Mary Burleson
Contributing Writer

Adventurous Aggie, an affectionate and energetic yellow Labrador, loves to explore businesses, parks and trails in Eaton County to see what these locations offer four-legged friends and their humans. This week she hit the road to check out Bennett Park in Charlotte. With 117 acres, several nature trails, a large open field and a picnic area, there was a lot to see.
Located at 1305 Cochran Avenue in Charlotte, Bennett Park is also attached to Veterans Memorial Park, Memorial Tree Park, and Camp Frances. Aggie arrived and, after consulting a colored map of the park, immediately started off down the long, paved nature trail loop. There were several dog clean-up stations along the trail for owners to grab a plastic bag to pick up after their pooches. There were also benches along the walkway so that owners and four-legged friends alike might stop to rest.
Signs and maps along the way were very helpful while exploring the park. Aggie was careful not to venture off onto the mountain bike trails, just to be safe. At the back of the park a wooden bridge spanned the Battle Creek River. Aggie crossed the bridge and left the paved trail loop behind. She followed a dirt road, with wooded trails veering off to the right. Careful not to venture into Camp Frances, as dogs are not allowed in this portion of the park, Aggie continued down the road to visit the Veterans Memorial Park.
At the Veterans Memorial Park, Aggie sniffed around large stones. Each stone was in honor of a past war or conflict. The park was well taken care of, with beautiful flowers planted all around. A great place for both dog and human to sit, relax and reflect.
While heading back to the picnic area, Aggie met a fellow pooch who was getting some exercise with their human in a large open field. It is accessible south of the parking lot via a wooden bridge. Many dog owners bring their pups to this area so they can stretch their legs and be off leash. Charlotte resident Andy Hazel and his border collie, River, regularly frequent the park. “The idea of being so close to town and being able to step into nature is great.” He shared that he and River often see deer, owls, foxes and other wildlife.
Finally, Aggie stopped in the picnic area to have a snack. There were many picnic tables to choose from and a lot of shade to relax in after a long walk. Make sure to have your pet on-leash in this area, as there is a nearby playground, and it is very close to the parking lot.
Overall, Aggie rated Bennett Park 5 out of 5 paws. There were a large variety of trails, lots of places to rest, many signs to give directions, wildlife and a wide-open field where she could run. The park also had several dog clean-up stations, which is very helpful to pet owners.
More information on Bennett Park can be found on the city website at You can also give the City of Charlotte a call at 517-543-2750, where they can connect you with the Parks and Recreation Department.