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14 best dog parks in Chicago

Here’s where to take your pup from Montrose Beach to Jackson Bark

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If city-dwelling dog owners know one thing, it’s that their pups go nuts for off-leash playtime. Dogs need to be leashed in all public places, and only a lucky few Chicago canines have their own backyards. Luckily, Chicago has no shortage of dedicated dogs parks to give urban canines a chance to socialize, exercise, and play.

The city’s first dog park, Wiggly Field, was created in 1995. Now, over 20 such play zones exist citywide, primarily downtown and on the north side. As long as your dog has its dog-friendly area tags (just $5, available through most veterinarians), he or she can play without restraint.

In recent news, the South Side will get its first dog parks run by the Park District. Lots of dog-owning residents are excited for the three new parks as the majority of city-maintained dog parks have remained on the North Side.

There’s a variety in amenities from park to park: some are simply fenced-in slabs of concrete, while others boast grass and water features and special areas for smaller dogs. We’ve sussed out Chicago’s top 14 dog-friendly areas worth dragging Fido to this weekend.

This list is arranged geographically north to south.

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1. Pottawattomie Dog Park

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7340 N Rogers Ave
Chicago, IL 60626
773-262-5835

Rogers Park’s premiere dog park is nestled in the northeast corner of Pottawottamie Park, which was founded in 1896. Pottawottamie Dog Park is about .2 acres in area, and its surface is comprised largely of asphalt and pea gravel. Amenities at this neighborhood favorite include a doggie drinking fountain, designated small dog area, two separate entrances/exits, benches, and lots of shade.

2. Norwood Park Dog Friendly Area

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5850 N Avondale Ave
Chicago, IL 60631
773-631-4893

This .13-acre northwest side dog zone is tucked within Norwood Park, just across the street from the Metra tracks. It includes a doggie drinking fountain, plenty of shade and benches, and kiddie pools to splash in during the summertime. The area is manned by the Norwood Dog Park Association, who raise funds to maintain and clean the park, as well as plan community events. During the holidays, the association has brought Santa to the dog park for a seriously adorable photo op.

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3. River Park Dog Friendly Area

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(312) 742-7516
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Away from the L, highways, and the Metra, this Albany Park dog park is one of the quieter parks in the city and ideal for skittish pups. The park, also referred to as Paws Park, is situated within the idyllic River Park. In summer months it boasts kiddie pools, hoses, and sprinklers, so your four-legged friend can stay nice and cool. While the dog park itself isn’t too special (it’s about .1 acre in area, and has an asphalt surface), its location within River Park makes it an excellent destination for a day out with your dog.

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4. Puptown Dog Park

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N Marine Dr
Chicago, IL 60640
(312) 742-7522
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Established in 2000, this Uptown dog park does not receive Chicago Park District funding—it’s maintained entirely by the Puptown Dog Owners Group. The .38-acre park’s surface is asphalt and gravel, and features poop bag dispensers year-round and water features during warmer months. It’s a very popular spot in the summer, so expect your pup to make friends during your visit. Plus, if your dog still has energy after playing at Puptown, Montrose Dog Beach is just a 10-minute walk away.

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5. Montrose Dog Beach

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312-742-5369

In the summer months, this is the holy grail of Chicago dog parks. Montrose Dog Beach is 3.83 acres of fenced-in beachfront specially designated for canines. The zone is managed by a volunteer group called MonDog that cleans and maintains the area while also providing poop bags. As of 2017, this dog-friendly area boasts a deluxe, self-service dog washing station to rinse off sandy pups before getting back in the car.

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6. Portage Park Dog Friendly Area

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4100 N Long Ave
Chicago, IL 60641

When created in 2011, this dog-friendly area was merely a patch of asphalt within sprawling, lush Portage Park. In 2013, the fences were knocked down to make room for more neighborhood pups, and it’s now one of the city’s largest dog parks. It is managed by the Portage Park Dog Park Committee, who keeps the park clean and plans community events at the park. In the summer months, the Committee provides water features for your canines to enjoy. Year-round amenities include benches and doggie drinking fountains.

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7. Belmont Harbor Dog Beach

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N Lake Shore Dr & Lake Shore Drive Dr
Chicago, IL 60657
(312) 742-7529
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This teeny patch of fenced-off beach is perfect for dogs who are overwhelmed by the big crowds at Montrose Dog Beach. At just .15 acres, this small sandbar allows pups splash around the still waters of Belmont Harbor. There is no doggie water fountain (so pack water for your dog), but there is a double gate entrance.

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8. Wiggly Field Dog Friendly Area

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2645 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 744-5000
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Chicago’s first dog park remains one of its most popular ones, too. The Lincoln Park dog-friendly area, situated adjacent to the Brown, Red and Purple Line tracks, is a neighborhood hotspot for dogs and owners. The Chicago Park District officially calls it Noethling Playlot Park, but locals know it by its punny nickname, Wiggly Field. The park is .37 acres in size, easily big enough for a game of fetch, and is covered in runner’s asphalt and pea gravel. It also has an additional small dog area—great for both little dogs and those less inclined to romp in the big crowds. Other amenities include doggie drinking fountains, a double gate entrance, and summertime water features.

9. Wicker Dog Friendly Area

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1425 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 742-7553
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While it’s not particularly large, nor full of amenities, this dog park has long held its own as the center of the Wicker Park dog community. The Wicker Park Dog Friendly Area is located in the southeast corner of the triangular of Wicker Park. Given its popularity and small size, it can get quite crowded in the morning and early evenings. The park is covered in asphalt and pea gravel, and includes a double gate entrance, doggie drinking fountains, and plenty of seating.

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10. Lakeshore East Dog Park

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450 E Benton Pl
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 742-3918
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This small oasis just north of Millennium Park is a perfect escape for the urban pup. The ground of Lakeshore East Dog Park is covered mostly in green turf, as well as concrete sidewalks, and the park is home to several trees that keep it nice and shaded. Additional features at this .1 acre park include a doggie drinking fountain, summertime water features, a double gate entrance, and benches.

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11. Skinner Bark Park

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1331 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60607

Founded in 2014, this .4 acre dog park is one of the most beloved and unique in the city. Skinner Bark Park’s surface is a combination of green turf, pea gravel, and concrete, and its large size easily allows for games of fetch. The West Loop park is maintained by a community group, who also puts on monthly (or semi-monthly) social events for dogs and dog-owners.

12. Grant Bark Park

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1000 S Columbus Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 264-5630
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Want to give your dog the ultimate downtown experience? Look no further than the dog friendly area nestled right inside Grant Park. At .36 acres, this is one of Chicago’s larger dog-friendly areas with lots of space for romping and playing fetch. Features of the Grant Bark Park include a double gate entrance, doggie drinking fountains, summertime water features, asphalt and pea gravel surfaces, and several trees in the park itself.

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13. Fred Anderson Dog Park

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1629 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

This South Loop dog park is one of the city’s newest, opening at the very end of 2014. And it looks contemporary, too, with slanted blocks and structures for dogs to climb on. The .44 acre enclosed area is covered in concrete and artificial turf and is well-lit at night. Note: there are two separate parks for big and small dogs. Other features include doggie drinking fountains, double gate entrances, and lots of seating.

14. Jackson Bark

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The first dog park on the south side was created in 2014 on an unused tennis court. It remains one of the city’s most popular and unique and hosts a variety of structures and agility course obstacles including teeter-totters, tunnels, hoops, A-frame ramps, tire hills, and more. Jackson Bark is funded and maintained entirely by the Woodlawn dog owner community. Additional amenities include summertime water features, benches, three double gate entries, and a free parking lot.

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1. Pottawattomie Dog Park

7340 N Rogers Ave, Chicago, IL 60626

Rogers Park’s premiere dog park is nestled in the northeast corner of Pottawottamie Park, which was founded in 1896. Pottawottamie Dog Park is about .2 acres in area, and its surface is comprised largely of asphalt and pea gravel. Amenities at this neighborhood favorite include a doggie drinking fountain, designated small dog area, two separate entrances/exits, benches, and lots of shade.

7340 N Rogers Ave
Chicago, IL 60626

2. Norwood Park Dog Friendly Area

5850 N Avondale Ave, Chicago, IL 60631

This .13-acre northwest side dog zone is tucked within Norwood Park, just across the street from the Metra tracks. It includes a doggie drinking fountain, plenty of shade and benches, and kiddie pools to splash in during the summertime. The area is manned by the Norwood Dog Park Association, who raise funds to maintain and clean the park, as well as plan community events. During the holidays, the association has brought Santa to the dog park for a seriously adorable photo op.

5850 N Avondale Ave
Chicago, IL 60631

3. River Park Dog Friendly Area

Chicago, IL 60625

Away from the L, highways, and the Metra, this Albany Park dog park is one of the quieter parks in the city and ideal for skittish pups. The park, also referred to as Paws Park, is situated within the idyllic River Park. In summer months it boasts kiddie pools, hoses, and sprinklers, so your four-legged friend can stay nice and cool. While the dog park itself isn’t too special (it’s about .1 acre in area, and has an asphalt surface), its location within River Park makes it an excellent destination for a day out with your dog.

4. Puptown Dog Park

N Marine Dr, Chicago, IL 60640

Established in 2000, this Uptown dog park does not receive Chicago Park District funding—it’s maintained entirely by the Puptown Dog Owners Group. The .38-acre park’s surface is asphalt and gravel, and features poop bag dispensers year-round and water features during warmer months. It’s a very popular spot in the summer, so expect your pup to make friends during your visit. Plus, if your dog still has energy after playing at Puptown, Montrose Dog Beach is just a 10-minute walk away.

N Marine Dr
Chicago, IL 60640

5. Montrose Dog Beach

Montrose Dog Beach, Illinois

In the summer months, this is the holy grail of Chicago dog parks. Montrose Dog Beach is 3.83 acres of fenced-in beachfront specially designated for canines. The zone is managed by a volunteer group called MonDog that cleans and maintains the area while also providing poop bags. As of 2017, this dog-friendly area boasts a deluxe, self-service dog washing station to rinse off sandy pups before getting back in the car.

6. Portage Park Dog Friendly Area

4100 N Long Ave, Chicago, IL 60641

When created in 2011, this dog-friendly area was merely a patch of asphalt within sprawling, lush Portage Park. In 2013, the fences were knocked down to make room for more neighborhood pups, and it’s now one of the city’s largest dog parks. It is managed by the Portage Park Dog Park Committee, who keeps the park clean and plans community events at the park. In the summer months, the Committee provides water features for your canines to enjoy. Year-round amenities include benches and doggie drinking fountains.

4100 N Long Ave
Chicago, IL 60641

7. Belmont Harbor Dog Beach

N Lake Shore Dr & Lake Shore Drive Dr, Chicago, IL 60657

This teeny patch of fenced-off beach is perfect for dogs who are overwhelmed by the big crowds at Montrose Dog Beach. At just .15 acres, this small sandbar allows pups splash around the still waters of Belmont Harbor. There is no doggie water fountain (so pack water for your dog), but there is a double gate entrance.

N Lake Shore Dr & Lake Shore Drive Dr
Chicago, IL 60657

8. Wiggly Field Dog Friendly Area

2645 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Chicago’s first dog park remains one of its most popular ones, too. The Lincoln Park dog-friendly area, situated adjacent to the Brown, Red and Purple Line tracks, is a neighborhood hotspot for dogs and owners. The Chicago Park District officially calls it Noethling Playlot Park, but locals know it by its punny nickname, Wiggly Field. The park is .37 acres in size, easily big enough for a game of fetch, and is covered in runner’s asphalt and pea gravel. It also has an additional small dog area—great for both little dogs and those less inclined to romp in the big crowds. Other amenities include doggie drinking fountains, a double gate entrance, and summertime water features.

2645 N Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

9. Wicker Dog Friendly Area

1425 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

While it’s not particularly large, nor full of amenities, this dog park has long held its own as the center of the Wicker Park dog community. The Wicker Park Dog Friendly Area is located in the southeast corner of the triangular of Wicker Park. Given its popularity and small size, it can get quite crowded in the morning and early evenings. The park is covered in asphalt and pea gravel, and includes a double gate entrance, doggie drinking fountains, and plenty of seating.

1425 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

10. Lakeshore East Dog Park

450 E Benton Pl, Chicago, IL 60601

This small oasis just north of Millennium Park is a perfect escape for the urban pup. The ground of Lakeshore East Dog Park is covered mostly in green turf, as well as concrete sidewalks, and the park is home to several trees that keep it nice and shaded. Additional features at this .1 acre park include a doggie drinking fountain, summertime water features, a double gate entrance, and benches.

450 E Benton Pl
Chicago, IL 60601

11. Skinner Bark Park

1331 W Adams St, Chicago, IL 60607

Founded in 2014, this .4 acre dog park is one of the most beloved and unique in the city. Skinner Bark Park’s surface is a combination of green turf, pea gravel, and concrete, and its large size easily allows for games of fetch. The West Loop park is maintained by a community group, who also puts on monthly (or semi-monthly) social events for dogs and dog-owners.

1331 W Adams St
Chicago, IL 60607

12. Grant Bark Park

1000 S Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

Want to give your dog the ultimate downtown experience? Look no further than the dog friendly area nestled right inside Grant Park. At .36 acres, this is one of Chicago’s larger dog-friendly areas with lots of space for romping and playing fetch. Features of the Grant Bark Park include a double gate entrance, doggie drinking fountains, summertime water features, asphalt and pea gravel surfaces, and several trees in the park itself.

1000 S Columbus Dr
Chicago, IL 60605

13. Fred Anderson Dog Park

1629 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

This South Loop dog park is one of the city’s newest, opening at the very end of 2014. And it looks contemporary, too, with slanted blocks and structures for dogs to climb on. The .44 acre enclosed area is covered in concrete and artificial turf and is well-lit at night. Note: there are two separate parks for big and small dogs. Other features include doggie drinking fountains, double gate entrances, and lots of seating.

1629 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL 60616

14. Jackson Bark

Chicago, IL 60637

The first dog park on the south side was created in 2014 on an unused tennis court. It remains one of the city’s most popular and unique and hosts a variety of structures and agility course obstacles including teeter-totters, tunnels, hoops, A-frame ramps, tire hills, and more. Jackson Bark is funded and maintained entirely by the Woodlawn dog owner community. Additional amenities include summertime water features, benches, three double gate entries, and a free parking lot.

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