Pekin is a suburb community of Peoria, and the Marigold Capital of the World, with a marigold festival that has happened annually for the last 40 years. In the early years of the event, residents planted over 2 million marigolds. Now, a lot of marigolds reside in parks around the town, free to view for humans and dogs.
The Happy Tails Dog Park is a perfect place for pups, with over 3 acres of open area that's fenced-in for off-leash fun. Dogs have plenty of amenities here, from separate areas for smaller and larger dogs, a designated training area, dog-sized water fountains, free toys, and double-gated entrances on each area. Dogs can run freely here, and enjoy additional amenities like clean-up bags, trash bins, and a few benches.
The Mineral Springs Park is one of the most popular places not just for dogs, but for people too. The central park is 200 acres with picnic shelters, recreational ballparks, a lagoon, and the World's Great Sundial! Dogs are welcome in the park, but must remain on a leash and can enjoy plenty of areas to play fetch, or walk along the 4 miles of paved trails that wind throughout the park. Amenities include clean-up stations, water fountains, benches, trash bins, and nighttime lights.
With 5 veterinarians, Pekin is always showing how much it cares for its animal residents, especially with the incorporation of more and more dog-friendly parks!
Allentown is on the east side of the city, and offers picturesque views of the open plains and thick wooded areas. The Coal Miner's Park is equally scenic, with a long stretch of vibrant green grass, marked on the perimeter by privacy bushes. The park is 43 acres and dog-friendly. Dogs must remain on a leash while inside, but have access to water fountains, benches, and trash bins. The Pekin Park District Trail is another great option in this neighborhood, offering 4.3 miles of dog-friendly trails to humans and leashed pups. The entire trail is paved, with views of multiple parks and the Illinois River. There are no amenities on the trail.
Downtown Pekin is packed to the brim with people, buildings, and roads, so when residents need a place to walk Fido, they head to Rotary Park. The park is a small square area in the middle of town, with a basketball court, playground and large open field surrounded by trees. Dogs are welcome at the park from the fours of 6 AM to Dusk, and have access to water fountains and benches. Willow Park is another option for dog walkers, with a perimeter paved trail around the park, shaded sitting areas, and a small open field for Fido to run around in. Dogs must remain on a leash, and owners must bring water and clean-up bags.
The Park Ave neighborhood has some pretty amazing views of the city. With small sectors for businesses and shops, it provides qualities of the suburb and downtown. Dog walkers of the neighborhood can head to James Park, a 2.3-acre park that offers baseball diamonds, and a paved trail that surrounds the area. Features include benches, water fountains, and trash bins. An older park in the neighborhood is the Blenkiron Park which offers a dog-friendly walking trail that surrounds the park. Dogs are not allowed in the open area or playground, and must remain on a leash at all times.
The Gardena neighborhood gets its name from the wildflowers that grow throughout the neighborhood. A large portion of this area consists of the Everett Dirksen Park, a 400-acre area with beautiful woodlands and meadows. The parks hours are from 6 AM to 10 PM for humans and leashed dogs, and offers over 9 miles of hiking trails that meander over bridges and up some boulders, and provide scenic views of Lick Creek. Owners must bring water and clean-up bags. The McNaughton Park is a more urban park, with paved trails, restrooms, picnic shelters and well-kept open areas. Dogs are welcome while on a leash.
The Village Center of the town of Morton is 12.5 miles east of Pekin. The area provides a nice out-of-town experience for humans and their dogs thanks to the Oakwood Dog Park. The park is a mixture of open fields and wooded areas, and features separate areas for smaller and larger dogs that are completely fenced in. Each area has tires, double-gated entrances, free toys and water bowls. Dogs can even go on some of the nature trails throughout the wooded area, or can enjoy the large pavilion outside of the two fenced in sections. Additional features include clean-up stations, dog-sized water fountains, benches, and a picnic area.