West Chicago is located 30 miles west of Chicago proper, in DuPage County, Illinois. Its proximity to one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country ensures the area has plenty of creature comforts for local pets and owners--including 153 dog-friendly restaurants and several vets (in just 10 miles)! This suburb is also a great place for nature lovers of any species, as the county maintains over 390 acres of gorgeous pet-friendly parkland!
The West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve is a rustic paradise where city pups can enjoy the simplicity of the great outdoors. This pristine conservation area relies on natural beauty to attract visitors rather than frills and amenities. You won’t find picnic areas or fishing piers here; however, you may just spot a bald eagle! The preserve is traversed by the Illinois Prairie Path, a trail system that consists of five pathways and spans a total of 58 miles. The trail system encompasses both urban and rural areas, and provides some pawesome variety to spice up your daily walk!
If your pup looking to meet other furry locals, then paw on over to Wiggly Field Dog Park. This fantastic neighborhood bark park is open seven days a week and recently added enclosure for smaller guests. Agility equipment provides pups with both athletic and intellectual stimuli (and gives them a chance to show off their moves!). Your pup will absolutely love this whimsical park!
The East Branch Forest Preserve provides a furrific escape for city dogs, just 10 miles east of West Chicago. This 521-acre nature preserve provides many pawportunities for owners and pets to relax and enjoy some off-leash recreation time. The park features a 60-acre off-leash area and has a separate swimming area just for pups. A permit must be obtained from the Forest Preserve District for your pet to participate in the leash-free fun (so be sure to pick one up ahead of time!). Your buddy will love experiencing all the sights and smells on the picturesque trails that traverse this natural wetland. The preserve is home to many rare and threatened species of wildlife -- so don’t forget to bring your camera!
Wenmoth Acres is home to Batavia Park, a great dog-inclusive community park ruff-ly 10 miles from West Chicago. Batavia Park features a fully-fenced, 3-acre off-leash area that is free to owners and has no permit requirements. The bark park provides a great open space for pups to zoom about, and has plenty of guests so your pal never has to play alone. There are plenty of trees to keep the park cool during the hot Illinois summers, as well as a pavilion and benches for owners to relax on. After a long game of fetch, break out the picnic basket and enjoy a nice meal for two at one of the park’s picnic shelters.
Is your pup looking for more outdoor adventures? Springbrook Prairie Forest is a hit with any nature-loving hound. This 1,832-acre conservation area is an important local habitat for grassland fowl, and is home to several rare species of birds. Your pup can romp until his heart is content in the off-leash area near the 83rd Street trailhead. However, only pups with permits can participate in the off-leash shenanigans. Don’t you fret, though! Daily and annual permits can be easily obtained through Visitor Services. In all other areas, pets must be under their owner’s voice control and remain on a leash no longer than 10 feet. Your beloved mutt will have a blast yapping at all the feathered residents and whizzing around the off-leash area with his new friends!
Whalon Lake Dog Park is an excellent place for local canines of any stature. This park boasts an 8-acre main area, as well as a 2.5-acre expanse for pups 30 lbs. and under. Furry visitors are required to have a permit through the Forest Preserve. Your pup will love blazing the many multi-purpose trails here, which provide beautiful lake views for the park’s many two- and four-legged guests. The park also features access to a stunning 80-acre lake, which is a favorite for boating and fishing. Canines and their human companions can even enjoy a lakeside lunch at one of the park’s several picnic shelters. With all these dog-friendly amenities, your pup will never want to leave!
The Green Valley Forrest in Naperville is a secluded, yet local getaway perfect for shyer pups. There is an impressive off-leash area, as well as over 12 miles of scenic trails to explore with your companion. This area is extremely bio-diverse and is home to over 540 species of plants and 370 native species of animals. The park requires a yearly fee of $75 from guests, which helps to cover the park’s expenses and helps to keep the preserve well-maintained. The annual fee also ensures that the park is never crowded, so you and your pup can have some quality leisure time. The service fee is a small price to pay once you see all this park has to offer!