For all of Rockford’s classy pooches, there is Canine Corners Dog Park at Searls Park. With an annual, semi-annual, or day pass, you and your dog can be members of Rockford’s most prestigious dog park, which is open during daylight hours. Canine Corners graces four well-shaded acres of land and has a water tap, shelter, and potty bags available. Children under the age of 10 are not allowed within the park.
Perhaps you and your pup don’t understand all the hype with a members-only dog park and just want a place to run about. If this pertains to you, check out Elliott Dog Park on the corner of South Lyford and Mills Road. Dogs can run freely in this off-leash park, and there are separate areas for small and large dogs.
Weekends are for relaxing, so why does it seem like you’re always rushing from place to place until Monday morning rolls around? This weekend, actually savor your days off by going to Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden. For only $6 per adult and $3 for seniors, students 18+ with ID, and children, this arboretum, and the botanic garden is a low-cost day of fun for the entire family – including Fido! Well-behaved, leashed pets are welcome as long as they’re cleaned up after. Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily.
This fun community is located along Rock River and offers people easy access to hospitals, restaurants, parks, and museums. Humans and their leashed pups are welcomed to enjoy any of the local parks and walking paths -- just be sure to clean up! Cherry Valley Elementary School hosts the Patriot Paws fundraiser which provides service dogs to assist disabled military veterans. The dogs aid veterans in performing actions that are difficult or impossible for the veteran to perform due to injury. Deli Italia, Irish Rose, Wired Café, Prairie Street Brewhouse, and Octane InterLounge are the dog friendly restaurants in central Rockford.
Cherry Valley is conveniently located between the junction of Interstate 90 and Interstate 39, and is surrounded by parks and forest preserves. Elliott Dog Park is a large off-leash dog park that includes two separate areas for dogs of different sizes and water spigots! County Line Forest Preserve, Espenscheid Memorial Forest Preserve, Deer Run Forest Preserve, and Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve, and Baumann Park all allow leashed pups to enjoy the scenic trails with you. Just make sure to clean up after them. If you’re feeling hungry, jaunt over to Chipotle or the Tilted Kilt. They accommodate dogs and allow them to enjoy their patios!
This community, located just 20 minutes away from Rockford, is quaint yet spacious. It offers those in the area access to plenty of outdoor recreational activities, and is conveniently located off Interstate 95. Long Prairie Trail is one of 1,600 rail-trails that is part of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy project that is working to create a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines into walking paths, making it an ideal path to walk your pooch! The massive Rock Cut State Park encompasses 3,092 acres that include two lakes, hiking trails, horseback riding trails, cross country skiing, wildlife watching and seasonal hunting that can be enjoy alongside your leashed dog!