One of the state's first incorporated areas, Buffalo Grove, Illinois has grown over the past two hundred years, into a small town with a village feel. Known for its' annual cultural events, Buffalo Grove is also home to many pet-friendly attractions.
The local off-leash dog park is the Happy Trails Dog Park. It is open from sunrise to sunset each day and closed Monday midday for maintenance. Nonresidents may use the park as long as they provide evidence of vaccination records while residents must show a Buffalo Grove dog license. The park was designed on purpose to be divided into two distinct sections, one for small (under 15 lbs.) and one for large dogs. A well-maintained park with amenities like benches and water fountains, Happy Trails is a must-visit!
The trail options around Buffalo Creek are excellent. The Village of Buffalo Grove has eight bike paths that loop around the city, six being paved. These trails provide access to multiple dog-friendly events throughout the year, including "Lawn Chair Lyrics" (outdoor summertime concerts) and the National Night Out.
The county offers more choices, notably the Buffalo Creek Trail, which is on over 400 acres of gorgeous land, ranging from creek beds, deep woods, and restored prairie. Got a pooch with a lot of energy? Try the Des Plaines River Trail, which is over 31 miles long!
The City of Buffalo Grove welcomes dogs into the community. Happy Tails Dog Park located at 835 Commerce Court attracts waggin’ tails from around the city and surrounding areas. All guests to this dog park must first purchase a permit from the city before using it. This dog park is not placed in the most scenic of places. Large electrical towers and train tracks detract from the aesthetic, but the dogs don’t mind! Dogs run leash-free in one of two enclosures. One is reserved for small dogs under 35 pounds. The ground is a mixture of grass and dirt. The park is a large, flat field mostly without trees, a great place where dogs can be dogs and have a truly, tail-waggin’ good time!
Lake Forest is about 10 miles northwest of Buffalo Grove. It is worth a short drive to visit the Prairie Wolf Dog Park, located at 2075 Waukegan Road. This 44-acre dog park is sure to unleash the wild, wolven ancestry in your dog. This dog park is fully fenced, and the terrain is a natural combination of grass, rock, and dirt. Dogs can run and explore leash-free. They may even get a bit wet! One area of the Dog Park has access to a pond, so be sure to bring a towel. This dog park is one of four that the Lake County Forest Preserves manages. Lake County requires visitors to register and pay a fee before using any of the dog parks, so keep that in mind when planning your visit.
Des Plaines is a fifteen mile drive south from Buffalo Grove. Des Plaines is home to Beck Lake Dog Park. This 44-acre Dog Park is fully fenced, and dogs get to socialize and exercise leash free. The whole 44 acres is natural terrain which includes trees, grass, rocks, dirt, and sometimes mud. Dogs have access to a pond. This park comes complete with all the amenities including benches, waste receptacles with poop bags, drinking water, and places to get some shade. Forest Preserves of Cook County manages this dog park and two others. Visitors must buy an annual membership to use the Park, and then will receive a key to all three parks. Be sure to check the Forest Preserves website for more information.
Evanston is a twenty mile drive southeast of Buffalo Grove. Evanston is a city with many amenities to offer you and your dog. Centennial Beach is an off-leash dog park that lets your dog play in the lapping waves of Lake Michigan. Dogs can socialize and run with the sandy beach under their paws. Waste receptacles are furnished along the beach, so be sure to use them! The beach is managed by Winnetka Park District, and visitors must register in advance of their visit. After a long day of beach play, dogs can grab some grub with their people at the Hearth Restaurant on 1625 Hinman Ave. This restaurant features a nice outdoor patio where canine companions can dine with their humans.
Less than twenty miles south of Buffalo Grove is the dog-friendly town of Park Ridge. Paws Park, located at 2800 W. Oakton Ave., is a fine place to run or park your paws with a fur friend. This off-leash park is a flat and grassy area for your pup to romp and socialize. The park provides numerous waste receptacles, and water is available on site. Humans can sit on benches while supervising their pups at play. Registration and an annual fee must be paid before using this park. Check the Park Ridge Park District website for more information.