Rochelle is a city located along the Kyte River that once served as a shipping hub for the surrounding farms, then became a meat-packing and produce-canning center. Today, informally known as “Hub City,” it has lots of outdoor spaces for furtastic activities with your fur-baby, including parks, lakes, streams, and rivers. And if your fur-pup needs medical care for an illness or injury, rest assured that help is nearby. With 2 veterinary hospitals in Rochelle and several others nearby, your fur-baby will be better soon!
The dog-friendly Four Sisters Bike Path is a 4-mile multi-use trail that connects 3 Rochelle parks and travels through the suburban landscape as well as fields and meadows with more pastoral scenes. Beginning at Atwood Park and arcing north to Flannigan Park, then south along the Kyte River to Tilton Park, Four Sisters is paved its entire length, so you and Fido will likely encounter bicyclists and skaters along your route, and it is also wheelchair accessible. The city has marked the path as it courses past homes, schools and an athletic complex, and has provided 2 water fountains along the way. There are a few low-traffic street crossings so be sure to keep Fido tightly leashed at these intersections. Parking is available at both endpoints, and at Flannigan Park. Pawsome!
Whether you and your pup live in Rochelle or are just visiting, you’ll find lots to do here and in the surrounding communities!
The 3 parks through which the Four Sisters Bike Path travels are great destinations for dog-friendly activities in their own right! Atwood Park features a 3-mile path for walking and running with Fido in tow, and lots of lawn for on leash romping and lying about with a picnic lunch. It also features a cool playground for the kiddos, and a bandstand with seating for concerts and other events. Flannigan Park is also a family-oriented park with a playground, and of course the Bike Path traveling through it. Picnic tables are scattered throughout for those al fresco meals with family and the pooch! Tilton Park is primarily focused on its sports facilities, like basketball courts, but it also has plenty of grassy areas and trees which make visiting the park fun just to be outdoors. Walks with the fur-pup, picnics or just throwing down a blanket and relaxing are all pawsome ways to enjoy Tilton!
Flagg is a community adjacent to Rochelle that is home to the VFW Park, which features the Bark Park, an off-leash, fenced area where your fur-pup can socialize with other dogs and get some exercise. The Bark Park provides plenty of space and shade trees, plus a water fountain and security gate. The VFW Park features acres of grass for on-leash play and walking, along with a picnic shelter, an awesome playground for the youngsters and a basketball court. Benches dot the walkways around the park, which are paved for easy going Be sure to check out the VFW Park – it’s a pawtastic family and Fido spot!
Flagg Center is a town to the west of Rochelle where you’ll find Skare Park, a wide-open green park that features a pavilion shelter, driving range, and 7 walking trails where you and your fur-pup can amble along through trees and meadow. Part of the Kyte River flows through the park, and the riverbanks offer plenty of opportunities to see amphibians and other wildlife, especially in the early and late parts of the day. Birds are abundant here, and the trails are user-friendly, some mowed tracks through tall grasses. Three of the trails follow the Kyte River’s shores, and some are looped, while others are out-and-back. With this variety, you and your furry bestie have a lot to choose from! Woofderful!
The nearby town of Oregon is home to the dog-friendly Lowden-Miller Forest. Covering approximately 2,300 acres of wooded land, the forest features 22 miles of trails including the River Loop Trail, a looped path of almost 5 miles that offers challenges for the casual hiker or runner. It’s also where you’ll find the Lowden State Park, also welcoming to leashed pups, which features a large campground along with 4 miles of hiking trails and other attractions on its 207 acres. Both parks overlook the Rock River Valley, and from the bluffs above the river, you may see raptors riding the thermals above and other wildlife around the river’s edge.
The community of Franklin Grove near Rochelle contains the dog-friendly Franklin Creek Natural Wildlife Area. Within these 882 acres are equestrian and hiking trails, groomed for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter, and a 200-acre nature preserve that provides endless hours of exploration and discovery for you and your leashed fur-buddy. The preserve’s high bluffs afford views of the creek, and it's rich in plants and wildlife, such as raccoon and deer. With picnic areas and shelters, restrooms and 4.5 miles of well-marked trails, plus easy access to parking and trailheads, this park is a must-do for visitors to the area. The unique Mill Springs Trail is concrete-surfaced and pawrfect for people of every skill level, is wheelchair-accessible and leads to the beautiful Mill Spring.