Going to the dogs: Portion of Swedetown trail open to pets

CALUMET TOWNSHIP – Some new users are taking advantage of a section of the Swedetown Trails, and most of them have four legs.

Cynthia MacDonald, president of the Swedetown Trails Club, said as of this season, dogs are allowed on the new 3-mile-long Woodland Trails loop off of Woodland Drive in Calumet Township. Because the trail is packed harder than trails just for skiing, walking and snow biking is also allowed. Other trails in the system are restricted in winter to just skiing or snowshoeing.

MacDonald said use of the trails requires a Swedetown Trails Club membership or a $25 day pass.

In 2009, MacDonald said a pilot program for allowing dogs on the Birch Loop near Tamarack Location, but there was a problem with dogs getting loose and into nearby housing, so a search was conducted for a new location.

“It had to be away from neighborhoods,” she said.

There was a great deal of interest in the pilot program for allowing dogs on the trails, MacDonald said.

“We knew people would want (a trail where dogs are allowed),” she said.

MacDonald said the Swedetown Trails are owned by Calumet Township. Funding for the construction of the Woodland Trails loops was provided by the CLK Rotary Club. Maintenance of the trails is paid for from Swedetown Trails Club membership fees.

Peter Vorhes, Swedetown Trails Club member, said he brings his two dogs on the trails and they enjoy running around there.

“It’s nice,” he said.

One of his dogs is older, so having a trail that is packed harder than a ski trail helps her move around.

“It’s harder for her getting around on the soft snow,” he said.

MacDonald said changes have been made to other trails in the system, also, including Len’s Loop, Ed’s Loop, Papa Bear Loop, Tamarack Loop and Birch Loop.

For more information about the Swedetown Trails Club, call 337-1170, or go online to