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Orion Oaks County parks welcomes pups of all sizes



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June 25, 2014 - By Katie Winkler

Review Staff Writer

With 916 acres of trails bordered by Clarkston, Joslyn, Waldon and Baldwin roads, along with 24 fenced-in acres for the Bark Park, the Orion Oaks County Park allows members to be active with their friends and families, including dogs.

For Lake Orion resident Berry Macintosh, bringing his Bichon Frise, Gus, and Havanese, Bear, to the dog park allows him and his wife to meet people and allows the dogs to make friendships of their own.

"My wife [Connie] has a whole core of people that get to know each other. They will get together for dinner every once in a while. The parents and dogs have met here," Macintosh said.

Orion Oaks attracts those from around the area because it is the largest bark park in the region.

For families that do not have a fenced in yard at home, like Dotson Grace from Rochester, bark parks allow dogs to run around the various different open spaces and trails, specifically separated depending on the dog size.

"You can let them off the leash and not feel any barrier. Sometimes we will have the small dogs with the big dogs because they don't pose any threat," Macintosh said. "Most of the people that own dogs, if there is going to be any fuss, they jump right in. In the last several years I've been here I haven't seen anything more than a few barking scenes." From the Bark Park entrance off Joslyn Road, owners may walk their dogs through the .97 mile Dog Tail Trail when they are attached to leashes less than six feet long.

The trails offer handicap accessibility off Joslyn Road, fishing on Lake Sixteen, archery deer hunting during season, and ten miles of trails including the Bluebird Loop (3.16 miles), Massasauga (2.13), Fossil Hill (2.03), Dragon (2.67), Orion Thru-way (1.84), with connectors throughout the park, accessed form starting points from Clarkston, Baldwin and Joslyn entrances.

"We feel blessed to have a park of this nature," Macintosh said.

Daily and annual permits allow admission to all the Orion Oaks County Park has to offer.

Dog park users must have their dogs licensed, up-to-date with vaccinations, able to respond to voice commands and be in visual control. Additional information can be found at DestinationOakland.com or through the Oakland County Parks at (248) 858-0906.

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