Dog Parks and Off-Leash Areas

Furry Friends

We are very excited to bring you the official Kidlist Furry Friends Guide! Each month, we will be sharing posts that give you the inside track on dog-friendly places, dog parks, resources for pet owners, and more! This article is sponsored by Robert Hutchison, your Realtor for the western suburbs of Chicago. If you are looking to buy a home in the western suburbs, give him a call!

As the weather improves, it finally feels fun again to spend some time outside with your dog! But have you ever wondered if there are places that you can bring your dog to let them off of their leash, or if there are dog parks where you can socialize your pup? Wonder no more! 

Dog Parks and Dog-Friendly Hours

Cook County

Norfolk Dog Park
Norfolk Avenue & Devonshire St.
Westchester, IL 60154

This new dog park just opened June 2018! Call (708) 865-8200 for information on memberships and park rules.

Bo’s Run Dog Park
3600 Lexington Drive
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

Bo’s Run is one of two off-leash dog parks in the Hoffman Estates Park District and has some dog agility equipment. This park is on the north side of Hoffman Estates at the Willow Recreation Center, which has various sports courts (racquetball, volleyball, wallyball, basketball), a fitness center, a skate park, and party rooms. Dogs must be registered – find more information here.

Forest Park Dog Park
632 Circle Avenue
Forest Park, IL 60130

Located at the corner of Circle Avenue and Lehmer, this dog park requires a permit. Visit this page for more information. This park is completely fenced and mulched and there are shady spots as well as a water fountain and free waste disposal bags.

Freedom Run Dog Park
6150 Russell Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

This park is shared between Elgin and Hoffman Estates Park District. Freedom Run is open daily, year-round, from sunrise to sunset. There is an area for small dogs and is fully fenced. Dogs can also enjoy agility equipment and water for dogs as well as waste disposal bags and picnic tables for human companions. This is a members-only park, and information about fees can be found here.

Karban Dog Park
3430 34th Street
Berwyn, IL 60402

Karban Dog Park opened in 2013 and has a separate small dog area, shade, benches, lights, and drinking water for dogs. Entry to the park requires a permit and you must be a Berwyn resident – find out more information on how to get a permit here.

DuPage County

Katherine Legge Memorial Park
5901 South County Line Road
Hinsdale, IL 60521

Dogs are permitted from 5:00 am – 9: 00 am and 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm March 1st through October 31st, and 5:00 am – 10:00 am and 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm November 1st through February 28th for free without permits. For more information on location, rules, and restrictions, click here. Note that this park is not completely fenced.

Spring Avenue Dog Park
185 Spring Avenue
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

This park is fully enclosed, has a card reader for secure swipe card entry, pet waste bags and receptacles, picnic tables, benches, and free parking. A permit is required – get more information here.

White Oaks Dog Park
111 South Wood Dale Road
Wood Dale, IL 60191

White Oaks Dog Park has a separate section for small dogs and large dogs as well as some agility equipment. The park is near the Cabin Nature Center, and there is also a White Oaks Nature Trail for walking, jogging, or biking. This park is free to the public and is open daily from dawn to dusk.

Wiggly Field Dog Park
Located in the west end of Reed-Keppler Park
201 West National Street
West Chicago, IL 60185

This free dog park is fully enclosed and has an additional small dog enclosure (called Southpaw Dog Park) as well as dog agility equipment. Since it is located within Reed-Keppler park, there are other amenities that humans would enjoy nearby, including a sports complex with baseball, basketball, and softball courts/fields, a skate park, a splash pad, a nature sanctuary trail, two playgrounds, and a musical playground. Hours are sunrise to sunset.

Kane County

Batavia Bark Park
40W101 West Main Street
Batavia, IL 60510

The Bark Park is located in the southwest corner of the West Main Community Park. There is a three-acre fenced spaced for dogs as well as a small pavilion. It is closed for a day in October for maintenance, otherwise, it is open from April 1st through the first measurable snowfall.  No permit required. West Main Community Park itself consists of 58.4 acres and has picnic shelters, softball and baseball fields, basketball courts, a roller hockey court, a walking path and a large parking lot.

Gregory Island Dog Park
100-140 East Indian Trail
North Aurora, IL 60542

Gregory Island Dog Park has a fenced area for small dogs 35 pounds and under and room to roam for large dogs. Dog tags are required for entry, information can be found here.

Lincoln Park Dog Park
239 North Lincoln Avenue
Aurora, IL60505

This dog park is located on the south side of Lincoln Park and has drinking fountains and plenty of trees. Dog tags are required for entry, information can be found here.

Phillips Park
1000 Ray Moses Drive
Aurora, IL 60505
Tip: Parking lot is on Pleasant Place just north of Parker Ave

There are nearly three acres available for your dog at Phillips park – all fenced. The Mastodon Trail was extended to provide a walking path to the dog park (keep dogs leashed on all trails). Open from sunrise to sunset, weather permitting. Find more details on rules and regulations here.

Stuart Sports Complex Dog Park
39W546 Baseline Road
Sugar Grove, IL 60554

As the newest dog park in the Fox Valley Park District, Stuart Sports Complex has 15 acres for dogs. There are separate areas for large and small dogs and a 30-vehicle parking lot. Dog tags are required for entry, information can be found here. There are many other amenities for humans close by – concessions, restrooms, a playground with a splash pad, garden pots, and a lake (with disc golf).

Off-Leash Forest Preserve Dog-Friendly Areas

Many areas of Forest Preserve offer large off-leash areas for dogs. Read below for more information on permits, as rules vary by county.

Cook County Forest Preserve

Dog owners that wish to use these off-leash areas must register for an annual membership. Memberships are valid from October 1st to September 30th of the following year. Get more information here.

Bremen Grove
159th and Oak Park Avenue
Oak Forest, IL 60477

Bremen Grove is seven acres and features separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. There are water fountains available, and this park connects to 33 miles of trails (leashes are required on trails). The off-leash area requires a membership.

Miller Meadow Dog Park
2175 South First Avenue
Forest Park, IL 60130

This park was private until 2015 when it was opened to the public. Miller Meadow South features three acres of land and an outdoor shelter and is connected to two miles of trails (leashes required on trails). The off-leash area requires a membership.

Beck Lake Dog Park
Central Road and East River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016

Beck Lake is a very large park, 40 acres, with a large pond and outdoor shelter. This park is connected to nine miles of trails (leashes required on trails). The off-leash area requires a membership.

DuPage County Forest Preserve

There are six off-leash areas in DuPage forest preserves, all of which require permits. You can get permits for all of the dogs you own, but can only bring a maximum of three in a single area at one time. Dog owners can purchase daily or annual permits online, and annual permits are valid from January through December of the given year. For more information on permits, click here.

Blackwell Forest Preserve
South Side of Mack Road, .25 miles east of Route 59
Warrenville, IL 60555

Blackwell has a fenced 10 acres and is closed Mondays until 9:00 am. Permits are required for off-leash areas.

East Branch Forest Preserve
Main entrance on Glen Ellyn Road, .25 miles south of Army Trail Road
Lombard, IL 60148

In addition to 60 acres of off-leash area, there is also a training pond at East Branch. Closed Mondays until 9:00 am. Permits are required for off-leash areas.

Greene Valley Forest Preserve
899 Greene Road
Naperville, IL 60565

Greene Valley has 1.5 acres fenced for small dogs and 14.5 acres fenced for large dogs. There are water fountains and shaded benches. Closed Wednesdays until 10:00 am. Permits are required for off-leash areas. Get information about permits here.

Hawk Hollow
Bittersweet Drive, just south of Stearns Road
Bartlett, IL 60103

Hawk Hollow has a fenced 34 acres with two, 2.1-acre fenced areas for dogs of all sizes. Closed Tuesdays until 10:00 am. Permits are required for off-leash areas. Get information about permits here.

1717 31st Street
Oak Brook, IL 60523

This park has 3.5 acres fenced for large dogs and a half acre for small dogs. There are also covered picnic tables and a portable restroom. Closed Thursdays until 10:00 am. Permits are required for off-leash areas. Get information about permits here.

Oldfield Oaks Forest Preserve
.25 miles east of Lemont Road on the south side of 87th Street/Oilfield Road
Darien, IL 60516

When this park opens soon, it will have a 5-acre fenced field with a .3-mile looped trail, a separate .6-acre fenced area for small dogs, a 40-car asphalt parking lot, and a trail that will connect to the forest preserve’s existing looped trail. Permits are required for off-leash areas. Get information about permits here.

Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve
North side of 83rd Street, west of Book Road
Naperville, IL 60540

Springbrook Prairie has 37 acres, fenced. Closed Thursdays until 10:00 am. Permits are required for off-leash areas. Permits are required for off-leash areas. Get information about permits here.

Kane County Forest Preserve

For Kane County off-leash dog areas, no permits are required, but there is a list of rules and regulations. Off-leash hours are from 8:00 am to sunset.

Aurora West
40W032 Hankes Road
Aurora, IL

The entire Forest Preserve is 715 acres, which is mostly designated for off-leash dog areas. There is a portion of the preserve that is off limits for dogs due to wildlife habitat protection.

Fox River Bluff West
5N753 State Route 31
St. Charles, IL 60175

This portion of Forest Preserve straddles the Fox River in St. Charles – you can bring up to three dogs to this area, and dogs can be off-leash except while crossing the bicycle bridge over the river.

3790 Commerce Drive
St. Charles, IL

This preserve is 20 acres and has a specific area for off-leash dogs. Other features of this site include a pond with fishing, paved walking trails, a shelter, a playground, and parking.

Schweitzer Woods
16N690 Sleepy Hollow Road
Dundee, IL

This property has oak forests, cropland, hay meadows, and marshes, all of which is approved as an off-leash dog area. Be sure to check out the Edwardian style house with matching dog kennel in the southeast corner of the property.

Will County Forest Preserve

Dog owners can purchase permits for up to three dogs (requires an up-to-date rabies vaccination), and dogs must be at least six months old to use dog parks. Get more information on permit timing and pricing here. Will County parks are open from 8:00 am to sunset daily.

Forked Creek Preserve
Ballou Road Access
20563 W. Ballou Road
Wilmington, IL 60481

This park features a nine-acre area with a three-acre area for dogs under 35 pounds. A permit is required for the off-leash area – get more information here.

Hammel Woods
DuPage River Access
23435 Black Road
Shorewood, IL 60431

Hammel Woods – DuPage River Access has an 8.5-acre off-leash area. A permit is required for the off-leash area – get more information here.

Lower Rock Run Preserve
McClintock Road Access
22827 West McClintock Road
Channahon, IL 60410

This park is 7.5 acres, including a 2.5-acre enclosure for dogs 35 pounds and under.  A permit is required for the off-leash area – get more information here.

Messenger Marsh
South Bell Road (South of Route 7/159th Street)
Homer Glen, IL 60491

Messenger Marsh has a seven-acre off-leash area including a 1.1-acre enclosed area for dogs under 35 pounds. A permit is required for the off-leash area – get more information here.

Plum Valley Preserveopening this summer

Whalon Lake Dog Park
1480 Royce Road
Naperville, IL 60565

Whalon Lake Dog Park is an eight-acre fenced area, which includes a smaller 2.5-acre park for dogs under 30 pounds. The park features an outdoor shelter and benches. A permit is required for the off-leash area – get more information here.

If you feel like an adventure…

Mercury’s Canine Cruise
Chicago River and Lake Michigan cruise

Some of Mercury’s cruises in Chicago on Lake Michigan are dog-friendly! Their dog cruise boat offers safe outdoor seating, water bowls, and a special newspaper-lined restroom for dogs. Click here for more information on dates and pricing. Dogs can also cruise aboard Seadog boats when leashed, and they ride for free.

Montrose Beach
4400 N. Lake Shore Drive – at W. Lawrence
Chicago, IL 60640

Montrose Beach is Chicago’s first legal off-leash dog beach, features a fenced-in area, free dog waste bags, and a dog wash area. Morning hours tend to be the most popular, though this park is open during normal Chicago Park District Hours (6:00 am – 11:00 pm). The Chicago beach season is typically from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Starved Rock
Visitor Center
2668 East 873 Road
Oglesby, IL 61348

Not only is Starved Rock State Park dog-friendly (on-leash), they also offer dog-friendly rooms at their lodge for dogs under 50 pounds if you are staying overnight – there is an additional $35 per pet, per stay. There is a dog-friendly menu and dogs are welcome on the outdoor Veranda. Check out more tips for hiking Starved Rock with kids here.

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