Ottawa is a city in Lasalle County, Illinois, centered around the point where the Fox River pours into the Illinois River. As the scenic gateway to a few of the surrounding state parks, Ottawa attracts a lot of tourists! In addition, Ottawa is also home to over 100 acres of neighborhood parks, bikeways and trails, and four veterinary hospitals, which makes Ottawa a fun and safe place to have a dog.
One of the very pawpular state parks within Ottawa is the Buffalo Rock State Park. This park is located on a bluff with gorgeous views of the Illinois River, and is known for the two American Bissons that live there, and the five sculptures of creatures native to the area. This park welcomes leashed dogs, and features trails, picnic areas, and even has primitive campgrounds! There are fire rings, but no restrooms or water available in the camping areas.
If you and your pooch are looking to stay somewhere a little more modern, check out the Hampton Inn Ottawa Starved Rock. The Inn is pet friendly, conveniently located, and even has an indoor pool and spa.
Whether you’re a local or visitor in Ottawa here to enjoy the nearby nature, you’ll be sure to have plenty of opportunities to get outside with your pup!
The City Center neighborhood of Ottawa has a lot to offer for dogs and their two legged owners! This neighborhood is proud home to the scenic Fox River Park. This riverfront park offers boat access, fishing, picnicking, walking trails and plenty of open space for your doggo to run around on. There are also restrooms and a water play area. Just west of this park is the Washington Memorial Park. You and your dog can enjoy the beautiful flowers and fountains in the summer, or the ice sculptures and christmas lights in the winter. Both of these parks welcome leashed dogs as long as they’re picked up after. If you start getting thirsty, The Row House is right around the corner from this park. They feature a dog friendly patio and specialty cocktails!
When you and your dog are itching to get outside into some green space, no need to worry, because the neighborhood of Stoneyville has plenty! This neighborhood in the south end of Ottawa is home to Varland Park and Peck Park. Both of these parks have athletic fields and large grassy areas that you and your dog can enjoy as long as they stay leashed and there are no games in play. These clean and secluded parks are family-oriented, and both have restrooms, shelters, and benches available to use. The Peck Park also has concession stands open seasonally, where you can get burgers, chips, tacos, and much more.
Locals and dogs love living in the Courtney Street / Christie Street neighborhood in Ottawa for it’s great parks and greenery! One of the furtastic places to hang and make new dog friends is Allan Park. This park is located along the scenic Illinois River, with great views of the downtown district and the river itself. The park features a riverwalk, docks, boat launches and fishing areas so park visitors can make full use of the river. Other amenities include restrooms, picnic tables, and playgrounds. Just south of here, you can find the Kiwanis Park. The Kiwanis Park is a great place to have a picnic with your pooch, as it has sheltered tables and grills available to use. Both of these parks are dog friendly, as long as he or she stays leashed and is picked up after.
In the neighborhood of Ottawa Ave / Boyce Memorial Drive, you can catch the iconic Illinois and Michigan Canal State Trail. This trail is part of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, and covers nearly 80 miles through the counties of Grundy, La Salle and Will with varying landscapes of bluffs, rivers and rolling hills. The majority of the trail in this portion is flat and smooth, and is preserved from a canal towpath. It offers a picturesque and historic path to walk along with your pupper. This is a multi-use trail, so you’ll need to keep your dog leashed and all times, and pick up after him or her.