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The best dog parks in Chicago, mapped

Find parks with grass, off-leash beaches, and small dog runs.

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If city-dwelling dog owners know one thing, it’s that their pups need a place to run and play. The city has a handful of dog-friendly areas in park districts and community-run parks for dogs.

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.

Related: 5 Chicago apartment types you can rent if you’re a dog owner

A couple of years ago the majority of city-run dog parks were on the North Side. But now, more are opening on the South Side like the ones in Calumet, McKinley Park, and Bronzeville.

Amenities vary 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. Here’s the rundown on a few of the most popular areas to take your pup.

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Pottawattomie Dog Park

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Rogers Park’s premiere dog park is nestled in the northeast corner of Pottawottamie Park. It’s about .2 acres with asphalt and pea gravel. Amenities at this neighborhood favorite include a dog drinking fountain, a designated small dog area, two separate entrances and exits, benches, and lots of shade.

Norwood Park Dog Friendly Area

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This .13-acre Northwest Side dog zone is tucked within Norwood Park, just across the street from the Metra tracks. It includes a dog drinking fountain, plenty of shade and benches. 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.

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River Park Dog Friendly Area

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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. It’s location within River Park, which has lots of trails and is near the new bike and pedestrian path, makes it an excellent destination for a day out with your dog.

Puptown Dog Park

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This Uptown dog park is maintained entirely by the Puptown Dog Owners Group. The .38-acre park’s surface is asphalt and gravel. It’s a very popular spot, so expect your four-legged companion to make friends during your visit.

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Portage Park Dog Friendly Area

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This dog-friendly area was merely a patch of asphalt when it first opened, but has expanded into one of the 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. There are benches and dog drinking fountains, too.

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Wiggly Field Dog Friendly Area

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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 CTA’s elevated tracks. The park is .37 acres in size, easily big enough for a game of fetch. There are a few mature trees, but the surface is mostly asphalt and gravel.

Wicker Dog Friendly Area

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This dog park has long held its own as the center of the Wicker Park dog community. It 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. There is a double gate entrance, dog drinking fountains, and plenty of seating.

Bennett Park

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Bennett Park, a two-acre privately operated public space, will has a sprawling dog park for neighborhood residents. Designed by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates—the firm behind Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park and The 606 trail—Bennett Park includes two 24-hour public dog parks for large and small canines.

Related Midwest

Lakeshore East Dog Park

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

Skinner Bark Park

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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.

Grant Bark Park

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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, dog drinking fountains, asphalt and pea gravel surfaces, and several trees in the park itself.

Fred Anderson Dog Park

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This South Loop dog park is one of the city’s newest and it has a contemporary vibe, too. There are slanted concrete blocks and ledges for dogs to climb on. The .44 acre enclosed area is covered in concrete and artificial turf and is well-lit at night. Plus, small and large dogs get separate play areas. Other features include dog drinking fountains, double gate entrances, and lots of seating.

Jackson Bark

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The first “unofficial” 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.

Calumet Bark

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Located just north of Calumet Beach on the city’s Southeast Side, the newly-opened Calumet Bark is the first Chicago Park District dog park south of 18th Street. The 7,100-square-foot facility includes asphalt and pea gravel surfaces as well as trees, benches, and a water fountain for dogs. The opening of Calumet Bark was welcome news for the Southeast Side dog owners who worked for nearly four years to make the park a reality.

Churchill Park

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Just off the 606 Trail, this dog park offers hot dogs and tired owners a place to rest from a long walk or jog. There’s a drinking fountain and pools for dogs to cool off. Of course, you can play a game of fetch as well!

Horner Park

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A portion of Horner Park was turned into a Dog Friendly Area in 2018, and residents are hoping to launch another phase soon with water features and agility installations. For now, it’s one of the only spaces with real grass (most public dog parks have a paved dog run or fake grass). Dog owners also like this park because it’s one of the largest.

Montrose Dog Beach

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When it comes to dog parks, this one is a special treat. 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.

Norwood Park Dog Friendly Area

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A small little park located just north of the service yard on Avondale Avenue, this is a scenic place for your pet to socialize. There’s a drinking fountain, benches, poop bags, and it’s easy to find parking.

McKinley Park Dog Park

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This park for pups opened just last year on corner of the park near Pershing and Western. It has about .27 acres of space that is fenced off for play and exercise. The perks of this space: it’s volunteer run, there’s grass, and its one of the only off-leash spots in the area.

Bronzeville Dog Park

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This Bronzeville dog park is another new spot for dog owners which opened last year. The brand new space has grassy areas, paved paths, a water fountain, and bench seating. Plus, there are separate areas for small and large dogs.

Belmont Harbor Dog Beach

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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.

Pottawattomie Dog Park

Rogers Park’s premiere dog park is nestled in the northeast corner of Pottawottamie Park. It’s about .2 acres with asphalt and pea gravel. Amenities at this neighborhood favorite include a dog drinking fountain, a designated small dog area, two separate entrances and exits, benches, and lots of shade.

Norwood Park Dog Friendly Area

This .13-acre Northwest Side dog zone is tucked within Norwood Park, just across the street from the Metra tracks. It includes a dog drinking fountain, plenty of shade and benches. 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.

A post shared by Odin (@odinthegiant) on

River Park Dog Friendly Area

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. It’s location within River Park, which has lots of trails and is near the new bike and pedestrian path, makes it an excellent destination for a day out with your dog.

Puptown Dog Park

This Uptown dog park is maintained entirely by the Puptown Dog Owners Group. The .38-acre park’s surface is asphalt and gravel. It’s a very popular spot, so expect your four-legged companion to make friends during your visit.

A post shared by Damon (@damon___official) on

Portage Park Dog Friendly Area

This dog-friendly area was merely a patch of asphalt when it first opened, but has expanded into one of the 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. There are benches and dog drinking fountains, too.

A post shared by Odin (@odinthegiant) on

Wiggly Field Dog Friendly Area

Chicago’s first dog park remains one of its most popular ones, too. The Lincoln Park dog-friendly area, situated adjacent to the CTA’s elevated tracks. The park is .37 acres in size, easily big enough for a game of fetch. There are a few mature trees, but the surface is mostly asphalt and gravel.

Wicker Dog Friendly Area

This dog park has long held its own as the center of the Wicker Park dog community. It 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. There is a double gate entrance, dog drinking fountains, and plenty of seating.

Bennett Park

Related Midwest

Bennett Park, a two-acre privately operated public space, will has a sprawling dog park for neighborhood residents. Designed by landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates—the firm behind Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park and The 606 trail—Bennett Park includes two 24-hour public dog parks for large and small canines.

Related Midwest

Lakeshore East Dog Park

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

Skinner Bark Park

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.

Grant Bark Park

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, dog drinking fountains, asphalt and pea gravel surfaces, and several trees in the park itself.

Fred Anderson Dog Park

This South Loop dog park is one of the city’s newest and it has a contemporary vibe, too. There are slanted concrete blocks and ledges for dogs to climb on. The .44 acre enclosed area is covered in concrete and artificial turf and is well-lit at night. Plus, small and large dogs get separate play areas. Other features include dog drinking fountains, double gate entrances, and lots of seating.

Jackson Bark

The first “unofficial” 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.

Calumet Bark

Located just north of Calumet Beach on the city’s Southeast Side, the newly-opened Calumet Bark is the first Chicago Park District dog park south of 18th Street. The 7,100-square-foot facility includes asphalt and pea gravel surfaces as well as trees, benches, and a water fountain for dogs. The opening of Calumet Bark was welcome news for the Southeast Side dog owners who worked for nearly four years to make the park a reality.

Churchill Park

Just off the 606 Trail, this dog park offers hot dogs and tired owners a place to rest from a long walk or jog. There’s a drinking fountain and pools for dogs to cool off. Of course, you can play a game of fetch as well!

Horner Park

A portion of Horner Park was turned into a Dog Friendly Area in 2018, and residents are hoping to launch another phase soon with water features and agility installations. For now, it’s one of the only spaces with real grass (most public dog parks have a paved dog run or fake grass). Dog owners also like this park because it’s one of the largest.

Montrose Dog Beach

When it comes to dog parks, this one is a special treat. 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.

Norwood Park Dog Friendly Area

A small little park located just north of the service yard on Avondale Avenue, this is a scenic place for your pet to socialize. There’s a drinking fountain, benches, poop bags, and it’s easy to find parking.

McKinley Park Dog Park

This park for pups opened just last year on corner of the park near Pershing and Western. It has about .27 acres of space that is fenced off for play and exercise. The perks of this space: it’s volunteer run, there’s grass, and its one of the only off-leash spots in the area.

Bronzeville Dog Park

This Bronzeville dog park is another new spot for dog owners which opened last year. The brand new space has grassy areas, paved paths, a water fountain, and bench seating. Plus, there are separate areas for small and large dogs.

Belmont Harbor Dog Beach

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.