Gary sits on the shore of Lake Michigan, with its fine sand beaches and water attractions. Primarily known as a steel industry city, it also boasts parks and beaches for the pleasure of its citizens and their canine companions. Gary has a strict leash law, but is working on establishing dog parks so Fido can run free outside of his own yard. With one animal hospital in town, more can be found in surrounding areas to assist your pup with his medical needs.
A popular dog-friendly spot in Gary is Tolleston Park, which features hiking and biking trails inside its 17-acre urban and dog-friendly park. It offers picnic areas and grills as well, so you and your fur-baby can enjoy a casual meal together.
Originally called Jefferson Park, the Borman Square Park is a 9-acre dog-friendly area in Gary’s Downtown neighborhood. Like all the city parks, Borman welcomes dogs on-leash. It features large rolling hills and flatter areas of open lawn for you and your furry bestie to explore and play, while the human kids play on the playground or in the pool. The park has paved walking paths and a covered pavilion, and shade trees are scattered throughout, providing a lovely and convenient spot for some downtime with your fur-baby.
Beach neighborhood, also commonly known as Miller, is home to one of Gary’s
most-visited landmarks: Marquette Park. Covering 159 acres of land and beaches,
this dog-friendly park and beach is a leashed-only site, and pups are not permitted in the humans' designated swimming areas. However, the park has allotted 2
dog beaches on the Lake Street Beach , so your furry friend can take a
refreshing dip in Lake Michigan on leash with you. Marquette Park also includes open picnic areas, a large lawn, lagoons, and fishing, all of which your pup can explore with you. Take a walk to Patterson
Island over one of two foot bridges for the truly adventurous! There’s so much to see and do here!
The neighborhood of Black Oak covers areas of wetlands, as well as undeveloped land near the Calumet River. It is also home to the dog-friendly Lake Etta County Park, consisting of 98 acres of flood plain land. This extremely popular park features the Lake Etta’s Trail that contains about two miles of hard surface surrounding the playground, and another half mile through natural wetlands. Additional trails near the swimming and fishing lakes lead to the Little Calumet River. Take your woofer for an afternoon of strolling the trails, followed by a sit in one of the picnic shelters where you can grill your favorite foods and share them with Fido. Park users with dogs must keep them leashed, and there are a few areas where pups are not permitted, so watch for signs.
Emerson is home to Gateway Park. This lovely park has been restored to its former glory after falling into disrepair over the years, and now offers 2 fountains and 3 acres of lawn, along with paved walkways lined with flowers and shrubs. Another sweet spot in the Emerson neighborhood is the Idle Hour Park which features an acre of open green space for some leashed play with your dog-eared pal. Buffington Park is another small park that has been refurbished to a safe, pleasant space with a playground and grass, walkways, and a monument to Emerson’s World War II veterans. Dog-buddies are welcome!
On Gary’s south side is Glen Park, the city’s most heavily populated neighborhood. It is home to several parks and green spaces, including the Little Calumet River floodplain, which features 17 miles of hiking trails through its lush vegetation. Leashed pups are welcome with their humans to explore the varied species of wildlife there. South Gleason Park Golf Course boasts a path that travels the perimeter of the course, about 1 ½ miles. The trail is paved, and affords scenic views of the golf course with its greenery and fountain. Fido is permitted on the path only, on-leash. Also in Glen Park is Pittman Square Park, which features a playground and lots of green space for playing with your fur-buddy.
Ivanhoe forms part of Gary’s western border, and
is host to the 110-acre Ivanhoe Nature Preserve, as well as Brunswick Park. The
49-acre Brunswick Park is comprised in part of dunes and marshy low areas. This
is a great place to walk with your leashed fur-faced buddy. The pup-friendly 100-acre Ivanhoe Nature
Preserve is part of the Nature Conservancy network of parks, and offers a mosaic of savanna,
prairie, forest and wetlands that make for an interesting walk for you and your
canine companion. Waterfowl, wildflowers and small mammals abound, and Fido
will enjoy identifying these as you pass. Trails are marked and posted to help
you on your way.