Crystal Lake's motto, "A Good Place to Live," seems to be true not only for the city's human residents but also for all of the 20,000 companion animals in the area! Numerous pet-friendly attractions such as parks and trails make Crystal Lake a lovely city to spend some quality time with your four-legged friends.
Hound Town Dog Park, Crystal Lake's premier park for off-leash fun, is open each day year-round from dawn to dusk. Covering three acres of space, the park requires an annual permit (available to both residents and non-residents). The large open spaces and new water fountain are sure to delight, as will the regular crowds of friendly locals.
Crystal Lake has dozens of other parks, which on-leash dogs are welcome to visit. Ken Bird Park, Fetzner Park, Four Colonies Park, and Woodscreek Park are all neighborhood parks that offer more than 15 acres of space. Lippold Park has over 310 acres, with sports fields, more than three miles of trails, and modern amenities and concession stands.
Not only do Crystal Lake residents love their parks, but the town is well-known for conserving and maintaining beautiful hiking trails and paths. The 28-mile Prairie Trail (which actually crosses the border into Wisconsin) offers scenic views of the area's farmland. Looking for something special? Try the Wingate Prairie trail in the Veteran Acres Park, which contains almost 40 acres of Illinois' 59 total acres of gravel hill prairie.
Crystal Lake is home to Hound Town Dog Park located at 852 IL-176. This 3-acre dog park is fenced, so your dog will be safe while he makes some new fur-iends. If you want to use the dog park, you'll have to pay a fee first, so make sure to check the Crystal Lake website for more information. The Hound Town Dog Park is part of a larger public park, Lippold Park. No fee is charged to access the walking paths and picnic sites. Dogs exploring Lippold Park must be on leash. If you're looking to grab some grub after working up an appetite at the park, head over to Crystal Lake Brewing, where your polite dog can dine inside with you.
Less than 10 miles northwest of Crystal Lake is the town of Woodstock. Woodstock is a dog-friendly town, and is home to Bull Valley Dog Park. This dog park is a fenced 7-acre tract of flat green space, with plenty of room for Fido to stretch his legs. The dog park also has a few places for human companions to sit. Few trees are on this tract of ground. Water has yet to be installed at the site, so be sure to bring your own. Waste receptacles for cleanup are readily available. Use of this dog park requires registration with the city, which includes an annual fee, so be sure to check the official city website for more info.
Five miles south of Crystal Lake is the small town of Lake in the Hills. This small town in home to the Lake in the Hills Dog, located at 9027 Haligus Road. It features 10 acres of well-maintained grass that is fenced into three separate enclosures. One enclosure is set aside for timid dogs or dogs getting adjusted to the park. The other two take turns being opened while the other is maintained. The park has plenty of poop bags, waste receptacles, water, agility equipment, and solar lighting at the entrance for extra security. Visitors to the dog park must be registered and pay an annual fee. More information is available on the city’s website.
Twenty miles northwest of Crystal Lake is the town of Lake Villa. Lake Villa is home to Duck Farm Dog Park, located at 1439 E. Grand Avenue. This huge dog park is managed by the Lake County Forest Preserves. Duck Farm Dog Park has 48 acres of fenced natural ground for your dog to explore, run, and socialize in. This natural setting has trails for humans to walk on alongside their leash-free companions. The park provides water in water fountains designed for both humans and dogs, as well as the necessary waste receptacles and bags. Benches for human companions to rest are scattered inside the park. Registration and a fee are required before using the park, so check the official park website for more information.
Less than 10 miles north of Crystal Lake is the small, dog-friendly town McHenry. This small town has a beautiful dog park, the McBark Dog Park, located 2500 N. Richmond Avenue. It has 4 acres of fenced grass for off-leash fun. The park provides water, a few benches for human companions, and some handy poop bags and waste receptacles for that necessary clean up. It is open from sunrise to sunset. The regulars get to know each other here in McHenry--both dog and human. Registration and an annual fee are required. More information is on the city’s website.