious lake view. To make reservations, call (715) 476-2440. Great Northern Hotel is located at 5070 Highway 51 North in Mercer.

Minocqua: Aqua Aire Motel

This cozy, 10-unit motel allows one dog with a $10/night fee. Pets must be leashed when in common areas and caged if unattended. For more information or to make reservations, call (715) 356-3433. Aqua Aire Motel is located at 806 Highway 51 North in Minocqua.

Minocqua: The Waters of Minocqua

This dog-friendly resort features indoor waterslides, arcade games, and whirlpools. (Sorry, dogs: the water park is for humans only.) The Waters of Minocqua adds a $20/night pet fee to your room rate. Call (715) 358-4000 for more information. The Waters of Minocqua is located at 8116 Highway 51 South in Minocqua.

Rhinelander: Holiday Acres Resort

This rustic resort has beautiful views of Lake Thompson. Holiday Acres allows up to two pets of any size for a fee of $19 per pet per night in addition to your room rate. Note that pets may not be left unattended in your room. For more information or to make a reservation, call (877) 411-3436. Holiday Acres Resort is located at 4060 South Short Drive in Rhinelander.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

Several local eating establishments have outdoor seating areas where pets are allowed. Please always secure you dog on a leash when enjoying your meal so your dog doesn’t help himself to someone else’s!

Arbor Vitae: Bad Bones BBQ

This casual barbeque spot has five pet-friendly tables outside. Bad Bones BBQ is located at 1421Highway 51 North in Arbor Vitae.Eagle River: Eagle River Roasters. In addition to expertly crafted beverages, this coffee shop serves breakfast items as well as sandwiches, salads, and wraps for lunch. There are eight outdoor tables where you can sit with your dog. This coffee shop is located at 339 West Pine Street in Eagle River.

Boulder Junction: Headwaters Restaurant and Tavern

Headwaters has seven pet-friendly tables outside on their beautiful deck. Headwaters is located at 5675 County Highway M in Boulder Junction.

Land O’ Lakes: Forest Lake Country Store

This combination restaurant/grocery store/convenience store has many outdoor tables where you can enjoy your lunch with your dog by your side. Forest Lake Country Store is located at 6256 County Road B in Land O’ Lakes.

Manitowish Waters: Dixie’s Coffee House

This coffee house’s appreciation of dogs is evident by its logo (a signature red coffee cup with a dog silhouette) and the gourmet coffee—Lucky Mutt—roasted by New Roots Coffee Roasters (located near Wausau) and served exclusively at Dixie’s. Enjoy your Lucky Mutt with your own lucky mutt by your side, along with a pastry, sandwich, or cup of soup, in Dixie’s patio seating, overlooking beautiful Vance Lake. Dixie’s Coffee House is located at 6085 County Highway W in Manitowish Waters.

Rhinelander: CT’s Deli

This downtown Rhinelander restaurant has menu full of unique and delicious soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps and 10 outdoor pet-friendly tables at which to enjoy them. CT’s is located at 17 North Brown Street in Rhinelander.

Star Lake: Stillwaters Restaurant

Enjoy hearty sandwiches, burgers, and more at one of the several outdoor tables at Stillwaters, located at 7914 County Highway K in Star Lake.

Woodruff: Hoggie Doggie’s Snack Shack

This summer tradition has plenty of outdoor tables at which you will undoubtedly enjoy your hot dog and ice cream. Hoggie Doggie’s is located at 8803 Highway 47 in Woodruff.

Dog-Friendly Activities


While there are countless trails to explore in the Northwoods, some of the most extensive and easily accessible trails are the region’s amazing rail trails. These abandoned railroad trails turned beloved walking, biking, and snowmobile trails by their very nature are easily accessible at several intersections with roadways. They are generally flat with only gradual elevation changes, but they traverse beautiful lands, with trestles over scenic lakes, rivers, and bogs. Take your pick between the Bearskin State Trail, which extends from Minocqua to Harshaw; the Hiawatha Trail, which connects to the southern end of the Bearskin State Trail and extends south to SARA Park in Tomahawk; the Three Eagle Trail, which has two sections—one in Three Lakes and one in Eagle River—joined by 1.5 miles of country roads; or the Watersmeet/Land O’ Lakes Trail, which extends from County B in Land O’ Lakes to Stateline Trail, near Roundhouse Road, in Watersmeet, Michigan.

Dog Parks

If you’re looking for the perfect place for your dog to run around off-leash and be social, carve out some time to take your dog to one of the area’s dog parks:

  • Lakeland Area Dog Park, off Highway 70 in Minocqua.
  • The new Doctors Foster and Smith Park at Shepard Park on Boyce Drive in Rhinelander. This beautiful dog park also includes a walking trail along Pelican River and offers scenic views both inside and outside the park.
  • Tomahawk Area Dog Park, on Somo Avenue, just past the SARA Park boat landing.
  • Merrill Dog Park, at the Merrill Area Recreation Complex 1100 Marc Drive.

Dog Supply Stores

If you forgot one of your dog’s needed items or simply would like to pamper your dog while you’re in the area, stop in one of these local shops for all of your dog’s needs.

Doggie Daycare

Even though you designed your trip with your pup in mind, you might not be able to bring him or her everywhere you need to go while you’re in the Northwoods. These lifesavers offer doggy daycare when such situations arise.

Eagle River: Kevin’s Kennels

Kevin’s offers boarding, doggy daycare, and grooming. Call (715) 479-4188. Kevin’s is located at 4914 County Road G in Eagle River.

Minocqua: Dick’s Dog House

Dick’s offers an impressive range of services, from daycare, boarding, and grooming, to swimming, warm water therapy, and training classes for your dog. For more information, call (715) 439-4430. Dick’s is located at 9586 Clawson Drive in Minocqua.

Rhinelander: T & M Kennels

T & M offers daycare as well as boarding and grooming services. For more information, call (715) 362-7744. T & M is located at 2350 Highway 17 South in Rhinelander.

Rhinelander: Webb’s K-9 Club

This new Rhinelander business, “a country club for your dog,” is a free-range daycare for dogs of all sizes. Webb’s also has a retail space with food, treats, and toys and has a full-time groomer on staff. Note that Webb’s doesn’t offer overnight boarding just yet. For more information, call (715) 362-0343. Webb’s is located at 5813 Highway 8 in Rhinelander.

If you’re planning on spending time with your dog on on a boat during your trip to the Northwoods, check out this post to learn about must-have items as well as stylish lake dog accessories!

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